Emotional intelligence in the workplace

Why EQ matters for your business

First published on Thursday, Jun 04, 2020

Last updated on Monday, Jul 08, 2024

In the modern business world, there’s a greater emphasis on good mental health than in any other previous generations.

For the first time, employers on a widespread scale are embracing the importance of happy staff members.

This new lease of emotional intelligence has brought about renewed interest in why EQ (as some businesses call it) is so important. Let's take a closer look. 

EQ at work

While being aware of those around you is important in every aspect of life, having a good understanding of emotions is essential for modern businesses.

Why? Well, when dealing with various situations at work you need a diplomatic outlook. Day to day tasks can involve an international scale with varying clients and customers. So, you need to express yourself clearly and effectively.

With that requirement in mind, what are the key factors in having strong EQ? Here are a few of the essentials:

  • Self-awareness.
  • Personal motivation.
  • Self-regulation.
  • Social skills.

Putting it simply, emotional intelligence is integral to everything most businesses do on a daily basis.

For those within each company, it's an incredible asset to be able to understand those around you. 

From following up a colleague on some outstanding work, to dealing with a dissatisfied customer. The approach you take to such situations determines a lot about who a person is as a working professional.

And that’s why EQ is viewed as an essential skill in modern business life—it’s something we all need to think about in all our dealings.

Some great examples of emotional intelligence in the workplace

We did mention a few examples of EQ above, but let’s take a closer look so you have a better understanding.

It’s natural for some people to be more in tune with their emotions, but it’s still something everyone can develop over time.

So, here are a few common examples of it in action at work:

  • Listening to colleagues in meetings. Don’t interrupt anyone and always provide constructive feedback.
  • Offering upset staff members understanding. Show them some compassion to support them through their bad days, as we all have them from time to time.
  • Encourage an open office atmosphere where staff can express themselves without fear of criticism.
  • Have a ready and waiting support system, such as an EPA, to encourage staff through their difficulty days.
  • Start flexible working initiatives that promote a better work life balance. This is a strong sign of emotionally intelligent leadership.
  • Have regular stress relief activities, which can include fun days out for your team, or encouraging staff to get on with each other—don’t think they’re wasting time if they’re chatting by the water cooler, it’s good your staff get on.

These are all industry-leading examples of developing emotional intelligence in the workplace.

And the results? Well, your employees will be:

  • Happier.
  • Healthier.
  • Motivated.
  • Productive.
  • Better at teamwork.

And the result for your business is a team working in unison to deliver exceptional results.

Improving EQ in your workplace

With the above points in mind, how do you go about making your business and your staff members more aware of EQ?

Well, there are some emotional intelligence activities in the workplace you can experiment with.

You’re not going to come across a quick fix that immediately improves the situation for your business, but over time you can develop an ever-improving EQ.

Here are a few tips:

  • Improve self-awareness: This goes for business leaders and staff. With this, you can understand your moods, as well as the emotions of others and their drives. You can improve this by considering your actions and how they affect those around you, as well as encouraging your staff to do the same for colleagues.
  • Work on self-regulation: A technique involving controlling your impulsive actions and emotions. Many of these can have a negative result on your working relationships. So, this means rising above any minor and pointless arguments or frustrations to keep your working environment harmonious.
  • Work on your productivity: Focus on your daily motivations, career goals, and enthusiasm for work. Don’t bog yourself down in your status in annual wage—recognise what your goals are and find fulfillment in those.
  • Be empathetic: Respond appropriately to the emotions of colleagues. This is particularly essential in leadership, as you need to be able to guide your staff members through difficult projects. Resorting to shouting is never going to work well. You need to be able to motivate your team properly.
  • Be more sociable: By improving your social skills, you can communicate better with colleagues. You can become a better professional if you know and understand the people around you.

And that’s how you can go about applying emotional intelligence in the workplace.

But you can also refer to your HR department to research and promote new initiatives, such as regular social events and team bonding exercises.

If you don’t have an HR team to refer to, then take a look at your business and see where you can apply procedures that encourage emotional intelligence.

Looking for help?

We can help you encourage better EQ in your business for a happier and healthier working environment. Get in touch today: 0800 783 2806.

Lucy Cobb

Employment Law Specialist

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