Does EQ outweigh IQ when it comes to success in the workplace?

B2B Editor24 February 2017

Does EQ outweigh IQ when it comes to success in the workplace?

Does EQ outweigh IQ when it comes to success in the workplace? Nearly all human resources (HR) managers (95 percent) and workers (99 percent) 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.

“The value of emotional intelligence in the workplace shouldn’t be underestimated — it’s vital to companies and teams,” said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. “When organizations take EQ into consideration when hiring and also help existing staff improve in this area, the result is more adaptable, collaborative and empathetic employees.”

Additional findings from the research:

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

Britton added, “There’s more to emotional intelligence than just keeping your emotions in check. It’s equally important to focus on what others are saying with their words and nonverbal cues and identify with their feelings to build effective working relationships.”

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.

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