The idea and perception of effective management has changed over time. While previous decades focused on producing strong results for the company by keeping employees in line and underfoot, there is currently more of an interest in developing employees through positive encouragement and support. Building a collaborative and inclusive work culture allowing employees to thrive, stay engaged and feel happy needs emotional intelligence from managers. This crucial quotient refers to the ability to recognize the emotions in oneself and others and make decisions with that reality in mind. Here is what that looks like in the workplace and how to achieve it.
Actively communicating with and listening to employees is key to maintaining a healthy work environment. Make sure that everyone is on the same page and knows what they are doing and why, so that no one feels lost or unengaged, both of which are indicators of dissatisfied employees. Ensure that employees also feel heard and safe to express themselves when there are obstacles to their success. Provide constant, constructive feedback and be willing to accept feedback as well.
Strong Conflict Resolution
When problems come up, focus on finding solutions that are fair for all and can account for people’s various emotions and opinions. Acknowledge that people will feel strongly about certain issues, so allow them to express themselves. However, be wary of letting yourself be completely swayed by their emotions. Consider all angles of the problem to come to a measured and suitable solution. Keep a clear head and carefully define the steps toward fixing the problem, slowly moving toward resolution.
Awareness of Own and Others’ Emotions
Emotional intelligence relies heavily on the ability to be aware of the emotions of all parties and to react appropriately to different situations. Do not try to avoid or ignore the emotional reality of people’s lives. Show empathy when employees undergo ups and downs in life and make reasonable accommodations for situations beyond anyone’s control, like illnesses or accidents. Show care and consideration to employees at a human level.
Collaboration and Inclusion
Fostering a sense of collaboration and inclusion means that everyone feels encouraged and comfortable giving their ideas, feedback, and criticism in group projects. Differences in presentation or opinion is still acceptable but the foundation of all interactions should be one of respect and openness. Set an example by making space and time for everyone to contribute during discussions and meetings.
Lastly, active mentorship with and investment in employees who are still growing their skillset (which should include everyone from the intern to the CEO) will help them stay committed to their day-to-day role and feel safe learning and trying new things. With one-on-one interactions, managers and employees can build a work culture that is supportive and where everyone can perform their best, continue to grow, and improve over time.
Rose Ho | Staff Writer