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How to Motivate Gen Z with Emotional Intelligence

How to Motivate Gen Z with Emotional Intelligence

Cultivating motivation amongst Generation Z poses significant challenges for leaders today. On top of the tribulations of the past year, Gen Zers struggle with stress tolerance, problem-solving and independence.

With Gen Zers forecasted to account for almost 20% of global labour force by 2025, leaders are scrambling to close the generational gap within their organizations. However, leaders cannot just look through their own generational lens to cultivate a culture of motivation for the Gen Z workforce. 

Instead, leaders need to recognize that different generations come with different perspectives, and more importantly, different internal motivations. Learning to navigate and understand the different motivational factors of Gen Z is vital to leveraging their unique talents and strengths.

As Bob Nelson said, “You get the best efforts from others not by lighting a fire beneath them but by lighting a fire within.” Leaders need to leverage the Gen Z workforce in different ways than they are used to. 

Although this is new turf for all generations, there is a single concept that leaders can ground their motivational practices in – emotional intelligence. 

How to Motivate Gen Z with Emotional Intelligence

Stellar leaders recognize the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. By instilling emotional intelligence into an organization’s leadership practice, the organization is able to build a bridge between the different generations, creating a foundation of understanding for everyone’s differences.   

The good news is that emotional intelligence can be learned and continuously developed. While there are many ways to introduce emotional intelligence into your workplace, we have listed the 5 most effective ways to motivate Gen Zers, beginning with 5 essential EQ competencies.   

Emotional Self Awareness: Create Meaning & Purpose

In order to foster meaning and purpose in the workplace, leaders must understand that most Gen Zers feel restless and confused when entering the workforce. Many Gen Zers have been taught to follow their passions, which leads them to look for purpose in each job they land.  

If leaders fail to create a sense of meaning and purpose in their organization, Gen Zers will treat their position more as a stepping stone to their next career journey, bringing a high risk of turnover. But, how do leaders help their Gen Z employees even realize their unique motivations? The answer is instilling a culture of emotional self-awareness.

Emotional self-awareness results from truly looking within, and identifying not just what motivation looks like, but how it feels. When leaders allow time for open, honest conversation with their Gen Z employees, that is when meaning and purpose comes to light. Leaders should ask their employees about what inspires them; in return, the employees will feel heard, while the leader gains a clearer picture on how to challenge and inspire them. 

Interpersonal Relationships: Create Trust & Connection

Allowing time to foster a meaningful connection between Gen Z employees is essential. Having a successful interpersonal relationship means building trust and connection. When leaders collaborate with Gen Z employees on a deeper level, they are more likely to open up about their truest motivations in the workplace. 

Some ways to build these relationships include: creating a mentoring environment, allowing time for collaboration, and frequent one-on-one check-ins. How to Mentor in the Workplace outlines the importance of creating a two-way street mentorship. 

By involving them in mentorship, team collaboration, and one-on-one conversations, it creates a space to focus on their individual needs, which will help motivate them to achieve their goals. 

Gen Zers thrive in an organization that fosters a coaching leadership style where they can be a part of the change through actively voicing their opinions and receiving feedback. Therefore, it is critical to tap into your interpersonal skills and understand what motivates and ignites the passion of your Gen Z employees. 

Self-Actualization: Instill a Long Term Vision 

The Gen Zers are motivated by stability and enjoyable work. When a Gen Z feels that their current position is not sustainable for their lifestyle and/or fails to fulfill their passion, it probably won’t be a long term commitment in their eyes. 

Self actualization is all about following meaningful objectives that bring joy to life. With stability and enjoyable work being the two main workplace objectives Gen Zers are looking for, leaders can have a better picture of what sort of salary and company initiatives need to be in place to satisfy the needs of the emerging workforce.

One in four of Gen Zers expect managers to clearly define the goals and expectations of the company to ensure a proper trajectory to promotion is set within the first month of employment. By outlining a vision for Gen Z employees, leaders motivate Gen Z to feel involved in the growth of the company and provide a clear direction of how they can move up.

It is crucial that organizations offer a fair salary with clear and authentic strategic objectives for how to grow within the company to further engage and motivate Gen Zers.

