Part Ten of this series of blogs using films to illustrate the feelings organisations should seek to evoke in employees if they want to create a high performance organisational culture.

Number 10 – Pride
According to the Cambridge dictionary pride is ‘a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction that you get because you or people connected with you have done or got something good’.  It’s also possible to take a pride in something and it defines that as ‘to feel very pleased about something or someone you are closely connected with’.  Pride is one of the key feelings organisations strive to develop within their employees.  It’s generally accepted that it’s strongly associated with high levels of engagement and is also considered valuable because it’s closely linked to advocacy.  Organisations want their people to be advocates because they then become sales people for it, they recommend it’s products and they recommend it as a place to work.  Having employees who are proud of the organisation and advocate it to others is beneficial.

So how is it created?  Well actually it’s a feeling that is connected to and follows, the feelings covered in previous posts in this series.  The outcome of evoking them is that they also feel proud of the business.  It’s effectively a lagging indicator that the other feelings are present.  Picture a hierarchy of employee feelings in a high performance culture and this is at the top, a lagging indicator of success in evoking the others.  As such of course it’s also an indicator of issues in the level of intensity of the feelings amongst employees.  So the aim should be to create an employee experience which evokes the other feelings and then pride will follow.

The film I’ve chosen to illustrate pride is the relatively recent, and hugely successful film ‘The King’s Speech’.  It tells the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II.  After his brother abdicates, King George (Bertie’) reluctantly assumes the throne.  Plagued by a bad stammer and considered by others and by himself unfit to be king, Bertie engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Through a set of unexpected techniques, and as a result of an unlikely friendship, Bertie is able to find his voice.  The film culminates with him delivering a powerful speech, heard around the world by radio, when the UK declared war on Nazi Germany in 1939, and he was subsequently seen as a stong figurehead throughout the war.

The film reflects the ‘stiff upper lip’ attitude that was present at the time and yet underlying this is the tremendous emotion that Bertie, and those around him feel about his stammer.  He is plagued with doubts about himself and struggles to reconcile his sense of duty to the nation with his low self-esteem.  At one point in the film he says "the nation believe that when I speak, I speak for them – and I can’t speak".  But with the help of the man who became his friend he overcomes his problem to the extent  that he is able to deliver the powerful speech declaring war.  Two strong emotions emerge following his completion of it.  Given the magnitude of the ordeal, the first is relief.  His relief that he had got through it and the relief of those around him.  The second is pride.  It’s clear he’s proud of himself and whilst it wouldn’t be the done thing to say it to the King, those closest to him are proud of him too.  The acting (Colin Firth plays King George) is superb at this point and you see his self esteem grow as he stands taller and prepares to step out onto the balcony at Buckingham Palace to greet the crowds outside. 

That’s another outcome of pride – levels of esteem grow.  Self esteem as a result of your own achievement or the level of esteem employees feel for their organisation.

A trailer for the film can be seen here:

This is the final part of this series of ten posts about the feelings to strive to create amongst employees BUT I will post a summary and recommendations on how to evoke them tomorrow.
Twitter: accordengage
Telephone: (0044) 07906 650019 

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