In order to gauge and convey emotions, leaders often use facial expressions and body language. Remote workplaces, however, make it harder to convey facial expressions and gestures. Managers must know how to use emojis effectively in a hybrid or remote workplace.
We analyzed recent research on emojis in the workplace, conversations with leaders who said they used emojis for team management, and leadership research. Using emojis in a remote or hybrid environment can help you enhance your leadership and connect with employees.
1. Understand your team’s mood
Employees share an emoji during remote management meetings at Danish bank (Danske Bank A/S). A virtual meeting typically starts with capturing the mood. Eduardo Morales, a Danske Bank product owner, says each of us posts an emoji sticker with our name. These meetings usually have more than 40 attendees, so emoji sharing helps attendees gauge each other’s moods and the group’s collective mood. Morales says it saves time while enriching interactions. “One can express more emotions with emojis than the standard ‘I’m fine response.”
Choosing emojis improves team performance by allowing reflection. People express their emotions more thoughtfully with higher self-awareness, resulting in a better selection of emojis that match their moods.
2. Become cognitively empathic
You can learn about your employees’ motivations and experiences at work from their emotions. Luke Thomas asks, “What do I do when everyone is working remotely?”. During his weekly check-ins, he started using emojis. After his direct reports select an emoji, he asks them open-ended questions, such as: How did your week go? Which part of the week was the worst? Can I help in any way?
This update allows Thomas to have richer one-on-one conversations with his employees and respond to their needs accordingly. It takes me less time to do status updates and check-ins and more time to build better relationships, remove blocks, and coach,” he says.
3. Embody appropriate emotions
In the digital space, emotions may amplify even more. Leaders can use emojis to model emotional cues suitable for specific situations and manage their team’s emotional state and mood.
In a challenging financial discussion, a humorous GIF and emoji made a challenging conversation fun. He used emojis as motivation: “I use them as pick-me-ups to motivate and energize my team.” As a result of the digital cue, a more positive tone was established.
An organization’s emotional culture can be greatly influenced by its leaders. For leaders looking to effectively model digital cues, using emojis to represent positive workplace emotions is a good start.
4. Enhance the culture of your company
Every aspect of an organization’s culture can affect employee satisfaction, burnout, and financial performance. The emoji you use can reflect the emotional culture of your organization.
A global home furnishing retailer manager said, “Our corporate culture is enjoyable and friendly.” Moving to remote work meant expressing this aspect of their culture differently. “Emojis and GIFs are mandatory at department meetings.”. Many. The leader doesn’t have to set the tone; if there is a positive emotional culture, use emojis liberally.
Organizations use emojis to reinforce their core values. Let’s take DuPont as an example. Lori Gettelfinger, a DuPont global brand leader, uses the applause emoji often to recognize people’s accomplishments.
Consider your organization’s emotional culture, reflected in its mission statements, values, and daily actions. Emojis and digital gestures can reinforce it.