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The Business Case for Emotional Intelligence

Contributed by Debbie Muno, The EI Academy

Welcome to our fifth installment about Emotional Intelligence. In our last article, we discussed the Seven Emotional Intelligence Competencies that can be measured during the hiring process, as well as the positive outcomes when individuals frequently display emotionally intelligent workplace behaviors. We asked you to consider these points from your business and management perspective.

Debbie Muno
Debbie Muno

In this article, we’ll discuss these competencies from the employee’s perspective, and how that perspective impacts your culture, organizational environment, and ultimately the overall business.

Recruitment and Retention

Two words that are pivotal in all businesses – recruiting the right people and retaining those employees. No matter the product or service, without the right people, the full potential of the business cannot be fully realized, and the implications in leadership roles are even stronger.
So first, let’s address what drives employees out of organizations. In a recent article by Susan Heathfield (February 2019), she outlines 10 critical reasons for employee turnover.

1. “Bad Bosses.”

2. Bored or Unchallenged by the work.

3. Relationship with coworkers.

4. Opportunities to use their skills and abilities.

5. Contribution of their work to the organization’s business goals.

6. Autonomy and independence on the job.

7. Meaningfulness of the employees’ job.

8. Knowledge of the organization’s financial stability.

9. Overall corporate culture.

10. Management’s recognition of employee’s job performance.

In the numerous articles involved in researching for this one, the common reasons that appeared are: “bad bosses,” relationships with leadership/coworkers, independence, culture and recognition of job performance…all of which can be affected by establishing awareness and conducting training. Emotional Intelligence skills can be developed and when they are, they will positively impact the relationships between coworkers, colleagues, leaders and staff – all of which directly and positively impact employee retention.

High employee retention rates depend on managers who develop genuine relationships with their people. They accomplish this by believing in the values of trust and transparency, and by providing employees feedback often. One way to positively impact retention immediately is to conduct what Heathfield refers to as “Stay Interviews” – asking current employees why they continue to work for your organization. The results of a stay interview gives you knowledge about what you can improve and how you can retain your remaining, valued employees—now. You also learn what your organization or department is doing well when employees identify what they like about their current job and employer. “Stay Interviews” not only provide valuable information about what could use some improving, and what’s going well, but also, it’s a chance to personally connect with employees and develop and build trust – a foundation of all solid relationships. This strategy can be implemented immediately.

In a study conducted by Gallup, it was found that poorly managed work groups are 50% less productive and 44% less profitable than well-managed work groups, and in a 20-year research project conducted by the Saratoga Institute and involving over 60,000 exit interviews, the number 1 reason that people left their job was due to a “bad boss.” There are hundreds if not thousands of statistics echoing these same themes – the Emotional Intelligence of Leaders is the strongest driver of employee engagement and the higher the employee engagement, the more productive, collaborative, and profitable the organization. In addition, the stronger the Emotional Intelligence culture is in an organization, the more organizations can minimize the critical reasons that employees turnover.

You may have heard the phrase, “Employees go where they are wanted, and stay where they are appreciated.” When people are treated well in the workplace by leaders and colleagues, and leaders have the skills to inspire their teams to their full potential – everyone wins: customers, employees, leaders, owners and the business’ reputation. And when that happens, organizations become employers of choice – which enhances recruitment efforts and increases retention. Choosing to evaluate the emotional intelligence of individuals and leaders inside of your organization, creating customized action plans and participating in training to enhance their emotional intelligence can pay huge, multi-leveled dividends inside your organization.

In our next, and final installment, we’ll discuss another way to impact retention, and that is in the recruitment process. Looking forward to it!

You can measure Emotional Intelligence in the hiring process. To learn more, contact us at 813.792.5000 or visit our website at www.TheEIAcademy.com.

About the Author

Debbie Muno and Jeff Summers lead The EI Academy, an organization dedicated to helping people understand how to work with others productively – how to make others feel valued and appreciated – how to create positive, collaborative environments and how to connect with others. The EI Academy is affiliated with Genos International, a leading emotional intelligence assessment and solutions provider. Visit theieacademy.com, email info@theieacademy.com or call 813.792.5000 for more information.

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