AUSTRALIAN businesses should hone their Emotional Intelligence (EI) to boost productivity and performance, according to FuturePeople.
The Sydney-based engagement solutions provider's report, Accessing the Triple Bottom Line through Emotional Intelligence, says EI can drive higher employee engagement, stronger customer advocacy and enhanced business performance.
Conducted in conjunction with Genos International, the study surveyed 1000 frontline staff and leaders in the services sector.
FuturePeople CEO Linda Simonsen says the ability to manage and express certain emotions can improve interpersonal relationships in the workplace.
"Our report found that effective EI skills drive deeper engagement across the enterprise, including both employee and customer engagement, leading to greater commercial success," Simonsen says.
"With 70 per cent 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 expectation and boost company sales.
"There's clearly a gap in Australian workplaces because research suggests that 80 per cent of CEOs think their brand delivers amazing service to their customers, but only 8 per cent of customers agree.
"Our research shows that gap to be low EI and this needs to be addressed urgently for companies to get ahead in today's competitive business climate."
The report also shows staff attrition costs Australian businesses $3.8 billion in lost productivity and $385 million in unavoidable recruitment costs.
Staff turnover is a substantial cost to every business, equivalent to 2.5 times the salary of the person being replaced.
Simonsen says people with higher levels of EI foster better relationships, take less unplanned leave and are more likely to be engaged.
"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," she says.
"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."
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