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What’s the hidden cost of low emotional intelligence in your organisation?

This is a metric that many leaders overlook, missing the vital fact that employee engagement is the life blood of any organisation, and engagement is an emotional experience.

Leaders at senior levels are often insulated from the hard truths, unsure as to why people are leaving their company. They don’t hear the leaving comments, “I’m leaving because you’ve let toxic people pollute pockets of this business and I can’t stand another day working here!”

The truth is that it only takes one toxic manager to significantly impact employee engagement.

Shockingly, according to Gallup, only 21% of the global workforce are now feeling engaged at work. That means less than a quarter of employees feel involved, enthusiastic about their work, committed and satisfied! They’re also more likely to experience burnout, take more sick days, feel demoralised and looking for another job.

I recently asked a bunch of people why, from their perspective, the majority of folks were feeling disengaged at work.

Here’s the word cloud that was generated…

As you read this, some of the sentiments may resonate with your personal experience.

If you have an engaged workforce that are energised and passionate, and you’re competing with a company whose employees are feeling demoralised (and out there searching for another job) – well, it’s no surprise that you’re going to beat them to that sale. We read in the Six Seconds Business Case for Emotional Intelligence that a 5% increase in customer loyalty results in 25% increase in profit!

So what can we do about it?

  • Start by using a robust assessment to learn about the emotional intelligence (EQ) of your people, starting with your leaders and managers, and teams.
  • Get super clear on where your strengths are, and where the opportunities for growth are (for your leaders, managers, teams and organisation as a whole).
  • Work with an Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Executive Coach to build strategic alignment:
    • Identify who would benefit from EQ CoachingDevelop internal EQ champions and experts who will have a pivotal role in infusing EQ into your culture (and support them to do this)Co-create a series of workshops to start raising awareness and build EQ capabilityBuild EQ into your systems and processes for every stage of talent development (from selection, onboarding, role applications). Remember James Clear’s quote in his book ‘Atomic Habits’: “We don’t rise to the level of our goals. We fall to the level of our systems”Prioritise EQ as a core competency that is measured and deployed at all levels of your organisation
    • Focus on Coaching and ongoing events to keep these skills front of mind.

The answer lies in creating a culture and environment where emotions are seen are central to employee engagement, and also leveraged to a competitive advantage.

The data is very compelling:

  • Leaders who score high in EQ are 7 X as likely to have high leadership performance outcomes
  • Organisations that prioritise EQ are 27 X higher performing
  • 76% of employee engagement scores are predicted  by emotional intelligence
  • Business units with engaged workers have 23% higher compared with business units with miserable workers (Jon Clifton, Gallup CEO)

As Simon Sinek so wisely reminds us “Corporate culture matters. How management chooses to treat its people impacts everything for better or worse”.

Psychological safety is made or broken at the level of your next boss.

Don’t make the mistake of missing the hidden cost. You can do something about that manager or leader. Doing nothing will come at a heavy cost to your team and organisation.


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