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Foster a Compassionate Workplace
Posted by Insightlink on 02/18/15
Emotions in the Workplace Impact Employees
When we study organizations, we rarely consider how shared emotions can impact employees. New studies have shown that emotions in the workplace do have an impact on employees and on overall work culture. Sigal Barsade, a Wharton management professor, says that what she calls ‘companionate love’, is when colleagues, who are together day in and day out, show that they care about each other’s work and non-work issues, they are careful of each other’s feelings, show compassion, affection, caring and listening when things don’t go well, or when a co-worker needs to talk.
Barsade believed and went on to prove, that if co-workers treat each other with caring, compassion, tenderness and affection, this will spill over to their clients. This finding can have important outcomes for organizations because there is ‘reason to believe that ‘companionate love’ in the workplace is not only more appealing but also is vital to employee morale, teamwork and customer satisfaction’. Barsade partnered with Olivia O’Neill, assistant professor of management at George Mason University, and they discovered that a culture of companionate love led to higher levels of employee engagement ‘via greater teamwork and employee satisfaction’. They also found that higher levels of companionate love in the workplace reduced absenteeism and employee burnout. Interestingly they also found that regardless of the industry- ‘to the extent that there’s a greater culture of companionate love, that culture is associated with greater satisfaction, commitment and accountability.’
The upshot provides a strong message for managers that says ‘tenderness, compassion, affection and caring matter at work.’ Barsade says management can do something with this by thinking more about the state of emotional culture within their work environment and performing their own self-evaluations about how they treat their own employees, and whether or not they actively display these kinds of emotions to their staff. A culture of companionate love ‘positively correlates with job satisfaction, commitment to the company and accountability for performance’, making it a viable solution to an organization that is experiencing productivity and job satisfaction issues.
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AboutInsightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.
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