Emotional intelligence and community healthcare productivity

Christopher Jacob Fox, University of Southern Mississippi


Economic crisis is threatening state budgets. The strain on state budgets effects pensions and the healthcare benefits to communities. Rising healthcare costs and lagging insurance reimbursement rates are forcing healthcare organizations to sustain programs with fewer financial resources. Research studies indicate that payment increases from Medicare and Medicaid will not keep pace with the historical trend in hospital cost inflation (Kaufman, 2011). Of the healthcare facilities affected by federal budget constraints are community mental healthcare centers. The strain on state budgets has taken its toll on community mental healthcare facilities in particular struggling under the healthcare reform initiatives (Simpson, 1995). With the economic decline and the impact on providing quality community healthcare, the increased need to maximize production of employees has become critical to sustainability. Researchers have found that employees who possess emotional awareness have a competitive advantage in their professional life and emotional intelligence has a significant impact on successful performance (Bar-On, 2010; Murphy, 2006). The skills found within emotional intelligence are foundational for individual development and are critical at all stages of employment. Employees in management roles are responsible for guiding, directing and inspiring direct reports (Saxenian, 1958). The attributes of technical competence and ambition found within direct reports are insufficient to succeed as a middle manager (Saxenian, 1958). As employees climb the organizational ladder and take on management roles, they increasingly rely on emotional maturity for success (Saxenian, 1958; Selekman, 1946). Three research objectives were established to determine what relationship exists between the perceived trait emotional intelligence of direct reports and middle manager Medicaid revenue productivity in a community mental healthcare center in south Mississippi. The target population included individuals from a community mental health facility provided Medicaid services 12 months prior to the study. This study used a non-experimental, cross-sectional descriptive design to address the research objectives and a 30-question paper survey instrument was used to collect quantitative data. The study population consisted of 198 employees that provide or supervise clinical services in the community mental healthcare center. Of the population, 89 employees (45%) from a community mental healthcare center responded to this study. Data was entered in to an excel spreadsheet and analyzed using SPSS 22. Study results revealed that 60 (67%) of those who responded had 5 or more years of experience. The results showed no correlation between the perceived trait emotional intelligence of direct reports and productivity. The study also showed no correlation between the perceived trait emotional intelligence of middle managers and Medicaid revenue productivity of direct reports.