Dr. Torrie Kalm, PsyD
June 22, 2023
Numerous trends in emotional intelligence (EI) at workplaces continue to shape employee skills, code of conduct, relationships, and management styles. Emotional intelligence is an individual's ability to manage and control emotions and effectively deal with people's feelings in their surroundings. One of the current trends in the workplace is the wide usage of technology in handling most tasks for efficiency and time-saving. In this regard, most employers require job seekers to be knowledgeable and skilled in information technology to help them manage complex tasks and prepare reports. Wascher et al. (2023) highlight that using mobile EEG, an IT innovation for employee performance assessment, is one of the latest trends in helping employers monitor employees' productivity. Besides using biometric machines to monitor staff attendance, most employers currently utilize online meeting platforms such as Zoom to conveniently conduct meetings with staff and stakeholders in different places. These IT-related trends help reduce operation costs and improve employees' emotional intelligence, improving productivity.
An additional EI trend emerging in the work place is the incorporation of spirituality, supporting employee performance. Mental stability is one factor that determines employees' behaviors, and as such, many employers are currently more concerned about the impact of spirituality and staff mental wellness. Jena (2022) stipulates that many studies have proved that organizational behavior is positively linked to employee spirituality and performance. However, why should employers consider spirituality in their programs? Spiritual activities such as praying together and attending religious sessions teach employees values such as kindness, patience, forgiveness, and honesty, which in the long run impacts their behavior. For instance, a selfish employee can change behavior due to spiritual teachings and become more committed by shunning negative attributes such as dishonesty. Additionally, spiritual values make employers ignite hope in pessimistic, distressed and mentally ill employees, which helps them change attitudes and gain self believe that ultimately improves their productivity.
Working in teams is another trend shaping emotional intelligence at work as an avenue to solve interpersonal and work-related conflicts. Notably, employers, employees, and other stakeholders at the workplace have different cultural and growth backgrounds, and as such, their reaction to the surrounding differs. In this regard, many employers' attention in 2023 is on encouraging their employees to work in teams so each person can positively appreciate the existing behavioral differences. Doing so boosts emotional intelligence to solve conflicts and focus on productivity. Emotional intelligence is essential in building positive workplace relationships by helping individuals solve conflicts (Kundi, Badar, Sarfraz, & Ashraf, 2022). Employers believe that professional who can control anger are in better positions to avoid disputes which strengthen workplace relationships. Workplace conflict due to misunderstanding and disagreement degrades teamwork, diverting organizational targets (Kundi et al., 2022). For instance, a staff who work in isolation is more likely to have low emotional intelligence and may become more confrontational. On the contrary, teamwork-oriented employees are accommodative and solve conflicts through compromise and collaboration.
Collective leadership is also a current trend in emotional intelligence within the workplace, assisting every stakeholder feel like part of the organization. The challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic have acted as an eye-opener to employers who realized that centralized leadership, where decisions of few are final, is rigid and less effective during a crisis, hence the need to embrace collaborative leadership (Semenets-Orlova et al., 2021). This statement means employers should involve their staff in decision-making, giving them a platform to give opinions, suggestions and new ideas to improve an organizational image. During such engagement, employers are in a position to gather brilliant ideas from employees, who can also inform of the areas of weakness that require leadership solutions. This leadership style boosts emotional intelligence at the workplace by creating mutual employer-employee relationships, thus creating a conducive working environment and increases overall organizational productivity.
Kundi, Y. M., Badar, K., Sarfraz, M., & Ashraf, N. (2022). Interpersonal conflict as a barrier to task performance: the mediating role of workplace deviance and the moderating role of emotional intelligence. International Journal of Conflict Management, (ahead-of-print).
Wascher, E., Reiser, J., Rinkenauer, G., Larrá, M., Dreger, F. A., Schneider, D., & Arnau, S. (2023). Neuroergonomics on the go: An evaluation of the potential of mobile EEG for workplace assessment and design. Human Factors, 65(1), 86-106.
Jena, L. K. (2022). Does workplace spirituality lead to raising employee performance? The role of citizenship behaviour and emotional intelligence. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 30(6), 1309-1334
Semenets-Orlova, I., Klochko, A., Shkoda, T., Marusina, O., & Tepliuk, M. (2021). Emotional intelligence as the basis for the development of organizational leadership during the covid period (educational institution case). Studies of Applied Economics, 39(5).