Author(s): Joana Carmo Dias, Alberico Rosario
Employees normally feel a discrepancy between their inner emotions and the emotions that they are expected to display. But they also can express their true emotions when, for example, they identify with their work or when they just prefer to work authentically with their customers. We propose that the concept of employee emotional empowerment is a more complete and realistic practice of managing emotions that benefits both the organization and the employee, compared to the emotional labor theory. This paper reviews the growing body of literature regarding emotional labor. We, then, articulate how employees can manage their emotions without having the sense of burnout and dissatisfaction. We conclude showing how employee emotional empowerment can be a better alternative to emotional labor. The concept of employee emotional empowerment is based on two crucial research streams: empowerment and authenticity. When employees are empowered to manage their emotions, as they may perceive more appropriate, they may easily adapt their behavior and performance to customers. A shared vision of the goals of the organization, organizational support, improvement of employees’ skills, and the recognition and appreciation of employees’ performance is crucial for an effective implementation of employee emotional empowerment. This study adds to the body of literature on emotional labor by exploring a new strategy of managing emotions in the workplace.