Performance outcomes: The relationship between managing the "heart" and managing client satisfaction

  • Hsieh C
  • Guy M
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Abstract

Recent appreciation for emotional labor draws attention to employees who work "with heart" to deliver public services. This article reports an investigation of the relationship between emotional labor and service outcomes. The survey sample is drawn from caseworkers of the Florida Network of Youth & Family Services. The Florida Network is the main youth service provider in Florida and has approximately 200 caseworkers who help troubled, runaway youth. To measure service outcome, workers' self-report of their emotion work skills is compared to client satisfaction scores. Findings indicate that clients rate higher levels of satisfaction when services are provided by caseworkers who feel capable and comfortable performing emotion work. This research moves us a step further in understanding the linkage between individual performance, emotion work, and public service delivery. It is argued that emotion work skills should be included in job descriptions and performance appraisals for human service jobs.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Emotion work
  • Emotional labor
  • Human services
  • Public performance
  • Public service delivery

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Authors

  • Chih Wei Hsieh

  • Mary E. Guy

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