15 Jul Using Emotional Intelligence to Increase Employee Wellness
Emotional Intelligence, how can this seemingly abstract concept impact the world of employee wellness?
Over the last year the importance of employee wellness and mental health has skyrocketed, and with good reason. Even before the pandemic, the rise in importance for employee wellness was evident. This was due to worrying figures emerging on the impact that the fast paced and highly pressurising work environment that had been produced was having. Then along came the pandemic and a shift in perspective for a lot of people on what is actually important in life. Therefore, employee wellness and mental health has become a priority.
After a year in a pandemic, the impact of working from home and having our normal world turned upside down has clearly been seen all over the media and in multiple reports and studies. Nearly 60% of employees today experience mental health issues such as burnout and stress (Lyra, 2021). Here are some other impacts seen following the past 12 months of the pandemic, 69% of this being directly related to the pandemic and its effects:
Additionally, the impact of not investing in employees is a large cost to organisations. According to Gallup, “turnover costs U.S. employers over $1 Trillion a year. Replacing a lost employee costs between 33% and 150% of annual salary depending on skill set and seniority and impacts operations, hurts morale, and makes companies less competitive as they lose experienced workers” (Forbes, 2020).
With all this in mind, how can Emotional Intelligence help? Emotional Intelligence covers off a variety of different emotional and social skills that can help managers help their employees, and employees help themselves and their colleagues. Using the EQ-I 2.0 (Emotional Quotient Inventory) there are some protective factors that can help when developed to bring more awareness and understanding to employee wellness.
The MHS has drawn some parallels from the skills detailed in the tool and protective factors for employee wellness:
- Good social skills: The EQ-I 2.0 highlights several measures that translate to having good social skills. Social skills can help with more effective communication, reducing miscommunication, increasing collaboration, and allowing the appropriate sharing of information. The 2 measures highlighted here are: Emotional Expression and Empathy.
- Sense of belonging: Feeling like you belong in your workplace, to your team and to your organisation, has a very positive impact on employee wellbeing. Feeling accepted, included, and feeling the ability to be authentic in your views and values are protective for employee wellbeing. The 2 measures highlighted here are: Self-Regard and Reality Testing.
- Positive work climate: A positive work climate can have huge impacts on employee wellbeing. Having a culture of trust, psychological safety and compassion breeds wellness and positivity which are very protective. However, this must come from the top down, with the modelling of behaviour. The 3 measures highlighted here are: Optimism, Assertiveness, and Independence.
- Opportunities for success and recognition: We are only human and receiving recognition for a job well done is a great boost. Feeling heard, receiving feedback, and providing feedback are all methods to boost productivity, motivation and wellness for employees. The 2 measures highlighted here are: Emotional Expression and Self-Actualisation.
- Attachments and networks: Having meaningful relationships are very protective for employee wellbeing. Feeling connected, and building trust, camaraderie, psychological safety with various levels of the hierarchy is beneficial in combatting workplace stress. The 2 measures highlighted here are: Interpersonal Relationships and Social Responsibility.
From the above descriptions and seeing how the different measures from the EQ-I 2.0 can fit into improving employee wellness, it’s clear the benefits of using the EQ-I 2.0 as a learning and development tool for your organisation or with your employees. Building awareness and understanding, using exercises and activities as a group or one to one can be beneficial to protect against stress and boost employee wellness to get all the benefits for your organisation and for your people.
Our EQ-i 2.o Accreditation Training:
We are running our next EQ-I 2.0 Accreditation Training on September 15th and 16th 2021. This will allow you to administer, analyse and feedback the results of the tool allowing you the ability to develop your employees for their benefit and the organisations benefit.