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Why Emotional Culture matters

Emotional culture refers to the attitudes, beliefs & behaviours related to emotions and how they are expressed & managed in a business environment. In today's business world, emotional culture has become an increasingly important factor in determining a company's success. A strong emotional culture can lead to a positive and productive work environment, while a negative emotional culture can result in low morale, high turnover & decreased productivity.

Sigal Barsade and Olivia O’Neill wrote in HBR that emotional culture influences employee satisfaction, burnout, teamwork, & even “hard” measures such as financial performance & absenteeism. So, when managers ignore or fail to understand it, they’re glossing over a vital component of what makes organisations tick & their companies suffer as a result

Benefits of a Positive Emotional Culture

> Employee satisfaction: A positive emotional culture promotes a supportive work environment, which leads to increased job satisfaction & sense of belonging

> Engagement: Employees who feel valued are more likely to be engaged in their work & motivated to give their best effort

> Teamwork: A positive emotional culture fosters collaboration & teamwork, leading to better problem-solving & decision-making

> Productivity: A positive emotional culture can lead to higher productivity as employees are motivated

> Mental health: A positive emotional culture can reduce stress & anxiety, leading to better mental health & well-being

Factors That Contribute to a Positive Emotional Culture

>Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand & manage one's own emotions & the emotions of others. This is a critical component of a positive emotional culture

>Encouraging open & honest communication between employees & management can help to build trust & engagement

>Acknowledging & rewarding employees for their contributions can help to build a positive culture & improve employee morale

>Leaders who are supportive & understanding can help to create a positive emotional culture by setting a positive example for employees

>Celebrating & valuing diversity and inclusion in the workplace builds an organisation culture where employees have a sense of belonging

A positive emotional culture in the workplace can have a significant impact on a company's success. By promoting emotional intelligence, open communication, employee recognition, supportive leadership & inclusiveness, companies can create a work environment that is supportive, productive & fulfilling.

I recently ran a series of Map Your Emotional Culture workshops with a retail finance business. Initially everyone was skeptical about a workshop based on emotions, as one person said 'what the heck have emotions got to do with my team'? Good question .... emotions are felt by everyone, everywhere and always and our emotions drive our thoughts and actions (regardless of the environment). So everything that happens at work elicits an emotion or emotional response. I like to give an example of a good boss and a bad boss; that boss will do and say something that brings about a positive or negative emotion which over time leads to you feeling either engaged and motivated or disengaged and packing your bags. Therefore knowing how people are feeling and actively managing the emotional culture can lead to greater retention and engagement.

How can you learn more about Emotions at work?

Firstly visit to learn more about the work of Riders and Elephants and the Emotional Culture Deck (ECD). You can download a lo-fi version of the ECD to get yourself familiar with how it works. You can also buy decks on this site.

If you have any questions about Emotional Culture or the ECD, email me on for a chat. I learnt everything I know about Emotional Culture from being part of the ECD Certified Consultants course and running Map Your Emotional Culture workshops with organisations just like yours.

#emotionalculturedeck #proelephantrider #ridersandelephants #emotionalculture


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