Four Seasons highlights importance of emotional intelligence through study

Companies that ignore emotional intelligence will face challenges, says new global study by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services

Four seasons hotels and resorts, Emotional intelligence, Human resources

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).

While EI is essential for empowered, engaged and energetic corporate cultures, the study outlined a troubling trend whereby companies worldwide are underestimating the value of EI. There is also, reportedly, a growing disconnect between what executives are saying about the importance of company culture and what they are actually doing.

Four Seasons has always highlighted the importance of EI and has been recognised as an employer of choice, including having been named a “Great Place to Work Legend”. Inspired by this, Four Seasons sponsored the HBR-AS study to continue the conversation around corporate culture and champion the “EI Advantage” as an important driver of company culture innovation.

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“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,” said Christian Clerc, president, worldwide hotel operations, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, in a statement.

He added: "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."

The study takes a close look at EI in the workplace to better understand the gap between theory and practice, as well as the reasons why some organisations embrace EI skills and why others dismiss it as a 'soft skill'.

HBR-AS managing director Alex Clemente said in a statement: "This research shows that many companies struggle to champion EI and reap the myriad benefits for their organisations – including happier, motivated, and effective employees. Even more, employers wanting to create the workplace of the future – the one that millennials are demanding – must understand that ignoring EI not only has grave impact on their human capital, but ultimately on their future success."

The study presents ample evidence to illustrate that emotionally intelligent companies report higher levels of productivity and employee engagement than those that ignore EI. According to the survey, sidelining EI has significant consequences, including low productivity, lukewarm innovation and an uninspired workforce.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts currently operates 115 hotels and resorts, and 43 residential properties, with more than 50 projects under planning or development. For the 22nd consecutive year, the operator has been named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for List.

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