The way businesses look at emotions has completely changed over the past decade, and companies are starting to learn what science already knows: employees need an honest motivation, a sense of purpose, balance, and trust for an organization to achieve peak productivity.

Daniel Pink, a best-selling author and career analyst, argues that financial rewards, such as bonuses, dull thinking and block creativity – the higher the bonus, the worse the consequences. The only solution, experts say, is to ditch the mechanistic reward-punishment approach and to give people a real purpose for doing their job. Actually, millennials would take a 12% salary cut in exchange for non-materialistic perks, such as job security, flexible hours and mentorship structure at work.

Being pushed by competition, automation and outsourcing, many organizations are looking into right-brain-driven communications and the arts to find solutions for this new emotional landscape.

For example, Google keeps winning Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work for in the US because of its company culture, which is safe and inclusive, due to special attention to workers’ emotional needs: support for transgender employees or unconscious-bias workshops, just to name a few. According to Google’s two-year study of how groups work, called Project Aristotle, it was found that to be fully present at work, people need to feel psychologically safe and free to share the things that scare them.

Over in Europe, in the Baltic states, where post-Soviet business culture still operates with a very materialistic approach, a new business game, called “Godopoco” was launched in Lithuania. The game mimics improvisation theater to engage emotional content. For example, the creator of the game, actor Andrius Zebrauskas, teaches people to take unexpected turns in business negotiations in order to connect deeper and to achieve better results.

Another famous Colombian-Lithuanian artist, social campaigner and corporate lecturer Jurgis Did (Jurgis Didžiulis), has already led over 200 interactive seminars in organisations around Europe with the purpose to teach people how to emotionally connect with each other. His seminars involve music, humor, and storytelling, where artistic sensibilities and the affinity to emotions are stirred by creative artistic performances. For example, his “From Spectate to Participate” program allows people to freely express themselves and their emotions in the work environment, building new connections and transforming the workplace into a more connected place.

“It used to be taboo to talk about employees’ emotional well-being in companies,” said Jurgis Did. “Feelings could only be analyzed from a marketing perspective – such as monitoring how people feel about one’s brand. Now the situation has completely shifted. Millennials, who are the fresh blood in the workplace, are looking for a deeper sense of purpose. Social awareness cannot be sugar-coated anymore, dictated from above, or learned from a manual – it needs to be real.”

“Even companies such as Uber and Facebook, that have made businesses from capitalizing on social needs and circumstances, have serious issues to resolve when it comes to social, or human integrity. Facebook peddles in human interaction, but has come under fire for turning a blind-eye to the negative impact and consequences of abuse and misuse of their platform. Uber has been plagued by allegations about their inner culture. Both customers and employees feel when a business is insincere, and it will eventually backfire.”

Jurgis Did provides interactive musical seminars and other edutainment experiences for organisations that wish to emotionally connect and hack the emotional landscape.





Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.