How to Foster Emotional Intelligence in Your Organization

July 3, 2018

We have all heard the term “emotional intelligence” (EQ) and also understand the fact that employees with high EQ benefit their organization in a variety of ways. The term refers to a person’s ability to recognize their emotions and the emotions of others.

And it’s critical. 59% of hiring managers said they wouldn’t hire someone with a high IQ but low EQ.

Can employees increase their EQ? Yes, with conscious effort and guidance they can. Employers who want to be involved can work to foster a culture that embraces emotional intelligence and employ these 9 tips.

Encourage Accountability

Laying blame on others or writing off failures as “not my fault” isn’t the way people with high EQ behave. Business leaders need to push accountability in the workplace. Every employee should understand what is expected of them and know they will need to answer for shortcomings. By taking responsibility for their actions, individuals can build self-awareness and increase their EQ.

This goes the other way too – remember to give credit to your employees wherever it’s due and do your best to motivate them; this promotes the development of their own self-motivation, which is a huge aspect of emotional intelligence.

Provide Emotional Outlets

Emotions can run high, especially in tense work situations. Instead of expecting employees to “get over it” and deal with stress on their own, add on-site ways for them to blow off steam. Some companies have installed video games, gyms, basketball goals, and even punching bags to help employees deal with overheated emotions.

Implement Meditation

It may sound woo-woo, but meditation and mindfulness are powerful concepts in the journey towards a high EQ. Consistent inward reflection of oneself builds self-awareness in a way little else can. Some organizations have set up a meditation room where employees can go on their breaks to collect their thoughts and quiet their minds.

Create A Caring Culture

Empower employees to believe in themselves by fostering mutually caring relationships. When team members display empathy, kindness, and respect, the entire company culture as a whole – especially if it was a bad one – benefits from the harmony. Over time, recognizing and relating to others’ feelings and emotions increases the person’s EQ.

Build Trust

What you’ll find is that people who do what they say and keep their word are more emotionally intelligent than those who don’t, because doing so demonstrates both a level of integrity and an awareness of how one’s own actions and commitments affect others, and on top of that, it helps foster trust throughout the workplace when others observe this positive behavior. Therefore, that’s one way to foster emotional intelligence in your organization – being mindful of who shows trustworthiness.

Another way to build trust among your team members is by consistently giving them some degree of freedom and autonomy to solve problems on their own (with your support of course). This helps them develop skills independently and also empowers them to make choices on their own – something that helps emotional IQ and overall performance development.

Promote Listening Skills

Interrupting and talking over others is not a sign of high EQ. In addition to self-reflection, employees should strive to be good listeners. Only by honing keen listening skills can individuals grasp the other person’s point of view and communicate in a significant, productive way.

Acknowledge Successes

Confidence shores up EQ, and it’s built by possessing confidence in abilities. Managers who point out and reward successes and congratulate those who hit important milestones create a foundation of confidence. From there, the employee can continue to evolve into a person with higher EQ.

Advocate for Social Awareness

Living in a self-absorbed bubble does little to increase EQ. Leaders should showcase corporate philanthropy and encourage employees to do the same. By getting involved in worthy causes and working with the less fortunate, employees are able to get in touch with empathy and compassion, which are key to high EQ.

Invest in EQ Training

A well-designed coaching program focused on emotional intelligence can achieve up to a 25% improvement in EQ in your organization, according to an article on Harvard Business Review. So an option for you to do is to research some highly-regarded consultants to conduct training for your team. And the objective for this training is to test each person’s EQ and have the presenter lay out actionable steps the employees can work on to increase it. By making emotional intelligence a priority that you’re willing to invest money in, your company conveys the importance of the initiative to your employees which encourages them to take it all more seriously.

While intelligence is a significant factor in a person’s success, emotional intelligence may be even more important. Managers who consciously encourage their team to work toward higher EQ will enjoy tangible results like greater productivity, more effective communication, and a more compassionate, controlled working environment. So yes, screen for emotional intelligence in the interview, but also be willing to invest time into fostering it in your team members.



Linda Le Phan
Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu.

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