OneIn recent years, Tesla, the Fremont, California-based manufacturer of electric car, has struggled mightily with safety. In late May, news organizations around the globe reported that the company had 31 percent more employee injuries than others in the automobile industry.
Following the spate of negative publicity, CEO and Founder Elon Musk responded in a way that employers would be wise to take note of.
Musk sent a staff-wide email addressing Tesla’s safety problem:
No words can express how much I care about your safety and wellbeing. It breaks my heart when someone is injured building cars and trying their best to make Tesla successful.
Going forward, I’ve asked that every injury be reported directly to me, without exception. I’m meeting with the safety team every week and would like to meet every injured person as soon as they are well, so that I can understand from them exactly what we need to do to make it better. I will then go down to the production line and perform the same task that they perform.
This is what all managers at Tesla should do as a matter of course. At Tesla, we lead from the front line, not from some safe and comfortable ivory tower. Managers must always put their team’s safety above their own.
What’s remarkable about the email is Musk’s pledge to take action—to personally meet every injured employee and learn how to perform the task that caused harm. It’s not a hollow apology; it’s an example of leadership and emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence, the capacity to understand, control and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically, helps employers build trust and respect with their team.
“Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack,” said Barry Gottlieb, founder of Coaching the Winner’s Edge. “People with high emotional intelligence earn $29,000 more a year than those who lack it.”
Until like your intelligence quotient, emotional intelligence is a flexible skill you can improve with effort, Gottlieb said. And at SAF Palm Beach 2017, the Society of American Florists’ 133rd Annual Convention, Sept. 6-9 at The Breakers in Florida, you can learn exactly how to do it.
In “I Feel Ya: Why Emotional IQ Matters at Work,” Gottlieb will break down the four components of emotional intelligence (self awareness, self management, social awareness and relationship management), 15 strategies to improve each of these areas and 14 specific bad habits people with high emotional intelligence avoid.
Register for SAF Palm Beach 2017 by Aug. 9, and save $205. Get details and register at safnow.org/annual-convention.