Setting the Mood

The mindset that you and your team members have when they arrive at the office have a definite impact on productivity and customer relationships. How you start your day affects your day, found University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Professor Nancy Rothbard. From bad commutes to shouting matches with teenagers who never are quite ready to go to school before you leave your home, there are a myriad of factors that set the tone for the day.

Rothbard along with Ohio State University Professor Steffanie Wilk studied the moods of customer service representatives working at an insurance agency call center and published the results in a paper entitled, “Waking Up on the Right Or Wrong Side of the The Bed: Start-Of-Work-Day Mood, Work, Events, Employee Affect and Performance.”

The study found that if you start the day in a lousy mood, you typically end the day in a lousy mood and that affects both performance and customer interactions. Employees with positive moods delivered higher-quality service. Employees with negative moods tended to take more breaks, were less engaging with customers and were more than 10 percent less productive than their positive-mindset coworkers.

How can you set an inspiring tone for the day? Send positive messages to your team at the start of the day, especially to those you know have a difficult commute. Celebrate individual and team accomplishments at the start of the day. Provide time for your team to decompress from the time they walk into the door and before they start their workday. Provide favorite beverages and something to eat to help change mindset. Let the little things, such as arriving to work a few minutes late, go. Reprimanding at the start of the day may not set the tone that is in the best interest of productivity.