Why You Need Emotional Intelligence at Work

Research Reveals How to Improve EQ and Look for It When Hiring

Toronto, ON. (February 23, 2017) -- Does EQ outweigh IQ when it comes to success in the workplace? Nearly all human resources (HR) managers (95 per cent) and workers (99 per cent) surveyed by staffing firm OfficeTeam said it’s important for employees to have a high emotional quotient, or EQ, because it helps them manage their own emotions and understand and react to the emotions of others.

OfficeTeam has developed a research guide, Emotional Intelligence at Work: What It Is and Why You Should Care, which provides advice for boosting EQ and recognizing it in potential hires. There’s also a quiz for individuals to test how emotionally intelligent they are.

The research describes how professionals can rely on their emotional intelligence to deal with the variety of personalities and challenging situations they encounter at work. When employees take emotions into account, they make better decisions, communicate more diplomatically and resolve issues faster regardless of who or what comes their way.

View an infographic of the research findings.

“Effective management of interpersonal relationships is an important part of developing a supportive work environment,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, a district president for OfficeTeam. “Responding thoughtfully to the challenges or concerns of those around you helps establish a foundation of trust and mutual respect among teams, which promotes confident problem-solving and better overall productivity.”

Additional findings from the research:

  • More than one in five employees (21 per cent) believe EQ is more valuable in the workplace than IQ. Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) said the two are equally important.
  • Most workers (92 per cent) think they have strong emotional intelligence; slightly fewer (74 per cent) believe their bosses do. 
  • Three in 10 HR managers (30 per cent) feel most employers put too little emphasis on emotional intelligence during the hiring process.
  • HR managers identified increased motivation and morale (43 per cent) as the greatest benefit of having emotionally intelligent staff.
  • Reference checks (70 per cent) were cited by HR managers as the most common way companies gauge job applicants’ EQ, followed by behavioural-based interview questions (55 per cent).
  • Forty per cent of HR managers said soft skills, such as communication, problem-solving and adaptability, are more difficult to teach workers than technical abilities.
  • More than six in 10 employees (61 per cent) admitted they’ve let emotions get the better of them in the office.
  • Eighty-six per cent of workers said when a colleague doesn’t control his or her emotions, it affects their perception of that person’s level of professionalism. 

“Emotional intelligence goes beyond focusing on your own emotional responses,” added Vasilopoulos. “Being cognizant of how others convey their feelings, verbally or otherwise, allows you to better anticipate reactions and identify with the priorities of your team.” 

About the Research

The surveys of HR managers and workers were developed by OfficeTeam. They were conducted by independent research firms and include responses from more than 600 HR managers at companies with 20 or more employees, and more than 800 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments in the United States and Canada.

About OfficeTeam

OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has 300 locations worldwide. For additional information, visit roberthalf.ca/officeteam. Follow @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter and the OfficeTeam Take Note® blog at roberthalf.com/officeteam/blog for career and management advice.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected]