Companies work hard to connect with their customers on an emotional level. They leverage emotional storytelling and messages that are captivating and engaging. Because when the content feels personal, the consumer feels more compelled to care and support the brand. So, if emotions play a strategic role in lead conversion and customer retention, why shouldn’t they also have a place in company culture and work communications? After all, employees that feel emotionally connected to their company are more likely to be engaged, productive, and stay longer. Here are some tips on how highly effective leaders connect emotionally with employees:
Model calmness in stressful situations
Your employees look to you in high-pressure situations. Learn how to maintain a level head during challenging times. Before acting and speaking, collect your thoughts. Assess the situation to recognize the reality and, more importantly, the limitations of the crisis you face. Identify people on your team with a strength of character and emotional intelligence skills. Together, create a support system to help others who may not handle pressure well.
Increase skills in dealing with difficult personalities
Avoid angry exchanges by being the first to speak in a calm tone. Empathize by putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. If there is an argument between two parties, don’t assume anything based on personal biases or past behavior. Ask both parties to summarize the cause of the disagreement before making any assessments. If you find that a person with a “difficult” personality constantly challenges the collective, the chances are that the person doesn’t fit the company culture. As a leader, you also have to consider the emotional well-being and mental safety of the majority who may suffer working with a challenging colleague.
Acknowledge hard work by expressing gratitude
Expressions of appreciation show that you value your employees’ contributions and that you care about their well-being. And when you indicate that you care about their health and happiness, they’ll be motivated to reciprocate these emotions. In the workplace, this translates to increased engagement and productivity. Grateful employees look beyond their job description and become the biggest supporters of your brand. Surprisingly, showing gratitude doesn’t demand an expensive budget or a specialized task force. Gratitude can be expressed with a pat on the back and saying “good job” or a handwritten “thank you” on a sticky note attached to a report or a monitor. You can treat your team to coffee or lunch. For those who deserve more acknowledgment, you can give them a gift card or even a day off.
Open opportunities for open dialogue
Communicate often to create opportunities for small talk, which helps promote discussions on all levels. Don’t be afraid to express enthusiasm and excitement when there’s a reason to celebrate or something positive has happened. When something bad occurs, change the narrative on failure. Following disappointing outcomes, encourage your employees to share their feelings. Embrace failure as a learning opportunity and chance to reflect on how to improve.
As a former CEO and COO, I have built leaders and their teams for over 30 years. I now count top organizations among my grateful clients.
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