The Power of an Emotional Culture

Paul Weinstein / 4th April 2016 / Comment / Culture

A recent HBR article on company culture piqued my interest. In it, the authors described the distinction between cognitive culture and emotional culture, emphasizing the power of emotion in creating and maintaining a strong, healthy company culture. Their assertions resonated with me.

At Wheelhouse, we regularly consider how our clients feel about their engagement with us. We strive to eliminate any anxiety our clients may feel about digital marketing and we’re on a constant crusade to create a culture of joy. It turns out that these are hallmarks of an emotional culture in action.

The Wheelhouse culture encourages kindness and generosity. We want our clients to know and feel that we care. We’ve created our culture through shared affective values and norms rather than relying solely on the intellectual values and norms that are found in more cognitive cultures.

people never forget2

How do our clients feel?

This is the question we seek to answer when we conduct our client sentiment analysis. Periodically, we call each of our clients and ask them questions directly related to our values:

  1. Do you feel like we’re being generous with our time and expertise?
  2. Do you feel like we care about the work we do for you and for the outcome we’re working towards?
  3. Do you find that we’re helpful?

By asking these questions, we have the opportunity to reinforce our values with our clients – it’s amazing how much our clients appreciate us simply asking these questions. The exercise also serves to reiterate the importance of our values to our team; we report the results to the group – mainly because the client feedback reinforces joy. It’s our focus on emotive qualities of the experience of working with Wheelhouse that in many cases sets us apart.

Our emotional culture activates and reinforces our values in powerful and sustaining ways. And it works.

By Paul Weinstein