Emotional Intelligence (EQ) has never been more critical -- for both employees and employers alike.
Around the world, the last 18 months have tested employees like no other. The consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic have brought widespread disruption to established working practices. While some of those changes have undoubtedly been positive, employees have also faced a range of unforeseen tests. Employees have had to:
- Learn how to manage home working, without impacting their productivity or their family life.
- Develop effective coping mechanisms for the social isolation they have experienced.
- Manage their day-to-day and long-term progress despite a lack of professional support networks.
- Deal with ongoing worries about job security as the economic impact of Covid-19 became increasingly stark.
All of this has combined to create an undercurrent of emotional disturbance. Mental health issues are rising. Since the first lockdown in March 2020, UK adults in general have slowly become less able to cope with the stress of the pandemic. By the end of June 2021, the proportion of people reporting they were coping well had fallen from 73% to 62%.
Emotional Intelligence training, therefore, is increasingly essential. It is a critical tool in giving employees the tools and self-protection they need to be able to perform at their best and maintain strong mental health in the face of unprecedented circumstances.
The macro benefits of Emotional Intelligence training for employees
EQ training has been proven to deliver consistent benefits for both individuals and teams who commit to its principles and are resolute in their determination to improve their own EQ scores. These benefits include:
- Enhanced career prospects
The world’s best leaders have been consistently found to have high Emotional Intelligence scores. Equipping employees with comprehensive EQ training allows them to become aware of the competencies in which they are already strong and, simultaneously, those that require deliberate efforts to improve.
The World Economic Forum’s Future Jobs report says EQ is one of the most important skills an employee can have. By giving your employees extensive Emotional Intelligence training, you are equipping them with the foundational tools that can bring long-term success to your organisation and enable it to develop a succession of effective leaders across all departments and levels.
- Increased team performance
A five-year partnership between RocheMartin and Sky, Europe’s largest media company, drove significant advances in the company’s Emotional Intelligence competencies. In just nine months, our monitoring recorded a 15% increase in total Emotional Capital across Sky’s 800-strong leadership group. This uplift correlated with 20 consecutive quarters of growth.
- Better individual performance
Employees equipped with strong skills in several Emotional Intelligence competencies tend to perform well in a range of disciplines -- including sales, where Metropolitan Life agents with a high optimism score sold 37% more insurance policies than their colleagues. Those in the highest 10% of optimism scores sold 88% more than the most pessimistic 10%.
At international software company Oracle, meanwhile, Emotional Intelligence training saw 92% of sales staff develop a more positive attitude to their job and 89% feel more confident.
- Improved decision making
One of the 10 core competencies of RocheMartin’s EQ training is self-knowing. By being grounded in its principles, employees gain the knowledge, awareness and capacity needed to understand their emotions. They are also better able to more effectively distance themselves from their emotions when making decisions, resulting in more logical, rational and reliable decisions being taken on a consistent basis.
- Decreased stress
Employees trained in the principles of EQ are better able to cope with both uncertainty and high-pressure environments. Improved performance in Emotional Intelligence competencies such as adaptability and resilience give employees a broader capacity to deal with the unexpected challenges of 21st-century working life.
- Better leadership abilities
Australian telecommunications company Optus put its employees through an Emotional Intelligence training programme that paid huge dividends. Within nine months, the company’s own internal measurement system showed an increase of 16% in leadership alongside significant cultural change. Engagement and customer focus both increased by 6%.
- Building diversity and inclusion
Employees trained in Emotional Intelligence understand that creating an environment of psychological safety enables all workers to thrive and perform at their best. While this may initially be instigated by leaders, EQ trained employees are able to reinforce new behaviours, standards and practices to better integrate colleagues of different ages and backgrounds through enhanced empathy and understanding skills.
The micro benefits of Emotional Intelligence training for employees
Strong EQ training leaves employees with enhanced skills in a range of areas that are a perfect fit for the new reality of home or hybrid working. These include:
- Resilience and self-actualisation, which are key skills for employees being able to motivate themselves to work in non-office environments (i.e. home working).
- Adaptability and self-reliance, which are key skills for getting things done as technologies and working practices change.
- Empathy and relationship skills, which are key skills for developing and maintaining strong professional relationships even when employees are not sat in the same space as their colleagues.
- Optimism and self-confidence, which are key skills that help employees to cope with unintended feelings of the unknown that derive from not being in the office with an ‘ear to the ground’.
How to develop EQ training in your organisation
Any company or organisation considering an investment in Emotional Intelligence training must be able to explain and demonstrate to its employees why it is such a positive action to take. This is made easier when the organisation’s leadership or HR department buys into the benefits of EQ training from the outset.
The first step is to show the data and evidence that supports the importance of Emotional Intelligence training. After that, explain to employees that progress is benchmarked and clearly measurable. You can also introduce the fact that EQ training is based on cutting-edge science and the latest academic research.
At RocheMartin, we encourage most of our clients to start small with their initial steps into an Emotional Intelligence training programme. For example, we might suggest that a handful of senior executives undertake an ECR 360 or ECR Self as a way of starting to become familiar with the concepts and workings of Emotional Intelligence training.
We find that as those executives then begin to see the benefits and impact of their own Emotional Intelligence progression, they quickly become advocates across the organisation. Their next steps are often to either investigate and invest in Emotional Intelligence workshops or online training platforms such as SmartCoach.
Larger organisations may wish to consider a ‘Train the Trainer’ programme. This is particularly suited for HR leaders. It enables a member or members of your organisation to undertake an Emotional Intelligence certification that gives them the skills and know-how to deliver structured Emotional Intelligence workshops without the cost of direct supervision from a RocheMartin representative.
But whatever your level of investment in EQ training, the important thing is to track the improvements across your employees. Doing so will enable you to see in full and stark detail exactly how the investment has paid off for your business.
Ready to get started?
For more information, download our brochure on Emotional Intelligence development programmes.
Alternatively, get in touch today and take your first steps towards understanding the most effective way to build an Emotional Intelligence training programme for your employees.