Why Emotions Are the Deciding Factor in Any Work Environment

See the emotions of your employees!

What are employee engagement surveys typically? At their essence, they are opinion surveys. They tell you what your employees think about communications within the company or what they think about their leadership or others’ commitment to quality; but, engagement is an EMOTION. It’s about how we feel when we are at work. It’s an emotion that describes our overall feeling of our work experience.

At a basic level: Is it a positive feeling? Or a negative feeling? Or perhaps neutral?

For decades companies have focused on asking employees what they think about aspects of their work environment and tapping into their ideas to support company innovation. This is fine, but companies have missed a critical facet of life at work: how your employees FEEL. In fact, we’ve often told employees to “leave your emotions at the door” or have coached employees to be less emotional and more ‘professional’ when at work.

So, why should leaders want to know about emotions? 

Because emotions direct decisions. We have been schooled to believe that our rational brain is in the driver’s seat. That is sometimes true, but far more often than not, our emotional brain drives our actions. Many, many have the aggressive participation of our emotion-driven animal brains in all kinds of decision making (Harvard Business Review, January 2006). This is not news. Neuroscientists have known this for a long time.

However, employee engagement surveys continue to probe for opinions rather than presenting leaders with an emotional profile of their workforce. When we know how our employees are feeling, and we know what’s generating these emotions, we can respond with precision and with positive impact.

At Spark’d, our science identifies eight dominant emotions that describe how people feel at work.

We know what generates these emotions. There are two simple but powerful ingredients that, in different combinations, create either negative emotions–-such as Disconnected, Stagnated, Unfulfilled and Frustrated–or a Neutral feeling–or, if we are lucky, positive feelings, such as Energized, Engaged and Passionate.

What are those two ingredients? Meaning + Progress

When we see our work and career as highly meaningful and we are also experiencing a high sense of progress, we are going to be “in the zone” or passionately engaged.

Anything less than high meaning and progress, produces other emotions. 

For example, very high meaning combined with no sense of progress, produces Frustration. We care and we are taking action but we are not experiencing the forward movement or progress we need to experience the flow of passion. 

The Spark’d approach directly impacts the emotional engagement on the individual level to support you in retaining important, key talent and hitting your bottom-line goals.

When we see the emotions of our employees, and understand what blocks or supports meaning and progress, we can take action and move the dial, in significant ways, on employee engagement.

Even more, when you give each individual employee the Spark’d Lens–– for them to see their own engagement and ways to improve their sense of meaning and progress personally––you’ve now transformed the landscape and opportunity for real organizational improvement. 

You can see your people, but what’s more, they can now see themselves as well as feel seen at a personalized, individual level by the organization. 

This is the Spark’d difference… and it changes everything.

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