Six benefits of emotional intelligence at the workplace
If you’re an HR professional, it’s likely that you already know that developing emotional intelligence isn’t much of a priority at the workplace. When it comes to screening and evaluating new candidates or preparing training, the focus tends to be on educational background, current knowledge, and hard skills, along with personality assessment results. But is that the ideal way to go about it?
In this Pacific Prime article, we’ll look at six benefits of emotional intelligence at the workplace.
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence describes a person’s capability to manage and control their emotions as well as the ability to control the emotions of other people. Emotionally intelligent people are able to:
- Identify what they’re feeling
- Know how to interpret their emotions
- Recognize how their emotions can affect others
- Regulate their own emotions
- Manage other people’s emotions
While some people naturally have high EQ, it is also a skill that can be practiced and developed. Practicing emotionally intelligent behaviors helps your brain adapt to making these behaviors automatic and take the place of behaviors that are less helpful.
Where personality assessments fall short
Personality assessments tend to measure just four temperaments. The current way of thinking is to match the right temperament to the right role for the optimal chance of success. For instance, companies want their sales team to be made up of extraverts and the personality assessment can help.
However, the assessments cannot measure emotional intelligence, which means you cannot tell which are persistent versus insistent. Persistence is an ideal quality for a salesperson to have while someone who is insistent will waste time trying to sell to a person who clearly won’t buy – simply because they can’t take no for an answer.
By evaluating emotional intelligence, companies are given a closer look into a person’s ability to manage emotions, deal with stress, and recognize biases. Essentially, measuring emotional intelligence provides insight into a person’s inner workings and makes it easier to match them with tasks.
Six benefits of emotional intelligence at the office
Having a culture that is not emotionally intelligent can actually have a negative impact on productivity, performance, and absenteeism, to name a few. These negative impacts eventually lead to a breakdown in culture and ultimately have an effect on the bottom line. Some benefits of emotional intelligence at the workplace include:
Employees with higher emotional intelligence naturally work better as a team for several reasons. People who are more emotionally intelligent are better at communicating than others. They are open to sharing their ideas and listening to other people’s ideas as well. Similarly, they are less likely to take complete control since they can also think of others.
Emotionally intelligent employees value their coworker’s input and ideas and are more likely to trust them as well. When they have to work in a team, they are considerate, thoughtful, and respectful, which is ideal for any employer.
Better workplace environment
A workforce that is made up of emotionally intelligent employees helps boost morale in the workplace. The company culture also tends to be much stronger when the office is full of staff who respect and get along with one another. What’s more, the office becomes an area where people enjoy what they do as well as enjoy the company of the people they work with.
Companies should never stay stagnant. A company is more likely to experience change when their employees are focusing on ways to improve both themself and the company. Even though employees usually know that changes within an organization are what is best for the company, that doesn’t mean everyone will be open to it.
Employees with higher emotional intelligence, however, find it easier to adjust and tend to embrace the change and grow with the company. This personality trait also tends to be contagious, thereby having a positive effect on other employees.
People who are emotionally intelligent know their strengths and weaknesses. They can take feedback and use it to grow and improve as a person. Managers are used to dealing with people who become defensive when they receive constructive feedback, which can lead to frustration and get in the way of productivity. Other times, employees have a hard time understanding their limitations.
People with high emotional intelligence are self-aware and therefore know what they are capable of achieving in a certain amount of time while others tend to over-promise and under-deliver.
Emotionally intelligent people know how to handle difficult situations. Whether it is dealing with a superior who doesn’t like the quality of your work or a client who is unhappy, there are bound to be situations at work that are not easy to deal with. In these situations, it’s important to stay calm and avoid an emotional outburst.
People with high emotional intelligence know that acting irrationally or negatively will only cause the situation to escalate. They can practice restraint and display their emotions in a controlled manner only when it is called for.
Your company is one step ahead
Many companies have yet to realize the significance of hiring for emotional intelligence. As a result, there are many companies out there with teams that do not feel valued. Hiring emotionally intelligent talent can help your organization stand out among competitors.
By focusing on each person that makes up the team, you can gain a competitive advantage over other companies who are wondering why their team members don’t get along or lack motivation.
Now that you understand the benefits of emotional intelligence at the workplace, you can take a look at your existing talent and see who displays the traits previously mentioned. You might want to think about giving them leadership roles, if they aren’t in one already. When choosing an employee to handle a project or team, fight the urge to pick the one with the most experience and try going for the one with the highest emotional intelligence instead.
Finally, update your interview process. While questions about education, experience, and technical issues are still important, think about adding questions that allow a person to show their emotional intelligence. Watch how they answer these questions and think about them when you’re choosing who to hire. By doing so, you’ll have a team that stands out from the rest in no time.
How Pacific Prime can help
International health insurance is one of the top benefits that employees look for when applying for a new job. However, there are many other benefits that can help you attract the best talent. Pacific Prime is an employee benefits brokerage that specializes in employee benefits solutions and corporate health insurance. As a global health insurance company, we can help you find the best solution for your needs and budget no matter where you are in the world.
When she’s not writing, she’s usually listening to music, searching for a new restaurant to try or lost between the pages of a book.
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