Although some decision makers may scoff at the idea of measuring and regulating the emotional intelligence of their workforce, experts in the wellness industry are adamant that there is a very real connection between this form of intelligence, people’s moods and productivity at work.

Emotional intelligence or EQ is not to be likened to traditional intelligence or intelligence quotient (IQ). Rather, this form of intelligence governs how people handle themselves and how they interact with others.

Although employers have traditionally focused on the acquisition and integration of hard skills, the evolution of human capital management (HCM) and HR in business has forced decision makers to consider an individual’s ability to form part of- and contribute towards teams.

“There is a growing appreciation for the role that emotional intelligence can- and does play in the workplace. Business owners understand that a happy, satisfied employee is a productive employee and therefore an asset,” explains Martina Laurie, CEO of Hands-On Treatment.

Hands-On Treatment is an established mobile massage company based in Johannesburg. It provides on-site neck and shoulder chair massage service to the corporate sector, covering specialised labour-intensive areas such as call centres, events and exhibitions, amongst others.

The company has been a Proudly South African member since 2003 and in 2007 received the Proudly South African best SMME Service award.

Hands On Treatment has scored highly on the QSE Scorecard and is categorised as a Level 1 Contributor to Broad Based BEE, meaning that companies can claim 135% of their spend on their own scorecard. Furthermore, as a “Value-Adding Supplier”, a further 25% can be claimed back on spend.

In addition, it has been in the market for over 10 years, has medical malpractice insurance and has established credibility via its affiliation to Proudly South Africa and standards monitoring body, BPeSA Gauteng (Call Centre & Business Process Outsourcing).

The core focus of the business is to provide employees and personnel in businesses with professional on-site neck and shoulder chair massages – an offering that is done at the client’s premises, with no impact on operations or requiring any downtime. The central objective is to ensure that a client’s workforce feels energised, relaxed and therefore more attentive and productive.

Someone who lacks EQ and therefore finds it difficult in group or team situations could be a catalyst for friction, discord or discontent – which are all bad for productivity explains Laurie.

“That person then, either consciously or inadvertently, sets the ‘mood’ in the office… it is a well understood fact that an office with a heavy, negative and limiting atmosphere is not one conducive to productivity,” she explains.

Employee, employer engagement
In order to counter this scenario and achieve balance in the workplace, it is important for decision makers to take cognizance of the office and team dynamic and communicate.

”This is critically important for a business, particularly one that is still growing and maturing. Leadership has to lead by example and take a vested interest in the wellbeing of employees.

“Doing this will not only help to identify problem areas or potential problem areas, it will also cultivate an atmosphere free of tension or discontent. Leaders essentially lead by example and this is what is required to address what are the inevitable ‘people issues’ that emerge in business,” Laurie continues.