If you’;re a human resources professional then you probably already know that there is not much emphasis on developing emotional intelligence in the workplace. When evaluating new candidates or formulating training, the emphasis is on hard skills, existing knowledge and educational background coupled with a personality assessment. But is that the best way to go?
Personality assessments generally only measure four temperaments. Current thinking is to fir the right temperament to the right job for the best chance of success. For example you want your sales force to be composed of extraverts and the assessment can do this. However those estimates can not measure emotional intelligence so you do not know which are persistent, which is an admiral quality in a sales person and which are insistent which means they are simply pound away and will not take no for an answer wasting time trying to sell somebody who will not buy. Evaluating emotional intelligence can give the organization a look into the individual’;s ability to control emotions, handle stress and identify biases. In short, the inner workings of a person can be better identified and matched with the task.
Some real life examples of the benefit of developing emotional intelligence in the workplace include:
1. Greater sales
A study of over 40 Fortune 500 companies disclosed that sales people with high emotional intelligence out performing those with medium to low EI by 50%.
2. Greater productivity
That same study revealed that technical programmers who were measured in the top 10% of the emotional intelligence competencies were cranking out new software three times faster than those with lower measurements. Even more astounding, a Dallas based company who underwent measuring all of its staff determined that employees with a high EI were 20 times more productive than those with a lower score.
3. Stability of staff
Another Fortune 500 had been using personality assessment for years in an attempt to slow down turn over in its high turn over sales force with little success. By implementing EI assessments, and including EI topics like stress management, self awareness and social skills, they were able to stop the brain drain and increase retention by 67%. The firm calculated it saved over $ 30 million by reducing recruiting and training costs and increasing sales through retention.
4. Worker satisfaction
A Midwest community bank was forced to cut staff by 30% due to the tough economic times we have experienced recently. The remaining staff was evaluated for their emotional intelligence which caused in certain changes in organizational structure. People were assigned positions where there EI was best suited for the task. The result is the bank now produces more with fewer people because the fewer people are now better suited for their positions and find them more fulfilling.
5. Improved risk management
Two studies, one for retail operations and one involving the construction industry determined that there was a correlation between low emotional intelligence and theft or shrinkage. In addition, persons with a low emotional intelligence score were more liklu to have accidents on the job.
6. Amazing customer service
A luxury car dealership whose marketing marketing plan was built on customer experience and customer service was expanding and wanted to make sure they hired the best customer oriented employees to staff the new facility. The dealership utilized an EI assessment test and EI interviewing techniques that were designed to exceed a high level of empathy in candidates. This process was used to select everyone from the GM down to the valet. One year after opening, the new dealership was rated in the top 10% of the auto companies 200 plus dealers for both sales and customer satisfaction.
7. Better organizational communication
A Towers Watson study of both US and Canadian firms disclosed that companies who do a better job of communicating with their employees outperform those who do not financially. On average a company with an exceptional communications program delivered a 47% greater return to shareholders than the least communicative firms.
Could your organization benefit from assessing your staff’;s emotional intelligence? Can you see how including EI in training and personal development programs can help the bottom line? As a professional, you owe it to yourself to at least investigate the possibilities.