TORONTO — A global study by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services (HBR-AS) and presented by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts calls for a corporate culture transformation driven by the power of emotional intelligence (EI).

The study found that companies worldwide are underestimating the value of EI, and there is a growing disconnect between what executives are saying about the importance of company culture and what they are actually doing.

EI is a combination of self-awareness, self-control, empathy and social skills. It is the bedrock of deep personal relationships and fosters an environment wherein employees can innovate, solve problems and feel empowered to serve as ambassadors for their brand.

Four Seasons sponsored the HBR-AS study to elevate the discourse around corporate culture and champion the “EI Advantage” as an important driver of company culture innovation.

“Long before the term emotional intelligence was coined, Four Seasons Founder and Chairman Isadore Sharp understood that empathetic, self-aware employees would build a sustainable competitive advantage in a fiercely competitive industry,” says Christian Clerc, president, Worldwide Hotel Operations, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Change is hard, and cultural change is even harder. More than ever, customers are seeking connections with the companies who serve them, and emotionally intelligent employees are the key to delivering an authentic customer experience. For companies to succeed, they must keep pace with social change and the expectations of new generations. They must have a purpose that extends beyond financial goals, and a work environment that brings out the best in its people. In this context, prioritising emotional intelligence represents nothing less than the evolution of the modern workplace.”

Among the report’s other key findings are:

  • Employees with high EI skills are more likely to form creative teams, bring multiple perspectives to challenging issues and find innovative solutions
  • Emotionally intelligent organizations report significantly stronger customer experiences (37 per cent vs. eight per cent) and higher levels of customer loyalty (40 per cent vs. 12 per cent) and customer advocacy (31 per cent vs. eight per cent) than companies that don’t perceive the value of EI or foster its development among their employees
  • Millennials are alienated by organizations that are neither inclusive nor have a shared purpose, and organizations that don’t recognize and prioritize EI skills will have increasing difficulty attracting and retaining millennial employees

The complete report, The EI Advantage: Driving Innovation and Business Success through the Power of Emotional Intelligence,is available here.


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