Is your organization an Emotionally intelligent Workplace?
Emotional Intelligence is a phrase that is often used in the corporate world without realizing its meaning and the impact it has on the effectiveness of the organizations. Unlike professional qualifications, it is an 'intangible skill' that does not come with a certificate or a transcript that endorses, validates, or quantifies the presence or absence of the Emotional Intelligence competencies. Therefore, despite the role Emotional Intelligence plays and its impact on individual and group performance, it remains unnoticed and neglected.
At the most general level, emotional Intelligence refers to recognizing & regulating emotions in self & others. Though theories about Emotional Intelligence have evolved multifold, this basic definition of Emotional Intelligence suggests Four Emotional intelligence domains: Self-awareness, Self-Management, Social-Awareness, & Social-Management. Enormous work has been done in the area. Emotional Intelligence has progressed through cross-functional studies in evolutionary biology, Brain science, molecular biology, genetics, Physical Science, and Quantum Physics.
Emotional Intelligence in the workplace is about the function of people and the relationships they manage. Workplace relationships are the lifeblood of business. These relationships can be within the organization or with external stakeholders, including the customers, partners, competitors, suppliers, and another network that interacts with them. These relationships' health, strength, and resiliency are powerful economic engines. Without solid skills in emotional self-management, arduous and energy-draining emotional entanglements can derail even the smartest teams. These issues are often disguised as garden-variety conflicts and personality issues and remain as the 'Elephants in the room'. This brings the topic of 'Group Emotional Intelligence' to the fore. Group EI is "the ability of a group to generate a shared set of norms that manage the emotional process in such a way that builds trust, group identity, and group efficacy" ( Daniel Goleman & Cary Cherniss, 2001).
To gauge the role that Emotional Intelligence plays at the workplace, look at any factor that impacts Organizational effectiveness. You will find that Emotional Intelligence plays a role in it.
Consider the following facts:
82 Percent Of People Don't Trust Their Bosses To Tell The Truth. (Reported by Forbes)
65 per cent of American workers would choose a better boss over a pay raise. (Jobsite)
Retaining talented employees is a huge problem that organizations are facing today. PsychTests did an impressive 'Turnover Probability Test' recently.
Researchers focused on people who intend to leave their position in the immediate future and proactively search for jobs. When asked what role management played in their decision to go, the study revealed impressive results:
"24% of soon-to-be quitters report that they don't have a good relationship with their manager.
53% claim management fails to acknowledge or recognize challenging work/achievements.
53% indicate that any concerns or issues brought to management tend to fall on deaf ears and go unresolved.
24% indicate that their manager does not respect employees." (Source PsychTest)
Emotional Intelligence is at the core of all the issues mentioned above. Individual and collective Emotional Intelligence directly affects the workplace environment and the bottom line of the organization.
People having high emotional Intelligence can cope with organizational problems more effectively than those having low emotional Intelligence, as they are:
Self-aware. They know their strengths and weaknesses and manage them well. They can anticipate where & when they can go wrong and prepare accordingly.
Good at managing themselves. Uncertainties cannot derail them for long as they know how to bounce back relatively quickly.
Stay motivated. Even in the face of adversity, they continue to stay optimistic and perform.
Understand others better. Have empathy for others, appreciate others' perspectives, and be receptive to their ideas.
Foster good relationships. Respect for social & cultural sensitivities do not quickly lose emotional control, help others & work collaboratively.
Create an environment of trust. Care for others. Know how to communicate sensitive and challenging issues in an effective and friendly manner.
Better leaders. They can influence & unite disparate teams behind a shared vision. Possess interpersonal skills to engage people, not just rationally but emotionally.
The impact of individual high scores on employees in emotional Intelligence can be seen in their ability to regulate their behaviour to promote well-being, job satisfaction, motivation level, interpersonal relationships, quality of work-life and retention time in an organization. Employees with low emotional intelligence exhibit angry outbursts, rude comments, incivility, moodiness, unnecessary stress, and burnout, and seem to work in anxious environments. Individual low scores of employees negatively impact a workplace and their team members, leading to low morale. Thus, it is no surprise that high-level employees experience high employee engagement, while workplaces low in Emotional Intelligence experience high turnover, burnout, low productivity, and declining sales.
Ignorance is not bliss, especially if it has such profound implications. It's time to keep a check on the Emotional Intelligence Quotient of your organization.
Some Red flags to identify the organizations that should focus on Emotional Intelligent development are as below:
High employee turnover – Employee ready to jump ship at the first opportunity
Low employee morale: Employees are not excited to come to work.
Growing Customers' Complaints – Customers are unhappy with how sales and after-sales service are handled.
Missing Sales Targets: Sales performance might be below the industry norms and organizational targets.
Lack of accountability: Employees do not take ownership of their actions, show a lack of commitment towards achieving goals and KPIs, and continuously look for excuses for their inability to perform.
Do as I say the management style – Lack of empathy and consideration for other ideas. It is always the case of 'my way or the high way.' No room for whistleblowers!
More internal than the external competition: Everyone is on the lookout for his/her slice of pie to earn extra brownie points in terms of attention and recognition. Self is more important than the team, and personal agendas take priority over corporate goals.
Information hoarding: Employees hold on to information instead of sharing activities to gain importance in the eyes of others, keep their position significantly relevant, and appear expensively irreplaceable.
The Blame Game: People try to cover mistakes, do not offer support to others, and the focus is on 'passing the buck', and 'blaming another' & not on 'fixing the issues'.
No room for mistakes – Zero tolerance for errors, and risk-takers are strictly penalized. Forget about creative solutions and innovation.
Cubicle mongers – No one has time to meet with others; there is little camaraderie between colleagues. Meeting others is considered a waste of time. Focus is entirely on own-work & personal targets—lack of knowledge sharing, bond-building, and support for each other.
Power Politics: In such companies, compliance and adherence to one of the power groups are necessary for survival. Internal politics kills enthusiasm and passion for performing.
Unhappy Employees: People are unhappy, and it shows!
Over contentment with the status quo – 'This is how things are done here' is the mantra that rules. Such an attitude can be immensely threatening to an organization's survival, especially as 'Change' is the most stable 'constant' these days!
With a highly emotionally intelligent workforce, your company has the potential to meet and surpass its objectives. Therefore, it is essential to pay due attention and check if your organization is an "Emotionally Intelligent Workplace". The good news is that Emotional Intelligence competencies can be measured and developed through a focused and structured approach.
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