3 Emotions At Work That Crack Employees Open


Emotions At Work

There is a connection between e-motion and motion. When one feels an emotion, they will act on it. But here’s the thing: employees (and people in general) re-act to the same emotions differently. Those reactions, therefore, are a good way to judge about one’s corporate Self. Below are the 3 emotions HR can trigger to get to know employees better. Faster.


1. Happiness


What does it measure? Put it simply, the reaction to happiness gives out employee’s orientation, which is either more collective or more individual. A good team member will always want to share the happiness, while a self-oriented employee will be more focused on the award.

How can HR take advantage? Observation is the best answer to this question. Make employees happy and watch how they celebrate. Do they upgrade their car? Celebrate with the family? Do they involve other employees and how? If dealing with a candidate, a good idea would be to ask, what is the first thing (s)he will do if they get the position. And look for keywords indicating either team or individual orientation.


2. Fear


What does it measure? Fear is a perfectly normal emotion all employees experience from time to time. Question is, what do we do then? Do we fear and do anyway? Or do we hold when we fear? Or - worse yet - do we fear and retreat? Point in case is this: an expert will know that fear is inevitable and will know that the only way out is the way through fear. Anything less is unacceptable. The reaction to fear, thus, is a good indicator about one’s level of corporate expertise. Which, by the way, has nothing to do with the years of experience.

How can HR take advantage? If you want the truth, never ask this question directly. For you will only get the right answers. Be razor-specific instead. For example, ask employees to write down the first sentence that comes to mind when asked to explain themselves for a 10 000 Eur mistake. Look for cues of either expertise or incompetence. Hint: much like emotional maturity, corporate expertise has nothing to do with experience. An expert will always address their direct functions in the first sentence. An amateur will not.


3. Surprise


What does it measure? Catch people off guard to measure their level of creativity. Employees are usually prepared to take the position they are in. They know what the company stands for, they know their own corporate strengths and weaknesses. And the rest is a match-making process. However, (corporate) life is not that predictable. In fact, not at all. So, an employee reaction when caught by surprise is just as important as their expertise.

How can HR take advantage? This is the time to go bold stupid. The more so, the better. Ask questions that don’t make sense at all or are completely outside the employee’s level of expertise. Hiring a sales rep? Ask them about logistics! The idea is not to see what they answer but rather how they handle nonsense. Because in business (and life) nonsense is inevitable. The only kind of answer that is not acceptable is the “I don’t know” kind.


To sum up, it is always a good idea to get a better view of the Corporate Self that is not only function but also emotion-oriented. Emotions are closely related to actions. And actions form corporate identities with time. But here’s the beauty: constant employee action will form corporate identity, whether planned or not. So, it is always a good idea to pay attention to e-motions at work.


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