Education and experience trumped by emotional intelligence

HR managers think emotional intelligence (EI), is a more important factor in employees than job experience or education.

This is according to a survey conducted by Lee Hecht Harrison Penna, a global human capital consultancy. In the survey they found trustworthiness, flexibility, confidence and resilience are all part of EI.

All these four attributes trumped experience (13 per cent) and education levels (11 per cent). With trustworthiness being seen as the most essential at 39 per cent, flexibility at 28 per cent, confidence at 27 per cent and resilience at 27 per cent.

As well as a majority of HR managers (75 per cent) saying EI is a key factor when making decisions about promotions, salary increases and talent management. They also think that EI is most valuable when leading a team.

More than half (54 per cent) of HR managers feel that measuring EI would be a helpful inclusion in employee personal development plans.  However, 68 per cent of companies, do not have any formal way to identify, develop or leverage EI.

Only 42 per cent of employers provide training for building EI.

Burak Koyuncu PhD, workforce solutions director, Lee Hecht Harrison Penna, said:

The results of the research clearly identify that the Emotional Intelligence of employees, and managers themselves, is becoming ever more important in creating a thriving and collaborative workforce. This story has been at the heart of everything we do for some time, as our workforce transformation, leadership and career management programmed are all geared towards developing these soft skills in people at work that are so crucial to their development and productivity.

By focusing more on Emotional Intelligence and building the capabilities and skills that define it, employers can prosper from the bottom-line benefit of an engaged and high performing workforce. Encouraging employees to embrace their emotions rather than suppress them creates an environment for people to grow, which is necessary to nurture creativity, communication and leadership skills in the digital age.

This survey asked the opinion of over 500 HR managers.

Interested in growing your people? We recommend the Job Design for Good Work and Increased Productivity training day.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.