Over the past decade emotional intelligence, or EQ, has been a
hot business topic. Do your workers have a high EQ? Do they relate
well to customers? Are they passionate about work?
No one doubts that EQ is important. The trouble is, it's such a
soft topic that it's been almost impossible to quantify -- until
now. Using its vast polling power, Gallup has canvassed thousands of
companies to better understand EQ and its relationship to your
business. Let's say, for example, that you have 100 employees. If
your company is anything like the 300,000 businesses in Gallup's
worldwide database, between 50 and 60 of your people are not doing
their best work, probably because you haven't found a way to get
them excited about your goals or to make them feel that their own
needs and contributions are important. On top of that -- again, if
your company resembles those Gallup has studied -- you have 15 to 20
employees who are what Gallup would call "actively disengaged."
They're just showing up (or, frequently, not) and going through the
motions, and they might quit at any moment. So in all, 75% to 80% of
your people are achieving much less and feeling far less
enthusiastic about their work than they could be.
So what? Well, Gabriel Gonzalez-Molina, a Gallup senior scientist
says this state of affairs is more costly than you probably realize.
If all 100 of your employees were "fully engaged," meaning playing
at the top of their game and happy about it, your customers would be
70% more loyal, your turnover would drop by 70%, and your profits
would jump 40%. Follow This Path: How the World's Greatest
Organizations Drive Growth by Unleashing Human Potential
(October 2002, Warner Books, $26.95), which Gonzalez-Molina co-wrote
with Curt Coffman, aims to show you how to get there. If you read
many business books, you will instantly feel at home with the
rambling consultantese of this one. Happily the ideas are worth the
effort it takes to get past the prolixity.
Gallup's newest research found that most companies operate as if
employees and customers were completely rational. "Not so," says
Gonzalez-Molina. "We are first and foremost emotional beings. Our
highest-level goals are set by emotion, not reason." By those
lights, if you want charged-up employees and customers who love you,
you have to grab 'em by the heartstrings: "The challenge for
organizations is, How do you create emotional incentives?" he says.
One place to start: Put these 12 statements in front of each of
your employees and ask them to agree or disagree. The more agreement
you get, the more engaged -- and productive -- your people will be,
and the more your customers will want to come back.
* I know what is expected of me at work.
* I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work.
* I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
* In the past week I have been praised for doing good work.
* My supervisor or someone else at work seems to care about me as
* Someone at work encourages my development.
* My opinions seem to count.
* My company's mission makes me feel my job is important.
* I have a best friend at work.
* In the past six months someone at work has talked to me about
* I have had opportunities to learn and grow at work.
What's that you say? You gave this quiz to staff members and they
doubled over with derisive laughter? Friend, you have work to do.
Follow This Path just might help you build a stronger
company, one employee at a time.
How important is emotional intelligence in the workplace?
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you think.