Fulfilled employees are higher performers and are more likely to work at the same company for the long term. These are good things for business owners, especially given the current labor market and employers’ struggles to retain and attract employees at all levels.

Research reveals that employees and employers alike increase their sense of fulfillment when they discover their life purpose. And, fortunately, employers have the power to invest in their employees to help them along the path to achieving fulfillment in their work, resulting in better outcomes for both employers and the people who work for them.

What is Employee Fulfillment?

Employees who are fulfilled know their purpose and how their purpose aligns with the work they do. They gain a greater sense of satisfaction from their careers that goes beyond simply earning a paycheck, because they understand the true value of their contributions. 

Employees may find fulfillment if their contributions have a positive impact on the organization they work for, especially if the values of that organization align with their personal values. Or they may find fulfillment if their contributions have a positive impact on their surrounding community or another community they care about.

Contrary to popular belief, the 2019 Workforce Purpose Index (linked above) reveals that employees care more about fulfillment than they do about engagement. Engagement may mean that employees are interested in and challenged by their work, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re fulfilled by it. Fulfillment, on the other hand, means that employees understand the difference they’re making and can see how their work is helping them achieve larger goals.

Although less than half of survey respondents reported feeling fulfilled in their work, nearly three-quarters believe finding fulfillment is possible. They just need the right leadership to cultivate employee fulfillment at work. Employers who care about and spend time developing employee fulfillment are demonstrating the emotional intelligence of leadership

What Is Emotional Intelligence? 

Emotional intelligence is one’s ability to perceive and manage their own emotions and the emotions of others. Emotional intelligence may also include one’s ability to fully understand and channel their emotions in appropriate ways. The four domains of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management

Emotionally intelligent people think before they react. They’re aware that emotions are both powerful and temporary, and their awareness of emotions helps them understand the reactions of themselves and others on a deeper level.

Because of this, emotionally intelligent people are often more empathetic individuals. They can imagine how they would react if they were in another person’s shoes and use that information to respond to emotional situations appropriately. Some examples of strong emotional intelligence include the ability to:

  • Communicate feelings calmly
  • Accept feedback and criticism
  • Accept responsibility for one’s actions 
  • Listen to and understand the needs of others
  • Take others’ needs and feelings into account when solving problems
  • Implement and maintain appropriate boundaries with others
  • Reserve judgment of others’ choices and actions

For those who lead and manage people in an organization, emotional intelligence traits like the ones listed above are especially important to cultivate.

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership

All leaders are in the business of managing people, but great leaders are in the business of inspiring people. 

Leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Malala Yousafzai, Indra Nooyi, and Oprah Winfrey have used their emotional intelligence to connect with and understand others. Their emotional intelligence has empowered them to have immense positive impacts culturally, philanthropically, socially, governmentally, and of course, in business.

Emotionally intelligent leaders recognize the human feelings and emotions of those they are leading. They manage their own emotions so they can act rationally and cognitively in the face of conflict. They also listen to and understand the emotions of the people around them. 

Emotionally intelligent business owners know that investing in their employees’ well-being is the best way to achieve desired growth and financial outcomes. Ineffective leaders may have the technical knowledge and skills to exceed at other aspects of their job. But a lack of emotional intelligence prevents them from motivating their teams to excellence.

Why Emotionally Intelligent Leaders Should Cultivate Employees’ Purpose-Driven Fulfillment

Only 1% of people who feel fulfilled in their overall life report being unfulfilled at work. This statistic indicates that workplace or career fulfillment is essential to most people’s broad sense of fulfillment in their life. If your employees are not fulfilled, they’re not operating at their best.

Emotionally intelligent leaders recognize that their employees have drives, needs, fears, and stresses outside the workplace. They treat their employees as whole people and know that career fulfillment is a crucial component of a person’s life fulfillment. Leaders also recognize that employees’ emotions are a core factor in their daily well-being, so they include employees’ emotional needs in their decision-making.

Additionally, emotionally intelligent leaders know they can empower their employees to cultivate emotional intelligence and awareness of their individual purpose. Emotionally intelligent employees are more in tune with their life purpose, and employees who are in tune with their life purpose have more emotional intelligence.

It’s easy to see why a team of emotionally intelligent people is more effective than a team whose members do not have high emotional intelligence. A team with high numbers of emotionally intelligent people is more likely to develop ideas and solutions that benefit all involved. 

Teams with emotionally intelligent people are also more likely to manage conflict calmly and efficiently on their own. When team members can express themselves openly and trust they will be listened to, everyone benefits.

How Can You Improve Emotional Intelligence?

Just like any other skill, emotional intelligence can be studied, learned, and practiced. You just have to put in the time and the work. As with most new endeavors, we learn most effectively when we develop insight regarding our current knowledge level. 

You can start developing emotional intelligence by becoming more self-aware and recognizing the emotions you’re feeling and expressing (or not expressing). You can simply pay more attention to how you react in daily encounters, or you can take an emotional intelligence test to see how your emotional intelligence is currently scored.

From there, you have more power to manage and change your emotional responses, both internally and externally. Learning to manage emotions can be challenging, so you need to create a strategy to put your new insights into practice. Some people prefer to journal privately about their emotions and reactions, while others benefit from guided courses, workshops, or assessment journeys like the proprietary software at Go Beyond.

Help Your Employees Find Purpose and Fulfillment With Go Beyond

At Go Beyond, we know that emotionally intelligent leaders are more likely to enjoy a healthy organization and workplace environment to benefit all involved. Instead of focusing solely on customer satisfaction, emotionally intelligent leaders focus on employee satisfaction and fulfillment first. When your employees feel fulfilled, customer satisfaction will naturally follow. 

We’re in the business of helping leaders of organizations cultivate emotional intelligence and use their emotional intelligence skills to the benefit of their organizations. Our proprietary software can help you discover your purpose, and you can use it to help your employees find their purpose as well. To see if we can help you, click here to get in touch with us today.

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