How to consider employee emotions when making key business decisions


Decisions are being made all the time within organisations. You as a leader know all too well just how many decisions need making on a daily basis within your company. Whether they’re major strategic, operational or financial decisions to name a few, management are putting their heads together and making decisions to see the success of the organisation.

Would you agree that every single decision that’s made in your organisation involves in some capacity, your people? 

Good on you if you said yes! 

Many organisations fail to acknowledge this. Even the decisions that seem too high up on the hierarchical tier for employees to have any say in, like the strategic decisions that top management often owns and controls, or the big financial decisions… even these involve the people, and so decisions should be made with them in mind.

It must not be forgotten: the people are the organisation.

Of course it’s not logistically possible to gather every single employee around the boardroom table to make important decisions – and it wouldn’t be smart either. 

Almost all levels of decisionmaking should be the responsibility of management (from line managers and beyond), and should be driven by their experience, expertise and vision for the future. But this shouldn’t mean employees aren’t considered. After all, the employees are the ones who are going to carry most of the weight to execute and meet the objectives that were set out during decision-making. It’s also the employees that could hinder the success of the vision through disengagement, feeling unmotivated, poor performance or because they feel negatively towards the decisions that were made and therefore don’t give their best, and so management needs to consider this possibility and make decisions to minimise such risk. 

The success of an organisation isn’t determined by the making of smart decisions, it’s determined by the execution of such decisions. And who executes? The employees! 

Why you should consider employee feelings when making decisions 

The organisation will achieve greater results

When you involve employees in decision-making, it shows that you trust them, and when you consider how they feel about the decisions being considered, it shows you care for the happiness and wellbeing and are committed to building an organisation that aligns to them. This is how you get the greatest results from your people – by making decisions that have their buy-in, and which they feel excited to execute on and be an integral part of.  

It improves employee morale

Evidence shows that morale is higher amongst workforces who feel they have an impact during decision-making. Workforces who genuinely feel they’re valued, are making a difference and feel involved in the success of their organisation regardless of their title, feel empowered to influence their workplace. Employees will feel positively about decisions and feel more inclined to work harder to execute them if they know they had a voice and that it’s not a case of management ‘doing their own thing’ and delegating. This leads to increased engagement, job satisfaction and productivity. It also reduces absenteeism and high staff turnover, which all leads to greater profits.

Better decisions will be made

Employee feelings provide significant guidance for management, which is welcomed during decisionmaking (or at least should be). There’s no management team on earth that wants to make their people unhappy. It’s not in their best interest – it’s the fastest way to come across a multitude of problems and even failure. By considering employee feelings, management will make better decisions as they would have focussed on the most important area which determines the success of their plans – and that’s their people.

Management will avoid serious problems

As mentioned, employees can also hinder the success of the organisation, especially if they feel negatively towards the vision, and plans or decisions being made. Feelings influence behaviour and negative feelings cause negative behaviours like disengagement, poor performance, absenteeism to name a few. If management considers their people’s feelings and makes decisions that’ll make their people feel happy and positive about the direction the organisation is going in, they’ll have already protected the success of the plans and avoided risk.

How to consider employee feelings when making decisions

The most effective way to consider your employees’ feelings is to gather the facts and this means asking them how they feel about X or Y, and why. This can be done through pulse surveys – Inpulse’s emotion-driven surveys have been specially created to draw out employee feelings and emotions to help management make better business decisions. 

Management of all levels will be able to use this data to make better organisational decisions, no matter how great or small. It not only serves as a guide for managers, but gives your people a voice, a sense of ownership over decisions and therefore a sense of responsibility to execute in the best way they can. 

Master Engagement Throughout the Employee Lifecycle