page title icon The Emotions that Attract and Retain Top Talent

Creating a Positive Work Culture to Attract and Retain the Best Employees

The importance of emotions in attracting and retaining top talent in the workplace cannot be overstated. According to research, employees are more likely to stay with a company that encourages and values positive emotions, such as gratitude, appreciation, and hope, and is more likely to attract them to the organization. Employee satisfaction can be improved as a result of these emotions, which can result in a positive work culture.

The opposite effect can be achieved, however, when negative emotions are present, such as fear, anger, and anxiety. In the presence of toxic work environments characterized by negative emotions, high turnover rates and difficulty recruiting and retaining employees can occur.

As an organization, it is crucial to establish a positive work environment that fosters positive emotions and maintains a healthy work-life balance in order to attract and retain top talent, which leads to an increase in productivity and profitability.

In our latest episode, Dan Hill discusses the role of emotions in attracting and retaining top talent. Explore how cultivating positive emotions such as appreciation and gratitude can enhance employee satisfaction and create a positive work culture. Additionally, we examine the negative effects of emotions such as fear and anger on employee retention, as well as how to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Discover how to attract and retain top talent using emotions in our episode with Dan Hill.

Dan Hill was born in Minot, North Dakota, and mainly raised in East Dakota (more commonly known as Minnesota), Dan’s childhood had one major, unique disruptive event. At age 6, the family (including his mom and sister) all moved to Italy because his dad had received an assignment from the 3M Company to manage a film processing plant along the Italian Riviera. Suddenly, Dan found himself in 1st grade in an Italian fishing village – and not knowing the language – he could only participate in the math lessons. All of his other time went to reading the body language of his new classmates and teacher and trying to get “the lay of the land.”

A year and a half later, as the family was heading to England to get a boat home to America came a 2nd, ultimately significant event: in Amsterdam, Dan saw the paintings of Rembrandt – which spurred his interest in emotions, personalities, and expressions. It’s on our faces that we best reveal our feelings. Eventually, Dan would be an art history minor in college at St. Olaf College before going on to receive a Ph.D. in English from Rutgers University.

Ever since his early adventures in Europe, Dan has been an explorer – curious about learning more about most everything. Nothing remains more fascinating, however, than human nature. The 3rd big event in Dan’s life, and his career, came in 1998 when Dan was working at a consulting company focused on the customer experience, trying to ghost-write a book for the company’s president, and somebody, his boss, new at IBM sent over an article about the breakthroughs in brain science and their implications for business. The underlying truth – about 95% of our mental activity is subconscious, and our reactions to the world are primarily sensory and emotive (not rational).

Armed with that insight, Dan decided to launch his own company, Sensory Logic, which pioneered the use of the scientific tool called facial coding to capture and quantify customers’ emotional experiences. His company has gone on to do work for over 50% of the world’s top 100 business-to-consumer companies, and he’s also applied the tool in presidential politics and pro sports. Dan’s contribution to society and the business world is bringing the role of emotions front and center. Since Dan’s pioneering efforts, major players like Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have followed his lead. The Economist magazine has described the result of combining AI with the automation of facial coding as the emerging “facial-industrial complex.”

Nowadays, Dan lives in alternating seasons in St. Paul, MN and Palm Desert, CA, with his wife, a retired clothes designer. When not working, you’re likely to find him either on a tennis court or watching a movie for fun.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @EmotionsWizard get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“Someone who is growing is a sympathetic person who is making the same parallel journey.” – Click to Tweet

“We are looking for survival, and so, we hear the bad news more loudly.” – Click to Tweet

“If you are looking for talent, look for engagement. Are they emotionally alive? You want motivated employees.” – Click to Tweet

“Motivation and emotion have the same root word in Latin – to move, to make something happen.” – Click to Tweet

“Happy people brainstorm to superior solutions more quickly.” – Click to Tweet

“Contempt is a combination of happiness and anger.” – Click to Tweet

“If trust is the emotion of business, contempt is its opposite.” – Click to Tweet

“There are only two currencies in life. Dollars and emotions. We have feelings. They drive outcomes.” – Click to Tweet

Advice for others


Holding him back from being an even better leader

Not spending enough downtime with people.

Best Leadership Advice

Ask more questions but then listen to the answers.

Secrets to Success / Tools

Facial Coding.

Emotionomics 2.0: The Emotional Dynamics Underlying Key Business Goals

Dan’s email:

Dan’s Twitter:

Dan’s LinkedIn:

Sensory Logic website:

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Check out Dan Hill’s previous episode:

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