One-third of leaders don't see how emotional intelligence is valuable to their companies.
Emotional intelligence and employee success are clearly linked. According to a Harvard Business Review Analytic Services (HBR-AS) study, companies that embrace EI—defined by the study as a combination of self-awareness, self-control, empathy, and social skills—report higher levels of productivity and better employee engagement than those that don't. However, not every organization has a firm grasp of EI and has implemented it as part of their mission.
For the study, HBR-AS interviewed 600 members of the HBR Advisory Council and surveyed leaders from organizations with 50 or more employees. Less than 20 percent of companies surveyed instilled EI into their corporate cultures, and one-third of survey participants don't see EI's benefit to their organizations. Less than one-third of organizations require EI skills in their job ads, but 40 percent provide training and online courses in EI, the study reveals.
The report indicates that organizations that value EI have much stronger customer experience ratings and higher levels of customer loyalty than those that don't. Companies that value EI can also better cope with risk, and they demonstrate successful characteristics, including communication, collaboration, and innovation.
Experts have recommended that, when organizations pitch the idea of EI training to workers, they should frame it as a way to build stronger relationships as opposed to a way for individual workers to improve their self-awareness. The study notes that many organizations that strive to be people-focused have not yet educated their leadership on EI's importance. To reap the benefits of a more productive, engaged, and empowered workforce, talent development departments may need to take the lead in establishing EI training programs and educating leaders on the importance of soft skills.