Manage Your Emotional Culture

by Sigal Barsade and Olivia A. O’Neill

BEFORE LEAVING WORK each day, employees at Ubiquity Retirement + Savings press a button in the lobby. They’re not punching out—not in the traditional sense, anyway. They’re actually registering their emotions. They have five buttons to choose from: a smiley face if they felt happy at work that day, a frowny face if they felt sad, and so on.

This may sound like an HR gimmick (“See? Management cares how you feel!”) or an instrument of forced satisfaction (“The team with the most smiley faces wins!”). But it’s neither. Ubiquity is using the data it collects to understand what motivates employees—to learn what makes them feel a sense of belonging and excitement at work. Other organizations ...

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