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Do your employees feel the feels?

Updated: Aug 6, 2022

A while ago, I hosted a women’s discussion group where I live in Astoria on the increasingly popular and important topic of “information overload.” The brilliant women surrounding me had great ideas about habits to help keep the consumption of information meaningful and responsible in an informationally-overcharged world.

The idea that stuck with me the most was that music is what we remember in our old age when everything else fades. Music may even be a key factor in helping with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. I can’t believe I needed to be reminded of this--I spent four years and a minor fortune getting my bachelor's degree in music. Since this conversation, I’ve added at least two songs to each daily commute to and from work.

Do I really need another podcast to dig deep on the details of the Russia investigation to make me a better person? Will reading another article on social media analytics unlock the door to employee engagement success? And a month or year from now, will either of these things matter or still ring true?

I was delighted by Alison Davis’ article on Change Communications. She makes a similar point: “An emotional appeal is a more effective way to change behavior than a logical appeal.”

We have to create employee communications that make them feel the feels. Here are a few ways I’ve learned to appeal to employees and their emotions:

  1. Feature human beings. People are more likely to stop and read something that was said by their immediate colleague than by a senior leader. Let the voices of your employees shine during a time of change.

  2. Show gratitude. It’s a hot topic right now, and it’s even more powerful when a senior leader shows gratitude regularly. If that’s the core message, more people will listen.

  3. Use video. People are not reading. If you got this far, congratulations. A video could be funny, heart-breaking, or inspiring. Or, sometimes, all of the above! Your employees are more likely to understand your message through video because videos provide the context and tone that this blog post does not.

There are additional ways to connect with your employees on an emotional level. Most importantly, find messages that will stick with them beyond their daily grind.

And, don’t forget to sing and dance like no one is listening every day. (Ok, maybe that’s just the inner musical dork in me, but make sure to nurture your inner dork too).

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