EQ and Its Impact on Your Bottom Line
Business is serious. The success of business affects stakeholders both inside and outside any organization. We use general terms when describing these stakeholders like, the Board, the community, the employees, the customers, the vendors, the management, (the insert yours here) __________. Yet, each of these collective nouns consist of individual people with individual characteristics, talents, attributes, skills, needs, wants, and goals. Without these individuals, in their collective noun categories, we have no business and consequently no stakeholders. Which has more impact on business, the skill of these individuals or their EQ?
Let’s Be Clear
EI – Emotional Intelligence
The ability to recognize, understand and use the power of emotions to facilitate high levels of collaboration and productivity. It is the ability to effectively manage emotions.
EQ – Emotional Quotient
A measurement of emotional intelligence. Talking about EQ is a way to discuss the level of emotional intelligence operating in an individual or group. The good news is that unlike IQ, which tends to be constant, one can intentionally raise EQ.
The Impact of EQ
Most of the studies around EQ concern individuals at the executive level. This makes sense, as these are the people whose influence permeates the entire organization and “sets the cultural tone” for the company. However, low EQ can have an impact at any level. People leave companies more often because of other people than even low pay. However, before people quit their jobs, poor performance from low EQ behaviors can be eating away at your bottom line.
The below results were published based on a poll of thousands of managers and employees asked about the effects of incivility in the workplace.
After being the victim of on-the-job rudeness and hostility:
- 2/3 of employees said their performance declined.
- Four out of five lost work time worrying about the unpleasant incident.
- 63% wasted time avoiding the offender.
- More than 3/4 of respondents said that their commitment to their employer had waned.
(This same study revels that turnover increases due to low EQ).
- 12% resigned because of the bad treatment.
Source: “The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility Is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It”, by Christine Pearson and Christine Porath
If you believe that your organization is immune to such behavior, after reading the following statistics, it might be wise to take a deeper look.
- 94% of 2,081 employees said they had been bullied in the workplace. *
- 51.1% of employees have been bullied by a boss or manager. *
- Four out of 10 professionals have been bullied by a coworker. *
- 65% of survey respondents left their jobs because of bullying. **
Despite the high cost of turnover, sometimes the cost of disengaged employees with low performance come with a bigger price tag than recruiting and hiring a new employee.
How to Build a High EQ Organization
1.Have Leaders Model Emotionally Intelligent Behavior
Because of their reach and power to influence others, leaders who use the language and practices of EQ in the workplace can transform the way teams collaborate. When they create an environment that supports learning and self-correction, others will follow, and the company culture will support better performance.
2.Get Buy-in to Make the Change Building emotional intelligence is a lot like building athletic ability. No amount of reading about swimming will ensure that a person can swim—skills are mastered with practice. Employees will only dive in when they see that improving their EQ has a potential payoff that they care about. The EQ skills that lend momentum to their career are strengths that reduce stress at home, too.
3.Respect Privacy Provide EQ feedback of any type, whether it’s the managers coaching, or information gained from a 360 or some other assessment, in a safe, affirming way. The key to success is to deliver emotional intelligence feedback to employees in an atmosphere that respects their privacy. The information from EQ feedback allows participants to actively use both personal and reflective learning, as well as team learning experiences to be successful. This allows participants to grow and develop both individually and become high performing teams.
4.Offer Training Team training in EQ gives work groups a common language and shared understanding of what it takes to create and maintain an emotionally healthy environment. When stress goes down, creativity goes up. Employees appreciate the employer who is committed to creating an environment where everyone can thrive. Important components of high EQ include personal motivation and empathy for others. Provide team training that supports employees in building them:
•Values training helps people understand the values they hold dear, the ones that make life and work meaningful for them. This contributes to self-awareness about their inner motivations for their job.
•Behavioral training helps the team understand how they and the people around them prefer to receive information, make decisions, communicate with others, and get things done. It builds self-awareness and helps them understand others.
•EQ training gives employees the deep understanding and practice they need to master self-regulation, motivate themselves and build the empathy and social skills that lead to strong teams.
•Competency skills such as diplomacy and tact, conflict management and teamwork are firmly rooted in and support emotional intelligence. Consider on-demand, individual learning opportunities allowing employees to focus specifically on the competency skills they need to acquire, using convenient online learning modules when and where they have time to work on them.
5.Apply Experiential Learning Mentoring and individual coaching are ways to take what is learned from feedback, assessments and training, and practice using it, day in and day out. Formal mentoring and coaching relationships encourage employees to remember and apply what they’ve learned.
6.Celebrate Success Post-training, give employees the opportunity to reinforce the improvements they’ve made. The feedback they receive, the recognition they gain, and the progress they make encourages them to keep going, and everybody wins. This means both individuals and your bottom line.
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