Increasingly, well-intentioned companies seek to provide better work environments for their people by providing a range of extra, healthy benefits. These might include free fruit, stress and resilience training, family BBQ events, gym membership, and so on. Given that these are highly visible and often expensive to provide, these companies should be applauded for taking the initiative. Often however these benefits are not met with increased well-being and resilience in staff, whether measured by staff satisfaction surveys, sickness absence or people leaving. This understandably causes many companies to scratch their heads and wonder what is happening.
Almost always the problem is with the culture and in particular, with managers. Managers who can create supportive, inspired teams of people and who have the emotional intelligence to regulate their own emotions and notice those of others, experience significantly fewer problems from work-stressed team members. If your manager is unapproachable, lacking insight or simply lacking the capacity or energy to support you, you will continue to struggle. In the course of that struggle, your work performance will dip, your personal happiness will suffer and, eventually, so will your mental health - unless you leave the company first. It is often said that people don't resign from companies they resign from their managers.
The cost of absenteeism due to poor mental health is said to cost UK businesses £50 billion annually (and that probably doesn't take into account the knock-on effects to colleagues and clients, and certainly the human cost to the person and their family). Happy workplaces make for better business. Making emotional intelligence one of the key selection criteria in hiring and promotion decisions, and developing EQ in managers, will do much to create happier workplaces.
If you'd like to discuss our EQ assessments, development programmes or psychometrics, do get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org.