Australian companies need to embrace Emotional Intelligence (EI) as a core competency to boost productivity and performance, according to a report by engagement specialists FuturePeople.
‘Accessing the Triple Bottom Line through Emotional Intelligence’ identified EI as the key to driving higher employee engagement, stronger customer advocacy and enhanced business performance.
“Effective EI skills drive deeper engagement across the enterprise, including both employee and customer engagement, leading to greater commercial success. With 70% of customer interactions grounded in emotional factors, it’s imperative that frontline staff are measured and developed in areas of EI allowing them to exceed customer expectations and boost company sales,” said Linda Simonsen, CEO of FuturePeople and author of the report.
The report also highlighted a gap between what Australian CEO think their brand delivers compared to what customers see. “Our research shows that gap to be low EI and this needs to be addressed urgently for companies to get ahead in todays’ competitive business climate,” said Simonsen.
EI not only supports customer engagement, it’s crucial for employee retention too. Staff attrition costs Australian businesses $3.8 billion in lost productivity and $385 million in recruitment costs.
The report revealed that people with higher levels of EI foster better relationships with others in the workplace, take less unplanned leave and are more likely to be engaged and therefore less likely to leave.
EI also fosters competencies such as resilience, self-management and strong working relationships which are key to enhancing individual and team performance as well as productivity.
“EI isn’t restricted to any one type of business, industry or organisation type—nor to a certain individual, it is something that can be learnt,” said Simonsen. “When it is fostered and nurtured, workplaces across Australia will start to see an improvement in performance not just locally but on a global stage.”
The study was conducted in conjunction with EI research specialists Genos International. It draws on more than 1,000 interviews with frontline staff and leaders in the services sector across Australia.