Feeling better, doing better: how a leader’s affective presence influences service performance

Research Briefing

Keywords: leadership, leaders, leadership, affective presence, energy, service climate, service performance

Several studies in 2017 have identified the increasing importance of the emotional experience customers have when interacting with front-line employees.

The front-line hospitality industry requires employees to have high energy and be friendly and welcoming to customers at all times. However, employees can feel burnout from such levels of service delivery due to long hours, tight schedules and often boring and repetitive work.

Studies have shown that the emotions employees experience have a significant influence on their attitude and emotions towards consumers.

Leaders have a role in influencing employees’ emotional (affective) experience and many studies have looked at how leaders both directly and indirectly influence employees’ emotions through support, behaviour and the emotions expressed by the leader. Studies have found that, when employees experience positive emotions (known as affective reward) through leader interaction, they reciprocate by putting more effort into service delivery.

However, no previous studies have looked at the role of the leaders’ ‘affective presence’, which is actually a personality trait, on employee service performance and energy until now. this research briefing reports on a study that has discovered how a leaders’s emotional presence influences employees and then influences customers. This research briefing will be particularly useful for anyone involved in leadership and leadership development.

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Sofronio Jadulco

Sophie is a core member of the Oxford Review. She started working with us in 2017 and hands a diverse range of really important jobs from social media to marketing and customer support. Sophie is the efficient member of the team, making sure all those background tasks get done just right. Without her, almost none of what happens in the background would get done.