The New Normal: How Emotional Intelligence is Key to Corporate Success


COVID-19 has proven to us all that to survive in tough times, companies need to pivot and adjust quickly.

As a business leader or HR manager, you have lost control of your employees’ work environment. And your employees have lost the ability to separate their home lives from their office lives. They may be dealing with the need to juggle work meetings with caring for aging parents, learning to manage home-schooling and remote classrooms, or struggling with intense isolation and loneliness.

Many are yearning for the day they can return to the office, but that may not be a reality. Numerous companies have already committed to permanently working from home, relying on technology to keep them connected to their teams and the customers.  This sudden shift to remote work as the norm rather than exception creates an entirely new set of challenges for HR departments and leaders:

  • How do you keep your employees connected to their teams and fulfilled by their jobs when they are isolated at home?
  • How do you ensure that the pandemic doesn’t impact job performance?
  • How do you mentor and coach new employees? Or identify those that may be struggling and take action to avoid a future crisis?

Emotional Intelligence, The Necessary Leadership Skill For The Coming Decade

In these times of uncertainty, stress, and job insecurity, Emotional Intelligence – the ability to connect with people on an emotional level – is crucial to maintaining strong and resilient teams. Even before COVID-19, the World Economic Forum had ranked Emotional Intelligence as one of the top ten skills required to succeed. 

Now, months into the new normal, EI has become “the” top skill required to succeed post-pandemic. The companies who survive will be those that not only understand the importance of Emotional Intelligence, but can recruit and develop teams who excel at using this crucial skill in their work.

Managing Your Remote Workforce Using Emotional Intelligence

You’re managing the most diverse workforce ever seen in history, but they all share three core needs to remain strong and resilient performers: Connection, Appreciation and Fulfillment. But how do you deliver on these very personal requirements when your teams never meet face to face?

Ensuring that all avenues of communication are open and available is crucial to meeting these three critical needs today. When you get to know your workforce at an emotional level, you are able to:

  • Make it easy for staff to stay connected to their coworkers and support systems.
  • Make sure people feel recognized for their efforts.
  • Ensure your team members enjoy their work, even under these new circumstances.

Never has it been more important to engage with your staff in ways that work for them.  It is important to both have patience and compassion for those that are struggling, and at the same time hold them accountable to get the work done in the most productive way possible for them, and within a reasonable timeline.

The companies that foster balanced Emotional Intelligence skills as a foundational part of their culture are those that will be able to thrive in a future that demands ever-increasing levels of innovation and agility. Finding and retaining staff that balance empathy for others with strong interpersonal skills that can emotionally manage these difficult and stressful times is crucial to a company succeeding for the next several years.

Over at EI Experience, we specialize in helping executives and management teams build a culture of Emotional Intelligence. We’ve developed a deep library of resources – many of which can be downloaded free on our website – to help you develop stronger Emotional Intelligence skills across your organization.

Join me at the Togetherness Virtual Symposium on October 2nd at 9:10 AM – 10:10 AM for my keynote presentation – Engaging Employees Virtually Using Emotional Intelligence for specific strategies that HR managers and executives can implement right away to engage remote teams. 



Since launching EI Experience in 2017, Carolyn Stern has helped more than 7,000 business leaders leverage their emotional intelligence skills to connect with their diverse workforce and develop high-performing, committed and collaborative teams. An Emotional Intelligence and leadership development expert, Carolyn combines real-world experience as both a business leader with more than two decades as a trainer and educator. As a professor with the School of Business at Capilano University, Carolyn pioneered the integration of Emotional Intelligence into Capilano’s business curriculum, making it one of only a few post-secondary institutions in the world to do so, following Yale’s Centre for Emotional Intelligence.  EI Experience provides executive leadership development and emotional intelligence training for all management levels and businesses of all sizes and scope.

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