Why Does Emotional Intelligence Matter at Work?

Mar 12, 2019

Emotional Intelligence Matters at Work

Emotional Intelligence, also known as Emotional Intelligence Quotient or EQ, is defined as recognizing, understanding, and managing one’s emotions and the influence those emotions have on others. Why should we care if our employees understand their emotions on the job? To put it directly, the single reason why one employee is a higher performer than the other can all boil down to their emotional intelligence.

Three Key Reasons Emotional Intelligence Matters at Work

  1. Communication
  2. Trust
  3. Results & Outcomes 

All three of these elements play a major role in the success or failure of your team, ultimately affecting your bottom line. To get the results and outcomes you want, you need to hire for trust and communication. 


Communication is a key component in relationship building, both positive and negative relationships. Employees and managers with high emotional intelligence are better able to connect and build relationships with their co-workers, clients, and leaders. They can see the uniqueness in people and are aware of how their actions and words affect those around them. Employees with low emotional intelligence have little awareness of how they affect those around them which leads to poor or no communication and usually damages any chance of a relationship.


The first step in any relationship is communication. As those channels are developed, trust is built whereas in the case of poor communication, trust is damaged. If your team cannot trust each other or the people they work for, little progress is made. The lack of trust will result in low employee engagement and satisfaction rates, eventually leading to turnover. 

Results & Outcomes

Communication and trust are behaviors that commonly lead to positive results and outcomes. Although it seems straightforward enough, all it takes is one bad hire to undo all the hard work you’ve put in to building a team based on a foundation of trust and communication. It takes a commitment from the entire leadership team to hold everyone accountable and consistently hire to these core competencies.

Behaviors Lead to Results & Outcomes

Let’s discuss the case of a client we recently worked with. Although the company had a hiring process in place, a series of events took place where trust and communication were broken. While the HR team was trying to recruit and fill an open position, the hiring manager decided to break process and hired someone without communicating with HR. Meanwhile, the HR team had begun to interview candidates for the role. Once they found someone they were ready to hire, they discovered the role had already been filled and had to contact the candidate and explain the situation. The result was a very negative outcome. Not only did this lack of communication break trust between the HR team and the hiring manager, it also created inefficiencies and resulted in bad brand exposure for the company. All of this could have been avoided simply by communicating.

How to Hire for Emotional Intelligence

If you want to hire for communication and trust, you need to infuse EQ into your culture. The easiest way to do this is to determine which competencies are important to the culture you want to build and then consistently hire to those competencies.

The ZERORISK Hiring System measures 8 emotional intelligence competencies and allows you to quickly compare the candidate to position benchmarks to determine if the candidate is a good fit for the role. Let us help you measure emotional intelligence with the click of a button. Contact us today.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

© 2004-2019 ZERORISK HR, Inc. All rights reserved.


Social Media