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We all know what intelligence is—the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills, measured as IQ (intelligence quotient). But what about emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence was coined in the 1960s by Peter Salvoes and John D. Mayer to indicate self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social skills—all valuable attributes to have in any company. The term was popularized in the 1995 book by Daniel Goleman titled “Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ.” Emotional intelligence is also referred to as someone’s EQ (emotional quotient).

Hiring for both types of intelligence

Of course, decision makers will screen prospective employees for characteristics such as education, job experience and performance, signs of logical thinking (and perhaps the ability to think on one’s feet in response to interview questions). Imagine finding a candidate who not only has all the qualifications for a position but also has strong emotional intelligence? Everyone at work benefits from this individual’s interpersonal skills, for many reasons.

Here are some ways emotionally intelligent employees can benefit your company, and why you should look for strong EQ in job candidates—and develop those employees who display these characteristics.

  • Better communication and interpersonal skills People with higher EQ communicate well with their team members. They are open to others’ ideas, don’t feel the need to control the meeting, and value their coworkers’ input. They are respectful of others’ contributions, and are strong team players and collaborators. They tune into other people, reading their body language and facial expressions, and “get them.” High EQ people also show compassion for others. These attributes all contribute to a happy team with good morale.

BONUS TIP #1 to boost morale and team-building: Be sure to stock your break room with better-for-you snacks that your employees prefer, and great coffee, including locally roasted beans that offers a coffeehouse experience. Create a welcoming environment there—or in several small break areas designed for the post-COVID office—where coworkers can enjoy each other’s company and share positive moments and conversations over a great cup of coffee.

  • Adaptability to change Change is hard and many employees like things to stay at status quo, especially now as they return to the office and seek familiarity. However, you will likely be making adjustments to how your teams work and when. Employees with high emotional intelligence adjust and embrace change with relative ease. This can have a positive effect on their coworkers to “go with the flow.”
  • Take constructive feedback well Emotionally intelligent people are generally more self-aware, so they know their strengths and weaknesses. This, coupled with their openness to ideas and input from others, enables them to take feedback and apply it in a positive way to improve and grow. This in turn enhances productivity and workplace satisfaction. In addition, the greater self-control that people with a high EQ possess enables them to handle stressful situations that arise. They navigate difficult conversations with an open mind and an even keel—keeping clients, coworkers, and bosses calm(er) as well.

BONUS TIP #2 to cultivate workplace satisfaction: As employees return to your location, they want to feel that you have their safety top of mind. Bringing employees back in the post-pandemic world means showing them you care and that you are following protocols for a safe work environment. One way to do that is to install portable air purifiers throughout the office that sanitize the air as well as surfaces, inactivating harmful pathogens and allergens efficiently. Your visitors will be pleased, too!

  • Higher productivity – Employees who have higher self-awareness tend to also manage their time relatively well, which in turn makes them more productive. They know what’s expected of them, they respect deadlines, and don’t need to be micromanaged. They are team players who naturally work towards a goal ( personal or professional).. Because they handle change well, they persevere in the face of obstacles and work hard for the benefit of knowing they completed the job successfully.

BONUS TIP #3 to boost workplace productivity: Installing a micro marketplace at your location provides employees with delicious, fresh grab-and-go meals, snacks and beverages without having to go out. Food, drinks, and helpful supplies are always stocked and ready for your team, fueling a positive corporate culture.

  • Leadership potential – Strong leaders are good communicators who appreciate and foster productivity, empathize with and respect their employees, encourage employee satisfaction, and develop cohesive and happy teams. Sound like familiar traits? These are generally individuals with high emotional intelligence. They understand human nature and what makes their people tick—and want to motivate them to do their best. They are also the people who make a big impact on corporate culture. These are your future leaders. Just being there improves your workplace environment.

BONUS TIP #4 to enhance your workplace: Bring convenience and touchless technology to your location with app-driven beverage dispensers. Your team can enjoy their favorite barista-style coffee drinks (as well as still or sparkling water, and juices) with remote ordering on mobile devices. Quick, convenient, no-touch coffee and more, ready to hydrate and energize with a click!

Recognizing people with high emotional intelligence and the benefits they bring to your team will help you create a strong, positive corporate culture, with employees who are engaged and happy to be back at the office. Here’s our final bonus tip: Implement innovative break room solutions, in-office catering, great coffee and more, to support your team. At Corporate Essentials, we’ve been helping companies throughout New Jersey and NYC fuel happy workplaces for 25 years. Contact us to find out how we can help you reimagine your breakroom, brew better coffee, and keep your team safe at (973) 402-1088.

Reimagine Your Break Room

Judson Kleinman

About Judson Kleinman

As the founder and CEO of Corporate Essentials, Judson set out with every intention of bringing a new meaning to the words "office culture". As leaders in the industry, his company constantly sets the bar by investing in, and improving their product offerings, technology, people and training. 20 years and 1500 clients later, Judson can proudly say that Corporate Essentials continues to positively fuel culture and allow over 150,000 employees to work happy.