Emotional intelligence is crucial to creating a sustainable engagement inside a company, balancing mental, sentimental and energetic effort that workers have to put every day. A concept that goes far beyond happiness at work and helps to prevent the risk of burnout.
“Happy, but no engaged?” this is the title of the IFMA FM Day 2018’s conference about the use of emotional intelligence in the working environment.
What does “support the emotional intelligence” mean? Lay emphasis on soft skills, create an environment that allows people to express their feelings and use an experience design approach.
Engagement and disengagement.
The “energetic engagement”, namely how much extra-energy an employee is willing to put into his job, is a key factor for a company, that goes far beyond the concept of “being happy in our workplace”.
Alessandra Mazzei, the founder of the Working Group Employee Communication (OERC) at the IULM University of Milan, has shown the results of their research. Engagement is boosted by inclusive relationships with colleagues, a fair organizational justice and a management that make people feel valued.
Also, other everyday practices are crucial, such as informal meetings with the top management, smart working, diversity management, as well as cleanliness of the space and the quality of the lighting and heating system.
Instead, inconsistency between what a company says and what it is done, managers’ arrogance, bureaucracy and excessive focus on mistakes are the main factors determining disengagement.
What does fostering emotional intelligence mean?
Alexis Lerouge, Sodexo Facility Manager, suggested to work on three aspects:
– Valuing soft skills, as team work, conflict management, self-awareness, and self-management.
– Designing an environment for emotional intelligence, considering aspects as fun, sense of belonging and prestige.
– Using an experience design, starting from the everyday movement e behavior and values of the employees ( but “also the values that the company wants to express throughout the space”, as Lorenzo Maresca, Sedus country manager, underlines).
What we perceived is better than reality.
“Neurosciences demonstrates that Facility Managers have to deal with emotions”, Massimiliano Ghini, MgmtLab director, said. “A Facility Manager has to “carry sparks” inside his working environment”.
So, space becomes an accelerator for the change. “Every company’s challenge is to make different generations work together, in an informal and casual way: we call this crossroads”, Lorenzo Maresca concludes.
“Space must reflect the values that a company wants to transmit. Hybrid spaces are the ideal setting for innovation. Eventually, in Italy we lack a new leadership culture: that’s why in Sedus we have developed the concept of leadershift”.
Text by Gabriele Masi.
Pictures by Alessandra Mazzei and Lorenzo Maresca.