Older workers are more likely to perform better in call centres as they are
more sensitive and resilient and have a more rounded outlook on life.
Tests conducted at Henley Management College discovered a direct link
between performance and emotional intelligence, known as EQ, which was found to
be higher among older staff.
EQ is made up of seven elements, which determine how people achieve
long-term goals and behave in the workplace, including sensitivity,
self-awareness and integrity.
Professor Malcolm Higgs, an academic dean at the college, carried out the
research on about 300 call centre staff from Egg, Morgan Stanley and the
Department of Work and Pensions.
"We found an amazingly strong relationship between emotional
intelligence and performance. The higher the levels of EQ in an employee, the
better the performance," he said.
"We know from our research that inter-personnel sensitivity improves
with age. Older staff also tend to be more resilient because they’ve seen more
of life," explained Professor Higgs.
The call centre support staff completed a questionnaire offering a range of
statements where the subject had to agree or disagree, and the final ratings
were used to create the profile of a successful worker.
Professor Higgs believes call centre employers will be able to use the EQ-based
profile to recruit new staff, target development initiatives and organise
relevant assessment centres.
Seven elements of emotional intelligence
– Emotional resilience
– Motivation towards goals
– Inter-personnel sensitivity