Beckway Insights: Improve Employee Retention by Leveraging Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) is defined as the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. A recent study noted that three of the top five reasons employees leave their jobs – toxic company culture, poor management, and lack of work life balance –  are directly related to key concepts of emotional intelligence.

Organizations can dramatically improve employee retention and avoid unnecessary hiring costs by ensuring their leaders are properly trained on and equipped to leverage the following concepts:

  1. Self-Awareness: Before you can effectively lead and influence others, you must first develop a sound understanding of yourself, your emotions, and how your emotional responses and behaviors affect those around you. Being a self-aware leader also means having a clear picture of your strengths and weaknesses, and behaving with humility.
  2. Self-regulation: Leaders who regulate themselves effectively refrain from verbal attacks against others, rushed or emotionally charged decision-making, stereotyping, or giving in to pressure to compromise their values. Self-regulation is all about staying in control. It is critical to know/live your values and hold yourself accountable.
  3. Motivation: Self-motivated leaders work consistently toward their goals, and they have extremely high standards for the quality of their work.
  4. Empathy: Leaders with empathy are able to imagine themselves in another’s shoes. They actively listen and work to understand the experiences and emotions of those they lead. This helps them to meet their team members “where they are” and to approach them in the most meaningful and effective way.
  5. Social Skills: Emotionally intelligence leaders are active and transparent communicators. They’re just as open to hearing bad news as good news, and they’re experts at getting their teams mobilized and excited to support and evangelize a new mission or project.

The better a leader relates and works with others, the more likely they are to build a strong and successful organization of committed, successful, and competent long-term employees.

Fortunately, the elements of effective Emotional Intelligence can be learned and developed through a multitude of methods. For more information on how Beckway can help develop your leaders, please reach out to either Mike Bugaj or Keith Swenson, our joint Human Resource Practice Leads.