Expert Insight: Exploring The Use Case of Emotional Intelligence Tools in HR

Today, digital communication can pose unique challenges in maintaining clarity and emotional understanding – especially with the rise in hybrid and remote work environments. 

Manos Saratsis, the founder of a cutting-edge startup specializing in emotional intelligence technology. He shares insights on how emotional intelligence tools can be of use in digital workplaces.

Q: Can you tell us about the tool you are working on and the motivation behind it? 

As more companies shift to remote or hybrid setups, we’re seeing an increase in digital communications, even in traditionally onsite operations. This shift, while convenient, often complicates how effectively we communicate. Digital nuances are easily missed, and it’s not uncommon for the intention behind messages to be misinterpreted. Recognizing this gap, I identified a need for solutions that improve digital connections and collaborations.

In fast-paced environments, where tensions can run particularly high, these challenges are even more pronounced. My personal experience in such settings encouraged me to develop a tool that not only enhances communication but also cultivates a welcoming and collaborative atmosphere.

This led to the creation of emotional intelligence tools that provide real-time feedback on the emotional tone of digital communications, aiming to prevent misunderstandings before they escalate.

Q: What are the main challenges that your platform seeks to address in digital workplaces?

Basically our platform tackles several critical issues that can help improve the work environment:

  • Emotional Tone Analysis: It analyzes the emotional undertones in communications, helping prevent misunderstandings that can escalate into conflicts.
  • Real-Time Feedback: Provides instant suggestions to modify tones or words before sending messages, fostering a proactive approach to conflict resolution.
  • Enhanced Engagement: By ensuring communications are clear and empathetic, it supports HR in building a more cohesive and supportive work environment.
  • Conflict Prevention: By flagging potential issues in communication early, the tool helps HR intervene before these escalate into bigger problems.
  • Nurturing workplace relationships: By analyzing the communication patterns with your key team members, you can identify engagement gaps and potential tensions. 
  • Self-Awareness: By providing employees with tools for better self-assessment, they can gain insights into their engagement levels and emotional expressions, leading to improved interpersonal interactions.

Q: Can you share an example of how an emotional intelligence tool can make a difference in HR operations?

One notable instance involved a client who used our tool to identify and address instances of unintentional harsh tones in emails within their team. This early detection and correction led to a reduction in team conflicts and improved the overall workplace atmosphere.

“The biggest part of the solution is centered around the employee. It doesn’t try to resolve a conflict; it tries to stop the conflict before it happens.”

Q: From your discussions with HR leaders, what key insights have emerged about workplace communication?

Yes, I’ve had numerous discussions with HR leaders about the everyday challenges they face.

One of the most apparent issues is the frequency of escalations that require intervention by HR and team managers. Often, it takes a week just to identify a communication problem, and at least another week to resolve it. By this time, the damage may already be significant. Involving third parties can complicate matters further, as they bring their own biases and perspectives into an already tense situation.

This highlighted the need for an objective and real-time solution. That’s why I developed a platform that not only helps identify when someone may be perceived as toxic or negative but also sends real-time alerts to individuals about their communication style.

This would help in preventing misunderstandings before they escalate, ensuring that interactions remain clear and positive.

Another key insight that I learnt is that there’s also a growing recognition of the importance of data-driven decision-making in HR practices. Reliable data from such tools can enhance the understanding of communication patterns and help in developing more effective interventions.

Manos notes one of the quirks in the current technology: ‘Unfortunately, at the moment, [these tools] don’t understand sarcasm very well! So if you are sarcastic, it’s unlikely we get it.’ 

This candid admission not only sheds light on the complexities of human communication but also underscores the ongoing journey of technological advancement. It’s a reminder that while the tools are highly effective, they still have a few things to learn about the subtleties of human expression — sarcasm included.

Q: Looking ahead, what advancements do you foresee in communication tools for HR and workplace environments?

Future developments will likely include more sophisticated AI algorithms. As digital communication continues to evolve, these tools will become more integral to facilitating clear and empathetic interactions across all platforms, from emails to video calls and beyond. A trend to look at is the evolution of AI laws around privacy as we need to respect privacy of end users while striving to offer better services.

You can try Micro Culture for workspaces, which offers a free trial and a free tier. For individual knowledge workers, you can evaluate messages before sending them using Lite, our single-user free app.

Mariam Mushtaq

I'm a Content Writer at Springworks. Drawing from my early career experience in HR, I bring a unique, insider's perspective. Driven by a passion for the People and HR function, I research and write about topics such as employee engagement and the future of work.

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