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Be a softie: an ode to emotional intelligence in the workplace

Oh, emotional intelligence! That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet! Maybe our ode to emotional intelligence doesn’t flow as well as Shakespeare, but don’t let that deter you from becoming a fan. Emotional intelligence, or the ability to recognize and process your emotions and those of others, and then use this emotional data to guide thinking and behavior, is the secret to workplace success.

Unfortunately, sometimes empathy and compassion don’t get the attention they deserve when screening for new team members or assessing for leadership potential, which can lead to employees who are technically proficient but disengaged and prone to burnout and turnover. Read on to discover how hiring managers, team leads, and HR directors at your organization can make sure that doesn’t happen.

Human Compassion? Aren’t Robots Going to Take Our Jobs Anyway?

While we can’t guarantee that Terminator will keep his hands off of our jobs in the future, what we can guarantee is that human empathy will never go out of style. In fact, it’s more important than ever in our rapidly digitalizing age! Organizations and managers can get so caught up in bottom line lexicon like “ROI” and “agile teams” that they forget what helps them stay agile and produce strong ROI in the first place: engaged team members.

Disengaged employees cost companies more than 365€ billion every year, according to The Engagement institute, thanks to decreased productivity, fallout from toxic office politics and burnout, and higher turnover. The good news is that employee disengagement is completely preventable, and creating an engaged workforce is within your control. Your secret weapon? Empathy.

Soft Skills: A Necessity, Not a Perk

Some organizations think of soft skills (communication, compassion, leadership, problem-solving, etc.) like soft serve ice cream—a nice treat, but not a requirement when compared to hard skills like programming languages or typing speed. Uh, not so fast.

More than 90% of recruiters believe that an employee with strong soft skills has better odds of being promoted than an employee with greater experience but weak soft skills. After all, managers have to, well, manage people… and who better to manage than someone who has good interpersonal skills? In leadership lingo, this is called emotional quotient (EQ).

The Importance of Earning Your MBA in Compassion

EQ is a measurement of emotional intelligence, the ability to read and respond to emotions. Basically, the higher an HR manager or team lead’s EQ, the better they tend to do in interpersonal situations such as bringing people together to meet company objectives or resolving employee conflicts.

That’s why it is so important to not only power up your own EQ, but to hire team members who possess emotional intelligence as well (and to help your team members further develop these skills after day one, especially if they are on track to become leaders within your company). Just remember: in a time when many workplaces are seeing several generations of workers side-by-side—Millennials, Baby Boomers, Generation Z—an MBA in compassion can go just as far as a traditional degree.

What are you waiting for? Inject compassion into your onboarding from Day 1, show your employees empathy, and teach them how to do the same for their subordinates & coworkers.

Demo our Onboarding App today

Topics: HR
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