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Avoiding Employee Abuse
Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP --  The Herman Group Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP -- The Herman Group
Austin, TX
Wednesday, March 2, 2022


The Herman Trend Alert

March 2, 2022

Avoiding Employee Abuse

As a result of the COVID Pandemic, we have become at least a little less patient in many aspects of our lives. Sadly, many people with low emotional intelligence are feeling more than a little upset. Their very short fuses make them quick to anger and slow to resolve their feelings of being offended. From a surge in the number of difficult ride-share patrons to an increase in the number of unruly passengers on airplanes, these low EQ folks are taking a toll on our service workers. In fact, the behavior of many of them rise to the level of abuse. If this situation remains unchecked, it will result in more resignations.

Karens and Kens

Though the origin of the term refers to Patricia and Mark McCloskey who pointed firearms at protestors in St. Louis, the term has been redefined to include obnoxious, angry, entitled, often middle-aged, consumers who do not believe in masking and remain unvaccinated. When asked to mask up, they rebel by becoming belligerent and abusive to service workers, creating problems for the employees as well as other customers.

A Story of One Wise Leader

One of my favorite stories about this topic is the tale of the General Manger for a golf resort in Ohio. We'll call him "Mike." One winter when the hotel was struggling to maintain its occupancy rate, a woman checked in for a long-term stay. Supposedly, she was related to a well-known movie star with whom she shared a last name. We will call her "Mrs. C." This guest ate all her meals in her suite; invariably, she found something wrong with every order. Mrs. C was impossible to please and complained constantly. The highly responsible, caring employees who were feeling very upset, shared their frustration with their leader. After three weeks, the GM became concerned about the toll this disturbance was taking on his employees. He made a difficult decision; he went to Mrs. C's suite and suggested that she would be "happier" at another hotel. Mike invited her to leave. He protected his employees, even at the cost of reducing revenue for the resort.

What Wise Leaders Must Do

Wise leaders must follow Mike's lead and protect their people. Uber has a "no-ride" list; the airlines have asked the United States Federal Aviation Administration to create a another "no-fly list" that will prevent unruly airline passengers from changing airlines to avoid an airline that has barred them (for life) due to their bad behavior. But what of restaurant servers and the myriad of other service workers? If their managers and or owners are smart, they will likewise protect their people from difficult customers and guests. In addition, leaders need to be aware of the emotional wellbeing of their own employees and how they are treating each other.

Enter the Emotional Culture Index (ECI) from GENOS

I was pleased to learn that there is now an assessment we can use to measure the emotional climate in our companies. The ECI is designed to measure three dimensions of emotions at work. First, the current state of people's feelings, how often people experience particular feelings at work. Second is their "expected states," how often people think it's fair and reasonable to experience these feelings at work given the nature and context of your workplace. And finally, people's ideal states, how often people think they should ideally experience these feelings in their workplaces to be effective.

Why this ECI Matters

Research shows that people in high-performing organizations experience more positive emotions and fewer negative emotions than those in low performing organizations. When we know how people are feeling we can better plan where to focus our energy to optimize engagement, productivity, retention, and resilience. The coolest aspect of this area of interest and insight is that readers of the Herman Trend Alert may get an Emotional Culture Index report for their organization---at no cost. For more information, contact assessments professional Jennifer Leake at  jennifer@assessmentpros.com.

What the ECI Means for the Future

Having the ECI means that leaders will have one additional tool they may use to ensure their success by enabling them to know where to invest their resources to enjoy the highest levels of employee involvement and efficiency. It will also provide valuable intelligence as to how to create the optimum emotional environments in which their people can thrive.

Special thanks to Jennifer Leake, our assessments pro with THG Consulting Partners for bringing this valuable topic and offer to my attention. You can reach Jennifer at  jennifer@assessmentpros.com.

Next Week's Herman Trend Alert: Weighing the Value of AI Recruiting

The latest research appears to indicate that using automated interviews, while removing bias, may also have the unintended consequence of hiring workers who themselves are more robot-like. Next week, we will explore this fascinating topic---and what employers can and should do to protect themselves and hire the best people.


News Media Interview Contact
Name: Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP
Title: Certified Speaking Professional and Management Consultant
Group: The Herman Group
Dateline: Austin, TX United States
Direct Phone: 336-210-3548
Main Phone: 800-227-3566
Cell Phone: 336-210-3548
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