Social and Emotional Intelligence: A Leader's Impact on Culture, Retention, and the Bottom-Line

Clint Tripodi, Chief Operating Officer

Craford Benefit Consultants

Much has been written in the past 20 years on a leader’s emotional quotient (EQ). We have the tools to give our leaders the edge, but do they really know how mastery can impact their company’s bottom-line?

Let’s just take one scenario as an example. For those keeping an eye on it, voluntary employee attrition has been on the rise for the past five years. The average company attrition across all industries in 2015 was 16.6% with the hospitality industry is leading the pack at 25.9%. Why the increase? A more robust economy will drive above normal turnover for those seeking better opportunities, but antiquated HR processes, the mentality that money is the driving motivator, multi-generational shifts, and an acceptance of attrition and disregard of on-boarding practices amplify the problem.

If you accept the math behind the cost of turnover, then you can predict that it will cost an employer 30-50% to replace an entry-level employee, 150% to replace a mid-level employee, and 400% to replace a high-level or highly specialized employee. So, it can cost an employer upwards of $1,500,000 just to replace 12 employees. Now imagine an employer with 250 employees and a 20% turnover rate. Wow, the numbers get big in a hurry.

Of course, there are many reasons why employees leave companies. But the age old saying, “Employees leave bosses, not companies” still rings true. In fact, many surveys will report that 73% of employees leave based on a negative relationship with their direct leader. This tops salary, recognition, culture, challenge, autonomy, and many others reasons why employees resign.

If the relationship between a leader and their colleague tops the list, then why not give our leaders the emotional tools to strengthen this bond? In the past, we assumed a high IQ was the key to success. Now we embrace a leader’s emotional quotient as a better predictor of leadership success. In fact, many studies have proven that the higher a leader is in an organization, the more they need to possess EQ. It is now apparent, at least to me, that the present state of leadership is not contingent on ‘what’ and ‘how’ a leader does their job, but ‘who’ the leader is. The ‘who’ is within each leader and I am convinced through my work with social and emotional learning, that our leaders naturally possess emotional tools, but they have been suppressed over the years as we’ve  been conditioned to act a certain way and thus have lost our authenticity.

If we can develop leaders to increase their relationships with employees, then this will naturally enhance the work culture of an organization. Employee satisfaction has a direct impact on the productivity of an organization.

Progressive employers are seeking to get more out of their leaders. Sending them back to training for the basics are good, but it is not enough. Companies truly looking to seek a competitive edge are now looking within their leaders to bring out the best they can be as a human being. I admire the work by these companies because they are on the cutting edge of developing emotional mastery within their leaders, enhancing their culture, stemming the tide of attrition, and directly contributing to the bottom-line.

Are you ready to bring out the best in your leaders? The human capital staff at Craford Benefit Consultants can help you train your leaders in this exciting new area of Leadership Intelligence. Call us today or simply send us an email for a free consultation. We look forward to speaking with you soon.  


About the author:

Clint Tripodi possesses 30 years of experience providing Human Resources and Operations support for global high technology companies. He has served as Vice President of Human Resources for companies such as Hitachi Data Systems, nCUBE Corporation, Pacific Broadband Communications and Entera. In these roles, Clint focused on liquidity events, mergers and acquisitions, human resources strategies, internal communications and community relations programs. Clint serves in an advisory capacity at the board level for several for-profit and not-for-profit firms. Clint has consulted with over 650 companies in the areas of Talent Acquisition, Performance Management, Leadership Development, and Strategic Planning. Clint holds an MBA in Human Resources and has earned certificates in Strategic Planning from Harvard Business School and the University of Michigan. Clint has been certified in the use of visual graphic tools and advanced facilitation from the Grove Consultants, International.