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How Emotionally Intelligent Leadership Can Boost Your Bottom Line

Published 1st November 2016 by Melissa Farrington
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Leadership is about so much more than just steering the ship.

From empowering your people to helping employees strike the right work-life balance, forward-thinking companies are taking a more emotionally intelligent approach to leadership and reaping the rewards.

In today’s workplace, employees are looking for leaders with emotional intelligence – who understand them and help them achieve their potential. Get it right and you’ll drive up productivity, profitability and employee engagement.

So what does emotionally intelligent leadership look like and how do you do it?

Empowering employees at Glasgow Housing Association

"If you want people to perform, you can't do it by ordering them," says Russell Amerasekera, Empathy in Leadership Trainer. "It's about guiding, persuading and influencing." Emotionally intelligent leadership really hinges on this point – as Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) recently learnt. "With Investors in People, we developed a new leadership style – of coaching and support, not directing and controlling," says Dorothy Christie, Organisational Development Manager at GHA. "The main thrust of our development programme was to help our leaders understand the impact they had on others – particularly their own team."

GHA’s ‘Think Yes’ initiative encouraged leaders to empower team members, by letting them make their own call on important day-to-day decisions. By giving employees the power to take responsibility and training leaders to support them, GHA showed how much they valued employees’ decisions, which saw employee engagement rocket to 87% and customer satisfaction shoot up to 90%.


The biggest asset your organisation has is its people.
The biggest asset your people have is their health and wellbeing.

Enhancing work-life balance at City of Edinburgh Council

Emotionally intelligent leadership isn’t just about creating a better 9-5. It’s about enhancing organisational capability and resilience by helping employees strike a positive balance between work, life and family.

So how does this look in practice? City of Edinburgh Council (CoEC) introduced a Wellbeing Café in its offices, providing everything from stop-smoking services to support with finances, walking clubs to discount gym membership. And the results speak for themselves; since the introduction of the café, CoEC has seen a 65% drop in grievances, 27% reduction in disciplinaries, and 23% fall in absence rates over a three-year period.

Value your biggest asset – your people

The biggest asset your organisation has is its people. The biggest asset your people have is their health and wellbeing. So it makes good business sense for you to look after it. Happy, healthy employees are more likely to be present, motivated and productive. They are also more likely to be flexible and more likely to be prepared to commit to change.