The cost of low Emotional Intelligence in the workplace

Emotional Intelligence has a huge impact on the bottom-line for organisations from a financial, capability and cultural perspective.

Data from the private sector construction industry in Australia shows the following:

  • 25.6% turnover rate every 12 months.
  • Cost to replace an employee: $13,935.
  • In a large firm of 40,000 full-time employees, the difference between 15% and 25% turnover rate is $50 Million annually.
    Employee Policy Foundation and Bureau of Labor Statistics, Australia.

Employers are recognising the impact emotional intelligence has on their business, which is reflected in who they hire.

  • 71% of employers say they value Emotional Intelligence over IQ.
    CareerBuilder Survey, 2011.
  • 59% of hiring managers said they wouldn’t employ someone with high IQ and low EI. CareerBuilder Survey, 2011.

Consider also those of you working in flexible spaces, or Innovative Learning Environments. Often time and expense is put into the building and furniture (hardware), but not often into how people will work together collaboratively in these spaces. This can lead to complaints, passive-aggressive behaviour and one person doing most of the work. If we want people to work collaboratively in these spaces, we need to invest in their ‘software’ – emotional intelligence.

Change is also a constant in this modern world. For some, it is welcomed, yet for others it is vehemently resisted. Unpacking and understanding how people operate their emotional ‘software’, then responding appropriately is an important part of taking people along on the change journey. 

First however, we need to understand where they are in relation to their emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is like a broadband connection. Level 1 in the diagram above is like having dial-up; the connection between emotions and rational thought is very slow and often doesn’t connect, especially when overloaded. This may result in outbursts, self-doubt, seclusion, negative thinking,  rigid thinking, or a lack of empathy.

At Level 2 we might be on regular broadband; the connection is mostly reliable, and has a quicker response-time than dial-up.  This may be seen as a momentary flux in composure and is lesser in its severity and occurrence than Level 1.

At Level 3, we are on Ultra-fast Broadband; the connection between emotions and rational thought occur instantly. There is a subconscious choice as to how one reacts to the emotions which leads to a calmer, more mindful way of being and working.

The good news is that the connection between emotions and rational thought can be strengthened over time. It does however require deliberate and mindful actions on a daily basis.

If you are interested in learning how you might do this either through collective staff learning, individual coaching or specialised Emotional Intelligence assessments contact me here to discuss your needs.
You can also subscribe to my mailing list to receive more information and tips on developing your own and others emotional intelligence.


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