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Developing Emotional Intelligence to Boost Employee Wellness

Mental wellness and emotional intelligence (EI) in the workplace have a significant impact to businesses and employees currently and in the future. For someone deeply entrenched in the world of EI and mental wellness, it’s clear that the opportunity to boost employee wellness programs through tools traditionally used for training and development is available.

Factors That Impact Mental Health at Work
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and stress are common and affect individuals as well as their families, co-workers, and the broader community. In addition, these issues have a direct impact on workplaces through increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, and increased costs. There’s increasing evidence that the content and context of work can play a role in the development of mental health problems in the workplace.

Key factors include excessive or insufficient workload, lack of participation and control in the workplace, monotonous or unpleasant tasks, role ambiguity or conflict, lack of recognition at work, inequity, poor interpersonal relationships, poor working conditions, poor leadership and communication, and conflicting home and work demands.

How Can Emotional Intelligence Help?
Workplaces that want to have a positive association with mental health should hire employees with good social skills as well as provide a sense of belonging, positive work climate, opportunities for success and recognition, and attachments and networks within the community in their place of business. Using the EQ-i 2.0® model of emotional intelligence, we focus on the EI skills that can increase and improve these factors.

1. Good Social Skills: The ability to communicate effectively and nonoffensively can be the difference between a highly toxic and combative environment and one where people value and understand one another and collaborate towards a shared vision of success.

EI skills to consider are emotional expression and empathy.

2. Sense of Belonging: A perception of acceptance within a group through inclusion and shared values and goals.

EI skills to consider are self-regard and reality testing.

3. Positive Work Climate: A positive climate in the workplace encourages constructive interactions and creates a culture of trust and compassion. Positivity breeds more positivity, so this protective factor should start from the top down to affect the greatest number of people and foster mutual trust and satisfaction.

EI skills to consider are optimism, assertiveness, and independence.

4. Opportunities for Success and Recognition: Providing ongoing opportunities for success and recognition to employees can boost productivity, motivation, and retention. Employees want to be heard, receive feedback on performance, and be given the chance to provide constructive feedback to their team too.

EI skills to consider are emotional expression and self-actualization.

5. Attachments and Networks Within the Community: The ability to develop beneficial and meaningful connections can be meaningful when combatting workplace stress through camaraderie, trust, and psychological safety.

EI skills to consider are interpersonal relationships and social responsibility.

Final Thoughts
To get more information on the EQ-i 2.0 assessment and the EQ-i 2.0 Model, visit storefront.mhs.com/collections/eq-i-2-0.

The information provided to you in this blog post is not a one-size-fits-all approach to wellness and should be considered as part of a larger, integrated plan for employee wellness that fits the needs your organization. Encouraging leadership, employees, and teams to develop their emotional intelligence through assessments, coaching, and workshops is an excellent opportunity for the hybridization of traditionally siloed training and development programs and wellness initiatives in the workplace. For more information, please contact us [email protected].

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