Emotional Intelligence: The Basis for Attracting and Retaining Talent
By Mercedes García Quintas
August 24, 2023 | 2-minute read
Marketing Management and Leadership Management of Individual Personnel Firm Organizational Structure and Dynamics Content Type Article
A global trend in human resources emphasizes improving workplace experiences through professional development based on emotional intelligence. This approach offers benefits candidates have come to expect over the years.
Generating a positive brand image through the lawyers themselves is effective for attracting and retaining top talent. It’s no coincidence that, in the selection process for partners and legal directors, a track record of team management, leadership and sector references (i.e., how they have performed and developed their team at previous firms or companies) play an important role for the head hunter and the human resources (HR) departments.
In the vast majority of cases, absenteeism and turnover result in financial losses, operational slowdowns and disharmony in service delivery. It’s important for HR departments and managers to be aware that salary increases are only one of the reasons talent may seek a job change — and often not the most important. There is a great deal of work to be done to professionally and stably integrate emotional intelligence in corporate HR policies, which can help decision makers understand and detect issues in individuals and teams, and establish an employee engagement strategy that values staff as individuals and considers their well-being in a personalized, yet sustainable, way.
COVID-19 lockdowns made prevalent remote work, flexible hours, family reconciliation, commitments to physical and mental well-being, autonomy, comprehensive career plans, recognition, professional growth and personal development, among many other factors. These elements are now formally added to job offers, creating a type of non-financial “emotional” salary now considered to be the most solid pillar of an employer branding strategy.
During the selection process, potential candidates often consider emotional salary alongside financial compensation. Although these engagement practices have begun to make their way into organizations, it is often in a non-strategic way due to the difficulty of calculating the return on investment (ROI) for the organization — despite key performance indicators (KPIs) pointing to improvements in employee performance.
Developing emotional intelligence creates an environment that optimizes performance, communication and teamwork. It also helps prevent and reduce conflicts by developing an organizational mentality where a range of ideas and emotions are valid.
Organizations can implement the following practices to enhance employee engagement and foster emotional investment in firm projects:
- Understanding how emotions and time management in the office can contribute to professional skills.
- Knowing how to recognize the influence of emotions on employee performance, and aligning them with the company's strategy.
- Incorporating emotional aspects into talent management in an objective and quantifiable way.
- Valuing and giving recognition to employees’ skills to retain talent.
The legal sector is a highly committed work environment, often made up of highly qualified people with a strong dedication to their careers. The management of HR policies from an emotional intelligence perspective is key to successfully attracting and retaining talent in our modern workspace.