4 Ways to Promote Positivity Through Emotion Regulation at Work
By: Nick Shekeryk
Humans are complex beings with a vast array of emotions that are subject to change on a moment’s notice. How we interpret these feelings can impact the way we express ourselves in the workplace and beyond. Having the ability to control these emotions helps us create a more harmonious work experience for ourselves and those around us.
Emotion regulation is defined as controlling an emotional experience by influencing the type of emotions that are felt, when they occur and how they are expressed. Regulating emotions can help us change the way we feel after experiencing an emotion — no matter how big or small it may seem. Overall, emotion regulation is a resource that allows people to take control of their experiences and transform them into outcomes that will help promote positive emotions, positive relationships and overall better quality of life.
- Emotion regulation is a process of influencing which emotions we have, when we have them and how we experience them.
- Emotion regulation at work can help people change the way they feel after experiencing an emotion.
- Emotion regulation at work promotes positive emotions, positive relationships and overall better quality of life.
- People pursue emotion regulation at work to increase pleasure and reduce pain, manage interpersonal interactions and optimize how they process information.
Why emotion regulation at work is important
Emotion regulation helps people measure how well they manage stress and anxiety in the workplace. People often pursue emotion regulation at work with three stress-reducing goals in mind:
- Increasing pleasure and reducing pain to minimize acts and feelings of negativity and sadness
- Managing interpersonal interactions to avoid conflict
- Optimizing how information is processed to perform tasks more effectively
As a key experience activator — a mindset that generates energy and expands our capacity to improve our quality of life — emotion regulation at work can improve the employee experience. A Limeade Institute study revealed that people with high levels of experience activators such as optimism, purpose and resilience have lower levels of stress and higher levels of well-being, engagement and productivity at work. This means that employees with strong organizational support are better equipped to control their emotions when facing adversity at work.
Managers have the unique ability to help their employees channel the positivity they need to thrive emotionally and through interpersonal relationships in the workplace. Let’s explore some of the ways managers can promote positivity through emotion regulation at work.
How to promote positivity through emotion regulation at work
1. Be a role model for well-being improvement
Managers who take daily stress breaks, communicate their own well-being priorities and model positive behavior through everyday actions empower their teams to do the same. You can’t expect employees to embrace well-being if you’re not actively involved. Leaders and managers who take lunch breaks and vacations, set tech boundaries and actively promote well-being truly have an impact on their employees.
2. Get to know your team on a personal level
Understanding what matters to each employee will help you balance the needs of the business along with the needs of the individual. Some employee will be open about their goals and challenges, while others may prefer to focus on work-related topics — and that’s okay. Give them the space to be vulnerable.
3. Assume positive intent from your employees
With personal and professional lives intersecting more than ever, it’s important to keep in mind that your employees are trying to navigate both worlds at the same time. Give them more control over their schedules. This means employees have the freedom to finish a project in the evening if they decide to leave early to exercise or pick up their kids. It’s about trusting employees to get their work done on a schedule that works for them.
4. Connect employees across business groups
Networking and collaboration help employees see themselves as part of something bigger. It also opens up new opportunities for innovation and improvement in and outside the office. Try including more than one team in off-sites, brainstorms or coffee chats.
Want to learn more about experience activators? Check out the other elements for a positive employee experience.