Why You Need Emotionally Intelligent Employees

Who wouldn't want employees who are self-aware, can recognize the impact of their own emotions, and adapt their approach based on these skills? Employees with a high degree of emotional intelligence can be invaluable in the workforce, often make strong leaders, and make great team members.

The ability to clearly communicate with coworkers and subordinates is one of the most important skills in a workplace. Too often, lack of communication leads to problems. We all know it’s not really what you say that matters, but rather what others hear. That’s where emotional intelligence comes in. By being aware of the needs and feelings of others, you’re better equipped to tailor the message in a way it’s received and understood.

Emotional intelligence at work is about how people relate to each other. A group that excels in this area will be more motivated and efficient, as well as more productive and committed. The best work units work with and for each other, and not just for the company.

6 Traits of Highly Emotionally Intelligent Employees

1. They're Relationship Builders

Emotionally smart employees understand and relate to others, demonstrating good people skills across a diverse workforce — a critical skill in getting teams to function efficiently.

2. They're Good Listeners

By being attuned to other people’s emotions, body language, and tone of voice, these employees are strong listeners and communicators.

3. They're Less Defensive

As a group, they are less defensive by nature and more open to feedback to improve.

4. They're Sensitive to Others’ Needs

These emotional rockstars are quicker to recognize what other team members or subordinates need to succeed. They instinctively build trust and can foster cohesiveness in teams with the ability to keep people focused.

5. They're Great Under Pressure

Those with high emotional intelligence perform better in pressure situations, helping themselves and others stay on task. They also seem to have better coping mechanisms, which allow them to manage their own stress levels and recognize when others are struggling. When high performers stay calm in a crisis, it helps others.

6. They're Good Problem Solvers

Because they can set their own emotions aside, they can often see situations clearly that others can’t. They also can see other points of view and understand how decisions will impact others.

Traits to Avoid

These six traits all add up to high functioning team members with the kind of traits every employer looks for.

The flip side is a list of traits and outcomes that you want to avoid:

  • Insensitivity
  • Arrogance
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Selfishness
  • Inability to adapt. 

The Digital Impact

In an increasingly digital world, communication is evolving. More communication takes place electronically than ever before. Maybe you've been on the receiving end of an email that made you wonder if the boss was mad, when it turned out they were just busy. Highly emotionally intelligent employees are more likely to read between the lines in the digital queue.

Work is being done in teams, which may change depending on task. Team members are dropping in and out of teams as the job evolved. More workers are doing business remotely. Some may never even come in to the workplace. Being tuned in to how people work, and building relationships when you don't have that face-to-face contact is critical. Highly emotionally intelligent employees will adapt.

Digital Skills and Emotional Intelligence

It's not just employees working in a more digital world, though. Companies are increasingly using digital tools to assess skills and qualities.Artificial Intelligence software can sift through data, questionnaires, resumes, social media, and publicly available information to help identify people with the desired traits. Some companies are using Chatbots, for example, to engage potential employees in text conversations to screen candidates.

For example: 70% percent of employers use social media to screen candidates, according to a 2017 study by CareerBuilder.com. Machine learning and natural language processing can check social media sites and identify candidate traits, including emotional intelligence.

If a candidate’s LinkedIn profile shows a high level of engagement with their current or previous roles, they are likely to be engaged in their future positions as well. – HireVue

If you’re interested in learning more about how Artificial Intelligence can help identify the desired traits you need in employees, download the AI and Bots in Recruiting whitepaper from Artisan Talent.

Get The AI Whitepaper

So how do you find highly emotionally intelligent employees? Look for candidates who have clearly demonstrated these skills in the past. 

6 Questions to Help You Determine Whether Someone Has High Emotional Intelligence

  1. Do they show grace under pressure?
  2. Will they accept criticism openly and act upon what they are told?
  3. Can they have candid conversations about difficult situations or tough issues without getting emotional?
  4. Do they really listen to what others say?
  5. Are they aware of their own shortcomings?
  6. Will they admit their mistakes, and do they learn from them?

How Important Is Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace? 

According to a recent World Economic Forum report, emotional intelligence will be one of the top 10 job skills needed in the future. Seventy-one percent of hiring managers said they valued emotional intelligence more than IQ in a Career Builder survey of 2,660 hiring managers. 

Hiring is hard, but finding the right employees is critical to your success.

If you’d like to discuss this further, or need some help at your workplace, feel free to get in touch with us at Artisan Talent. We can answer your questions, help assess your needs, and help you find the talent you need.

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