Developing emotional intelligence within your personal life can be a positive step towards happier and healthier relationships with those around you.
These skills can also be applied in a work setting, with some employers now looking at giving employees dedicated training in this area.
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is defined as having a solid understanding of your own emotions as well as others. This could be seen in practice by knowing when to say the right words to someone who is upset or relating to a stressful situation.
There are a few key areas that those with higher levels of emotional intelligence tend to be more skilled in, such as:
We all strive towards being better within these areas, and for some people, this can come very naturally, others may upskill through learning transfer. However, others may struggle to grasp and understand the emotions of others fully and may not realise that this can be harming others’ wellbeing.
What benefits are there to upskilling employees in this area?
Giving your workforce the tools they need to build on their emotional intelligence skills can have a range of benefits for your company and can boost employee morale.
Improve communication and efficiency
Correctly gauging how someone enjoys being communicated with is a key indicator of high levels of emotional intelligence.
In a workplace setting, some employees may not want to chat face-to-face often and would rather be pinged an email when someone needs help. Some might prefer a quick informal chat at the desk, and others may like being sent a formal invite so that they can fit you into their schedule. Of course, what works for one person might not work for another, but in the workplace, it can take time to learn everyone’s idiosyncratic behaviours when it comes to communication.
Also, emotional intelligence training might not give an employee insight into all of their colleagues’ preferred communication styles straight away. Knowing how to pick up on body language, tone, and other factors could help speed up this process. In the long run, this could save time and help create a more naturally collaborative team environment, as added stress from poor communication could reduce productivity.
In fact, one survey found that 51% of employees said that daily stress, which can be caused by workplace conflict, affected their daily concentration at work. This in turn could harm profitability and efficiency for a company.
Create better managers of tomorrow
It goes without saying that a good manager should be able to be a good reader of people and understand the emotional impact the work projects, disputes and stress can have on individuals. Therefore, by upskilling your team effectively, and early, giving them strong skills within emotional intelligence, you make their journey to move up the company into a management position much more straightforward.
A recent survey found that 72% of employees ranked the “respectful treatment of all employees at all levels” as the top factor for job satisfaction. In addition, having high levels of emotional intelligence is a desirable quality for any manager who wants to keep employee morale high and improve retention. By training your staff at all levels, you’ll benefit by helping them be fully equipped to be great at managing other employees when they rise to manager level.
Better mental health in the workplace
Having an emotionally intelligent team that is more collaborative and more efficient can positively impact employee morale. But outside of work-focused outcomes, a greater level of emotional intelligence within your team can reduce conflict and can make your staff more aware of each other’s feelings. This can have an overall positive impact on each team member’s mental health.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, staff are increasingly expecting their employers to do more to support their mental health, with 63% saying that they thought that there would be an increased focus on mental health in the workplace following the pandemic.
Your employees will know that their workplace is full of kind and empathetic people who can read each other well and understand how to approach each other in a way that will lead to fewer stressful interactions.
Do employees really need it?
Each company can have its own approach to improving employee cohesion, collaboration, and mental health, but administering emotional intelligence training can put everyone on an even footing.
Many of your staff may already have a good level of emotional intelligence but may have been interacting with other team members less when working from home. It may be good to get everyone on the same page and start things off on the right foot as you re-enter into office life.
Ultimately, emotional intelligence training can be beneficial for your employees in their working life and even in their personal lives as well. So why not explore our workforce training hub and find out how you can equip your employees with the skills they need today?