- People working in the arts, entertainment and recreation industries possess the highest emotional intelligence, or EQ, according to new research from Paychex. The technology; hotel, food services and hospitality; finance and insurance; education and science industries fell in the middle range of EQ-ranked industries. The construction industry fell to the bottom of the list. Respondents with high EQs said they valued positivity, confidence, perseverance, creativity and innovation.
- Surveying more than 1,000 workers, Paychex found that 17% of women and 20% of men overestimate their abilities and have below average EQs. About 30% of women and men have below average EQs and know it. Around 40% of women and 36% of men are aware they have above-average EQs. Thirteen percent of women and 10% of men have high EQs but weren't aware of that, the survey found.
- Of those who scored in the 90th EQ percentile, the majority — more than 45% — revealed they were working in lower-wage jobs, earning $35,000.00 or less annually.
As the digital disruption transforms the workplace, employees who have strong levels of emotional intelligence may find themselves highly valued. After all, soft skills, many of which require or are fueled by emotional intelligence, are already highly prized by employers. And while many believe these traits are inherent, others suggest you can train employees to develop their EQs.
Some have said they believe that emotional intelligence may be the key to closing the skills gap. Many workers who score high on EQ testing show strong leadership skills, high levels of creativity and curiosity that may translate into self-guided learning. The ability to communicate effectively and inspire others could place these workers in higher level roles that no automated process could replace. But as this study notes, workers with high EQs tend to be paid in the lower quartiles — meaning employers may need to consider proper compensation when crafting their plans for the future workforce.