Mar 18 2022 | Tags: Emotional Intelligence
How emotional intelligence can help re-engage employees in 2022
In 2020 and 2021, working life was disrupted like never before. The arrival of Covid-19 rapidly accelerated dramatic changes already taking place. Technological advances, a growing awareness of mental health, and increasing demands for flexibility meant leaders were facing a constant deluge of new stresses and pressures.Then, for many professionals, the pandemic instigated a large-scale shift to homeworking. While it was welcomed by many, there were undoubtedly negative effects for a significant portion of the workforce.
Leaders and executives are the ones tasked with trying to piece back together an effective modus operandi for enterprises around the world. The challenge is huge.
Almost 85% of employees worldwide are either not engaged, or are actively disengaged, at work. In the US, research from Gallup found that employee engagement has fallen for the first time in a decade.
Employees are asking:
- Does this business care about me?
- Will it invest in my development?
- Does it understand and appreciate the challenges in my life outside of work?
These are valid questions and it is the employers that are prepared to tackle them head on who will be capable of recruiting and retaining the market’s finest talent. In this article, we’ll explore why businesses need Emotional Intelligence now more than ever.
High levels of employee engagement come from a place of recognition and respect.
Workplaces that score well on employee engagement are typically very aware of, and make concerted efforts to meet, the needs of employees.
Those needs normally include:
- Setting and communicating clear expectations that help employees understand their roles and responsibilities
- Providing opportunities for development that enable employees to feel as though their career is on a forward trajectory
- Ensuring all opinions are heard and valued, and that sincerely held views and suggestions are treated with respect in any decision-making process
- Guaranteeing that employees have access to the right materials and equipment they need to do their jobs at the best of their ability
- Giving employees the chance to do what they do best, rather than forcing them into positions or tasks for which they are not suited
- Encouraging professional development at all levels of an organisation, fueling an employee’s ambitions and giving them the self-confidence to succeed
What happens when employee engagement is low?
Companies that generate low levels of employee engagement face difficulties and under-performance across a range of areas. The most direct and frequent consequences of low employee engagement include:
- Reduced morale, which can encourage poor performance and make it harder to retain your best employees
- Lower productivity, which impacts on the growth and financial viability of the enterprise
- Employees actively looking for new roles, which can cause unnecessary recruitment costs for companies who are unable to retain talent on an ongoing basis
Low employee engagement levels are not, however, just an internal issue. The consequences of low employee engagement spread far and wide. Poor morale, for example, can induce poor customer service. In turn, this can cost your enterprise both financially (through a lack of repeat business) and reputationally (making it more difficult to recruit exceptional employees).
Consider that almost two-thirds of US businesses already say that retaining employees is harder than hiring them, and another extra cost of low employee engagement – that of increased turnover rates – is potentially devastating.
What is the impact of high levels of employee engagement?
Emotional Intelligence is the key tool in unlocking high levels of employee engagement. Emotionally intelligent organisations – those where leaders and managers have deliberately invested in their Emotional Intelligence skills – record consistently higher levels of employee engagement.
The impact of this is dramatic and multi-faceted. Engaged employees:
- Experience 34% better enablement to perform their tasks in the best way they can.
- Are 46% more likely to report that they intend to continue working in their organisations.
- Are 45% more satisfied with their employers.
By recognising the intrinsic and professional desires of their employees, emotionally intelligent organisations fuel environments of positivity, productivity and high performance.
Employees feel valued in their roles. They are happier in their workplace, more likely to go the extra mile when needed, more likely to contribute positive ideas to aid the company’s progression, and better able to create a positive reputation of the company among external stakeholders and its wider industry peers.
“What does self-confidence mean? What does empathy mean? What does it take to build powerful relationships? The ECR gives you a very clear structure. All of these competencies can be measured and you can manage the development progress.”
Maria Grigorova, Global Growth Acceleration Director, Mars Inc
How can emotionally intelligent leaders improve employee engagement?
Emotional Intelligence skills can be taught and learned. They are not something that a person simply has or doesn’t have as an accident of birth. So there is no reason why an organisation cannot commit to becoming an emotionally intelligent enterprise.
For those businesses that take that decision and actively commit to improving Emotional Intelligence levels among its senior leaders, improved employee engagement is a natural consequence of their efforts.
RocheMartin’s Emotional Intelligence training is built on the Emotional Capital model of 10 core competencies. Several of these are a perfect fit for improving employee engagement.
- Straightforwardness, which is about communicating feelings, thoughts and beliefs in a clear, open manner.
- Empathy, which is about being aware of, understanding and appreciating the feelings of others’ thoughts and feelings.
- Relationship skills, which are about being able to build collaborative, positive relationships where both parties benefit.
- Optimism, which is about being able to sense opportunities, focus on what can be achieved, and bounce back quickly from setbacks.
- Adaptability, which is a person’s capacity to react well to change, be open to new ideas, and adjust their emotions, thoughts and behaviours.
- Self-knowing, which is about recognising how your feelings impact on your opinions, attitudes and judgments.
- Self-control, which is about being able to control your emotions and show restraint until you have had the time and space to think in a detached and rational manner.
Leaders equipped with these core skills are able to positively influence and motivate those around them, building cohesive and well-functioning teams that are happier, more productive, and better performing.
“We’re making better business decisions. We’re drawing more from the breadth and depth of the organisation. We’re managing tensions much better. And it’s had a big effect on the internal dynamic of the business.”
Jeremy Darroch, CEO, Sky Group
What does EQ training mean in real-world impacts?
Companies that choose to invest in Emotional Intelligence training can expect to achieve:
- A more engaged workforce
- Higher job satisfaction rates
- Higher levels of productivity
- Better customer service
- Higher retention rates (and the associated financial savings)
These results have been documented in more than 20 years’ of academic and scientific peer-reviewed research from the world’s leading institutions.
They have been shown in the financial performance of the world’s most emotionally intelligent companies, with Raj Sisodia’s Firms of Endearment showing 72 high EQ firms outperforming the S&P 500 by a factor of 10.5 times over a period of 15 years that included the 2008 financial crash.
And they have been shown in our own hands-on work with our partners and clients around the world. For example, when Australian telecoms giant Optus invested in a RocheMartin EQ training programme, leadership scores increased 16% and engagement and customer focus jumped by 6% – all within just nine months of the programme starting.
“People in our organisation have said that the Emotional Capital Report is the best 90 minutes of coaching in their career to date.”
Diane Hogbin-Mills, Executive Programmes Manager, Network Rail
The best day to start building a high EQ organisation is today
If you need to re-engage your employees after the difficulties of the last few years, the first thing to recognise is that you cannot change what has happened in the past. But you can grasp the nettle and begin to transform your organisation’s Emotional Intelligence skills today.
Creating an emotionally intelligent organisation is the single most effective way to enjoy all the associated benefits of a highly engaged workforce. Our EQ training is available as one-to-one coaching, group workshops, and through our online platform SmartCoach. All of these will help you to re-engage employees on a positive and enduring basis.
Contact us today to discuss the best possible EQ training for your business.