Why Emotional Intelligence is Key in the Workplace

While employers say they value EI, a new report says many aren't reaping the benefits of an EI workforce.
By: | August 14, 2019 • 3 min read
HR tech

Emotional intelligence has mainly been seen as a positive trait in the ongoing search for talent, but a new study has found that EI may be even more important than employers previously believed. But, despite that finding, the study reports that global employers are underestimating EI’s value at their own peril.

Executed by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services and sponsored by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the study, The EI Advantage: Driving Innovation and Business Success through the Power of Emotional Intelligence, provides fuel in driving the home the importance of a corporate culture transformation based on the power of EI.


However, there is a growing disconnect between what executives are saying about the importance of company culture and what they are actually doing to improve it.

“Companies love to talk about the importance of their people and the strength of their human-centric workplace, yet many fail to promote EI among their leaders and their workforce,” says Alex Clemente, managing director of HBR-AS. Clemente adds that the research shows that many companies struggle to champion EI and reap the myriad benefits for their organizations—including happier, motivated and effective employees.

“Even more, employers wanting to create the workplace of the future—the one that millennials are demanding—must understand that ignoring EI not only has grave impacts on their human capital, but ultimately on their future success,” he says. HBR-AS defines EI as a combination of self-awareness, self-control, empathy and social skills.

Key findings from the report include:

  • The EI Advantage: Among emotionally intelligent companies (those that emphasize and promote EI), almost two-thirds (64%) strongly or somewhat agree that their organization “offers a high degree of empowerment with clear decision rights, incentives and risk tolerance.”
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