How to Foster an Emotive Workplace

How to Manage Employees

Once upon a time, office workers were expected to be robots. But those days may be over, according to contributor Amanda Slavin.

"In today's professional landscape, people want to bring their whole selves to work, even if doing so would break from the norms of 'professionalism,'" Slavin says. "Millennials want work-life integration, not just work-life balance, meaning they're not going to leave their emotions at home and send a cold, feeling-less, in-control-at-all-times automaton to the office in their place."

Emotions aren't just good for employees; as it turns out, they're also good for the corporate pocket book.

"The insane precedent we've set for employees to remove so much of themselves from their professional lives is not only unhealthy for individuals; it's also costing their employers in huge ways, even cutting enormous chunks out of corporate bottom lines," Slavin continues. "By creating a workplace that does not allow people to share who they are, employers are essentially ensuring widespread workforce disengagement and high turnover."

So, how do you encourage employees to be more emotive at work?

"One of the most effective strategies that my company, CatalystCreativ, has used to help businesses create a more empathetic and expressive culture is teaching ways to foster traditionally 'feminine' traits above more 'masculine' ones," Slavin says. "By valuing and expressing traits such as receptivity, surrender, vulnerability and tenderness, employees of all genders show higher rates of engagement and job satisfaction, and companies themselves perform better."

If you think the guys in your office will balk, think again. "2011 study conducted at Stanford examined feminine and masculine traits in male and female employees, and compared these traits to their rates of promotion compared to their peers. The results were surprising: 'Feminine' men got two times the promotions of their traditionally masculine peers," Slavin continues. "Those workers able to blend feminine and masculine traits in the workplace tend to excel beyond their peers, and companies that encourage this expression among all employees will reap the financial rewards."

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