In designing business processes, the focus has been around efficiency. When the goal is to expedite the work through one area to the next, undesirable effects could result. By incorporating emotional intelligence (EQ) into process execution, workers are more collegial. There is less frustration and finger-pointing. The beauty is everyone has the capability to parlay EQ into her work, helping to boost performance for self and others.
- Put yourself in other’s shoes
Visualize yourself as the colleague whom you hand off your work to. How would you feel when what you need is incomplete? For example, the billing clerk for a utility company can’t generate a bill when the material code is incorrect or missing. She would need to collect the missing code from the assigned worker. The billing clerk won’t be thrilled if she needs to do so repeatedly. The sloppiness in the information provided causes frustration and animosity. When individuals do a complete job because they are conscientious about the problems generated otherwise, inefficiencies are minimized.
- Take ownership of emotional impact
Most positions have boundaries on authority and access to resources. An employee relies on his manager to remove barriers. When the manager genuinely puts in the effort but fail, the employee recognizes the effort. However, if the manager agrees to handle the barrier but doesn’t follow through, it is a lack of EQ with the manager. The manager fails to recognize the emotional impact on the employee. Over time, the employee loses trust in the manager. He is likely to work around the manager and seek alternative solutions. The process deviation could trigger non-compliance by fellow co-workers.
- Think like the customer
Despite the popularity with self-help, some companies tend to adopt the model without giving due consideration to details. Consider product returns. Many e-tailers ask the customer to print a return label. Not every customer has a printer, so it is a hassle. Similarly, many businesses assume that internet access is available 24×7. Customers are directed to the company’s website for instructions manual, product care and other things. When internet access is not feasible, the customer is stuck at the very moment he needs support. This could lead to frustration, customer defection and social media havoc.
Incorporating EQ into process execution not only develops a healthier working environment for the employees, it fosters a mindset for collaboration. The collective power from every employee striving to deliver a satisfying experience to the people he serves, both internally and externally, is a competitive advantage.