Feelings Are the New Values in Workplaces That Matter

Aligning employees, getting them engaged, and creating a workplace that people not only love to work in, but strive to get a place in, is the “holy grail” for many companies.

And with good reason.

Without a workplace that people find gratifying, a company runs the risk of having employees working at cross purposes, working at half speed, and spending more time looking for a new job than doing their current job.

In our “Meaningful Workplace” paper we talk about the need for companies to change the way they reach out to employees in the age of meaning.

No doubt, your company has a set of values.

And you probably believe that every employee not only knows those five or six statements, but lives them day-in and day-out.

But then you discover that morale is low, performance is off, and you can’t bring in the new blood your company desperately needs to remain competitive.

What’s the matter?

We’re not saying your business shouldn’t have “values”, we’re simply proposing a way to make those values do the work they’re intended to do.

It could be that your company values – or, at least the way you’ve presented them to employees – simply do not matter to your employees, managers, and recruits.

That could because you haven’t yet taken your employees to the next level.

You haven’t put emotional meaning behind the values your company embraces.

You haven’t shown people what a difference they can make – and benefit from themselves – by striving to generate specific feelings through what they do with their colleagues and with the outside world.

We posit that feelings are the new values.

As we say in our paper,

“There is a way businesses can get employees to live the company’s values. Ironically, it is by never using the word “values.” Rather, it is by bringing people to the company’s values through feelings. This is a new way of engaging employees in corporate values. It doesn’t ask employees to buy into potentially bland statements crafted in corporate-speak. Instead, it prompts employees to think about how they want themselves, and others, to be left feeling by the business.”

You’ve tried the traditional values route.

Perhaps it’s time to rethink how you reach out to your employees.