Time for a Mood Check
January 15, 2020
2 minute read – In today’s competitive environment, financial institutions have to search for new and different ways to improve performance. One area many feel could have a significant positive impact is the potential for improving company culture. Because culture can feel abstract and often has a broad scope, it is important to tackle this initiative in pieces. A great place to start is with something everyone can understand, the mood.
Mood matters. It plays an integral role in corporate culture and can promote becoming a high performing financial institution. The right mood improves morale, increases productivity, and can result in a better customer experience. The wrong mood is also noticed by customers and can result in significant challenges retaining and acquiring top talent.
Mood is contagious. The mood of managers, back office staff, and customer facing staff is often driven by the mood of the CEO and senior leadership. The mood of these key leaders is infectious and can set the tone for the entire organization. Among all the other important responsibilities, the entire senior leadership team can also be viewed as chief mood officers.
Mood can vary. Don’t worry, being a chief mood officer doesn’t require always being in a good mood. That’s nearly impossible and can actually be counter-productive. Instead, a chief mood officer is in charge of ensuring the mood is one that promotes a productive environment that aligns with the company’s strategy and desired strategic outcomes. While at times a calm mood may be the best fit, other times an optimistic or determined mood may benefit staff. A cheerful or happy mood isn’t always the answer.
Mood is influenced by more than just words. Non-verbal cues have a significant impact on mood and ultimately the culture of the organization. For example, consider how the productivity of a meeting can change when the chief mood officer is not making eye contact or giving the impression they are not engaged in the conversation. Nothing has to be said, non-verbal actions like crossed arms, slouching, and frowning can stifle staff energy and creativity, while non-verbal cues like making direct eye contact and a nod or smile of encouragement can promote engagement.
Mood can improve. It will likely take lots of patience and practice but mood can improve. Whether it is more openly celebrating successes, encouraging peer recognition, or being more aware of non-verbal communication, chief mood officers can start the mood change right away. Here’s the great news! There are not many things that are this impactful, that don’t take time and money, but mood is one.