Does emotional intelligence matter in the accounting workplace?
The modern day encyclopaedia that is Wikipedia describes emotional intelligence as ‘the ability to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions.’
And research conducted through the decades has determined that those who are emotionally intelligent are usually empathetic, social, self aware and able to self-regulate. Critically, modern employers believe that emotionally intelligent workers tend to be more successful and more satisfied at work.
And successful accountants mean successful firms and satisfied accountants mean higher retention so it’s absolutely in the interest of your business to look to boost emotional intelligence within your accounting team.
At Public Practice Recruitment Ltd we pride ourselves in offering an emotionally intelligent service to both our clients and our candidates and over our decades of experience we’ve observed that leading by example is the very best way to boost EI within our organisation. So why not choose one or two of these top tips and see what difference they make to your firm’s success.
1. Boost your team’s emotional intelligence by showcasing your core business values and culture and encouraging a total buy in from your team.
If your staff understand the makeup of the blood that you want running through your company’s veins, they will hold that dear in everything that they do. And if you can ensure that a sense of corporate responsibility is part of those values then you’re likely to have a deeper buy in from your workers.
2. Lead by example and showcase your leadership skills when it comes to active listening.
A workforce that feels heard will feel empowered and loyal and they’ll also be encouraged to develop the same listening skills and to offer them to colleagues and clients.
3. Allow your employees to express themselves openly in the workplace.
A workforce that respects one another is one that will be nurturing its emotional intelligence. Our blog is heaving with articles that focus on diversity and inclusion and this is yet another topic upon which D&I is intrinsically linked. A culture where staff can be their true selves is one that learns to be tolerant towards all other groups and walks of life; internal, external and personal.
4. Flex wherever you can.
If you’re a workplace that allows your employees as much flexibility as possible without letting that impact the service your clients receive you’ll certainly be fostering their EI skills. The key to emotional intelligence is really that a person is able to see the way the world turns through the eyes of others so being the employer that recognises that their staff have commitments beyond their workload is a critical part of that.
Employers who refuse to consider an alternative to traditional working methods is likely to be of low emotional intelligence which in turn will foster low EI amongst employees.
5. Give employees opportunities to connect outside of work.
Twenty years ago leaders were expected to nurture teams that only connected on a professional level. But modern research shows that people who have a personal connection will work better together and are also more committed to one another’s success and values. So though a friendship with a colleague does make it harder to manage conflict which may be necessary and inevitable in the workplace, the benefits of a deeper colleague to colleague connection far outweight the cons.
So ensure that your team have plentiful opportunities to grab lunch or attend social gatherings together outside of work.
Emotional intelligence should be a key requirement in modern person specifications that accompany job descriptions when someone responds to an advert for an accountant. If your firm could benefit from support with your recruitment processes to ensure that you’re attracting the right sorts of people to give your practice the right kind of success, reach out to the experts and call Public Practice Recruitment Ltd today.
And if you’ve enjoyed this read in our leadership series why not take a look at some of the others you’ll find on our blog.