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Redefining performance: Should emotional intelligence be a key metric in employee evaluation?

By Anna Naveed


Human Resources Blog Library

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When we talk performance, numbers are likely the first thing that leaps to mind. Sales figures. Client satisfaction ratings. Profit margins. But what if we’ve been looking at it all wrong?

Consider emotional intelligence. The capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Difficult to quantify, sure, but its impact is unmistakable.

Take a leaf from Google's book. Not just known for their roaring success in the tech world, they're also renowned for their unique performance evaluation approach.

As per a two-year study conducted on Google's workforce, these soft skills were identified as critical to the company's success.

A high-profile case has been the real estate behemoth, Keller Williams. By focusing on emotional intelligence in their leadership training, Keller Williams saw a 122% increase in contracts written and a 106% increase in contract volume within their first year. The company continued to see a rise in profit margins by focusing on the 'Peoplework' not paperwork strategy.

Moreover, a multi-year study at FedEx found that leaders with high emotional intelligence drove more productive teams, and the division they led generated 1.5 million more in profit than those led by leaders low in emotional intelligence.

As per a six-year study conducted by Dr. Travis Bradberry, co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, companies with leaders who have a high Emotional Intelligence quotient (EQ) outperformed their yearly earnings goals by 15-20%.

WebHR, as an innovator in the HR tech space, likely recognizes the immense value of EQ in fostering a productive and harmonious workplace. Companies leading in this realm often implement EQ principles in several ways:

  1. Recruitment and Onboarding: WebHR might prioritize EQ in its hiring process, seeking candidates who not only excel in their technical skills but also demonstrate strong emotional intelligence. During onboarding, new hires could be introduced to the company culture that values empathy, communication, and teamwork, setting the tone for their tenure.
  2. Training and Development: WebHR could offer training programs focused on developing soft skills such as active listening, empathy, and leadership. These programs help employees enhance their interpersonal skills, crucial for team collaboration and customer interactions.
  3. Performance Evaluations: Emulating Google's approach, WebHR might include EQ components in its performance evaluations. This could involve assessing employees on their ability to work within a team, manage conflict, and lead with empathy, alongside traditional performance metrics.
  4. Leadership Development: Recognizing the impact of emotionally intelligent leadership, WebHR likely encourages its managers and leaders to hone their EQ skills. This might include workshops, coaching, and feedback mechanisms designed to improve leadership effectiveness.
  5. Company Culture and Values: WebHR probably embeds EQ into its core values and company culture, promoting an environment where emotional intelligence is recognized and rewarded. This might be reflected in how teams are managed, how meetings are conducted, and how decisions are made.


By incorporating EQ at various levels, WebHR not only enhances its internal operations but also sets a standard for the HR tech industry. This approach likely contributes to stronger team dynamics, higher employee satisfaction, and ultimately, better business outcomes. Such strategies exemplify the company's commitment to not just advancing technology but also advancing the human aspects of the workplace.

These real-world examples demonstrate that a shift to incorporating Emotional Intelligence in performance evaluation is not just a fad but a proven strategy to boost both productivity and profitability. It's clear - Emotional Intelligence is more than just the latest buzzword; it's a game-changer in the field of Human Capital Management.

Imagine a workforce that excels not just in hitting targets, but in understanding and adapting to the needs of their colleagues and customers. A workforce that fosters stronger relationships, leading to improved team collaboration, and ultimately, business success.

Isn't it time we rethink our definition of performance? Embrace the unquantifiable, the human element that makes a business truly thrive. If it's not part of your evaluation process yet, consider this your wake-up call.