Emotions and moods both can affect the quality of the work environment. Positive emotions and moods can decrease absenteeism, turnover and worker stress.
Jobs and Emotions
Sally has just found out that she is being offered two different new job opportunities after graduating from college. Both jobs will help her grow in developing her marketing and advertising skills for the future. Each position has her reporting to a very different boss. She has to decide which job she should take. Although the jobs are very similar in tasks, the bosses each have different emotions and moods that they express during the workday. Let's take a look at her two choices.
Definition of Emotions
Emotions are very short-lived feelings that come from a known cause. When Sally discovered she was receiving two job offers she was very happy. The specific cause was due to the fact that she would be getting job offers and making excellent money after college. Emotions also include the contemplation to act a specific way based on feelings or physiological changes. Emotions can affect attitudes and behaviors in the workplace. Sally discovered that the marketing position with Rosey Cosmetics has a boss that is known to bring negative emotions into the workplace. She was warned that the negative emotions, such as hostility and anger, exist daily, which has led to employees who have job dissatisfaction. Turnover is very high at the cosmetics firm. Sally is torn because the salary is $10,000 higher than the other job offer at a pet food company.
Types of Emotions
There are many different types of emotions. Some examples of emotions are happy, sad, angry, fearful or hostile. Negative emotions, such as anger, fear and guilt, can cause a very poor work environment to develop. Positive emotions in a work environment, such as happy and excited, can cause better worker productivity, cohesiveness, health and cognitive functions. Sally's potential boss has created a very hostile work environment with stressed-out employees.
Definitions of Moods
Moods are feelings that are longer lasting than emotions and have no clear starting point of formation. Moods are actually made up of multiple emotions. Sally's second job opportunity at Perfect Pet Food is with a boss that is known to have good moods in the workplace. Even though the pay is a lot less, Sally is starting to realize the impact of a good working environment.
Types of Moods
The two types of moods are negative and positive. Positive moods would exist when employees feel excited or enthusiastic. Negative moods can cause hostile employees who are stressed. Moods are more impactful than emotions in a work environment because they last much longer, which can drastically alter the corporate atmosphere. Long-term negative moods of bosses and coworkers increase employee absenteeism and worker turnover. Sally has heard through the grapevine that her pet company boss has created a wonderful workplace through positive moods. The result is a motivated, happy and productive team environment. Sally is willing to take $10,000 less to be surrounded by positive moods. She now understands that moods are long acting and can drastically affect the quality of the workplace.
Sources of Emotions and Moods
Emotions develop from a known source. Happy, motivated employees are usually reflective of excellent work environment, mentoring bosses and good benefits. Angry, sad and disgruntled employee emotions are usually because they are overworked due to long hours, unmotivated because of unsupportive management and unproductive from stressed conditions.
Since moods don't have a clear starting point, they are usually based on multiple issues. For example, a boss who is in a bad mood might have to deal with long-term poor sales, uncooperative upper management and lazy employees. This mood might be hard to break unless drastic changes occur. On the other hand, an employee who is always in a good mood might enjoy his/her job due to multiple reasons that are hard to pinpoint such as job type, benefits, health, family and personal reasons.
Emotions and moods can alter a work environment. Emotions are short-lived feelings that come from a known cause, while moods are feelings that are longer lasting than emotions and have no clear starting point of formation. Emotions can range from happy, ecstatic, sad and prideful, while moods are either positive or negative. Understanding the type of moods and emotions that are predominant in a place of business are important when deciding where to work. A positive, happy place of employment can make the difference between high absenteeism, turnover, stress levels and employee overall health.
Once you have finished this lesson, you should be able to:
- Recognize the differences between emotions and moods
- Identify examples of negative and positive emotions
- Explain how positive and negative emotions and moods affect the work environment
- Examine potential causes of different types of emotions and moods
Emotions and Moods
Take a small notepad with you all day long on a day of your choosing, from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep. On this notepad, jot down your emotions any time you feel one. Do not second-guess that you are having an emotion, or wonder where it is coming from. Just take note of it. Your notepad should be filled with simple emotion words. For example, your notepad from the time you wake up until the time you eat lunch may look like this: happy, happy, joyful, frustrated, frustrated, happy. You do not need to note the duration of each emotion, just note the onset of each. At the end of the day, you should have a long list of emotion words. Now identify each of those words as positive or negative in valence and tally how many positive words you have as compared to negative words. Of which do you have more? Why do you think that is? Are you satisfied with the emotions you felt during the day, or would you like to alter them? Do you think you could do so? Write two to three paragraphs analyzing the emotion words you jotted down and reflect on the questions above.
Do you think you are in a predominantly negative mood in your daily life, or predominantly positive mood? Are you a "glass half empty" or a "glass half full" kind of person? How about those around you? What are the predominant moods or your parents, your siblings, and your friends? Why do you have the predominant mood that you have? Is it something intrinsic to you, such as you were simply born that way, or do you think you learned your predominant mood from those around you? Could you change your predominant mood if you wanted to? If so, how? Write a three to four paragraph journal entry addressing these questions.
Find an elderly person whom you admire and ask him or her for an interview. Develop at least twelve questions to ask, designed to discuss the person's view of his or her own emotions and moods. For example, what has this person learned about emotions and moods over a long lifetime? What advice could this person give a young individual on the subject of emotions and moods? Write down the answers that this person provides during the interview. Afterward, write a reflective paragraph on your feelings about the interview, your thoughts about the person's life, and how you might be able to incorporate some of the advice given into your own life.