Social Responsibility: Make Giving Back a Priority

Not only are Gen Zers trying to fulfill their own unique ambition, they also want to contribute to a good cause in the process. The Gen Z cohort is more socially and politically progressive than other generations; they expect organizations to support their social responsibility efforts, whether it be contributing to their community or freely speaking about their beliefs. 

It is vital that leaders allow time and space for Gen Zers to take part in community involvement. Whether it be paid volunteer leave, allowing a day off to vote, or even having a company wide cause that they can contribute to, this will fuel motivation for Gen Zers. 

Flexibility: Allow Time for Innovation

While research shows that Gen Z may struggle with problem solving (thanks to Google) in comparison to other generations, leaders need to adapt to this learning curve by finding a solution aligned with Gen Z’s core values. For instance, Gen Zers value autonomy and innovation; they are going to storm into the workforce with fresh, different ideas to tackle every challenge.    

Flexibility is adapting to unfamiliar circumstances and ideas, which will be frustrating for other generations. However, this is a strength of Gen Zers; leaders need to allow Gen Zers to take the reins on building new, innovative strategic angles. To support this, leaders can actively listen to what Gen Zers have to say, and look at their creative solutions with an open mind, instead of instantly shooting them down. A new phenomenon known as reverse mentoring can be helpful in bridging generational frustrations, and create a safe space to leverage each other’s strengths. 

The Bottom Line: Generation Z is Coming

As Generation Z enters the workforce, organizations have two choices: adapt or suffer the losses. The fact is, Gen Zers are coming in either way, and ignoring the new generational factors will take a hit to your bottom-line. 

If leaders can focus on the incoming generation and pinpoint their emotional makeup, they will spend 2021 retaining, engaging, and motivating their new young team members rather than suffering the losses of turnover, disengagement, and lack of productivity. 

Are you ready to take the next step as a leader to prepare and get ready for Generation Z? 

We have multiple resources that can aid you in the process. Be sure to check out our Leading a Multigenerational Workforce Workshop, available in both live and virtual delivery. The workshop covers effective strategies on how to foster a culture of inclusion in the workplace and creating an action plan to implement these strategies. You can also check out our blog, Bridging the Gap Using Emotional Intelligence for more ideas on how to lead a multigenerational workforce!

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Improve Your Well-Being with Self Management and Emotional Intelligence

Improve Your Well-Being with Self Management and Emotional Intelligence

Regardless if you are the CEO of a company or a super successful entrepreneur, there is always room for personal and professional development. Oftentimes we get so caught up in our job, friends, and family that we forget to take care of ourselves.

When is the last time you took time for yourself?

This is an important question for two reasons. One, it allows you to reflect on how you treat yourself, both mentally and physically; and secondly, it shows how much you have invested in self-management for both your personal and professional life.

You could be very successful in your business life, but if you are not looking after yourself as an individual, it will soon catch up to everything you do.

Improve your well-being with self-management and emotional intelligence or else…

  • There will be a decrease in your mental and physical health
  • You have the potential to lose valuable relationships
  • Your work ethic will decrease
  • Your motivation decrease

Emotional Intelligence gives people the ability to manage their emotional and social awareness well-being and build up their emotional muscles.

Now, I know life gets in the way; we get stuck in routines that it almost becomes impossible to spend time to improve our well-being. Emotional Intelligence has 15 competencies of which 4 of them are the key to self-management and self-care.

1. Emotional Self-Awareness

Understanding your emotional cues is vital to self-management, but can only begin by paying attention to your emotions. What makes you angry, sad, happy, excited? Discover your feelings at the moment. When a situation arises, stop and analyze:

How did you react when first presented with the situation?

What are you feeling?

What outcome do I want?

How can I approach this?

 2. Stress Tolerance

Stress is something everyone experiences in their daily life. Having high stress levels dramatically decreases your mental and physical health. When you are presented with situations that increase your stress, stop what you are doing and breathe to remain calm- you will be surprised how helpful taking 5 deep breaths will be. We are all busy people, but it is important to take a little time and de-stress. Some things you can do are:

  • Read a book
  • Listen to music
  • Talk it through with your mentor
  • Mediate
  • Exercise
3. Impulse Control

Impulses, everyone has been a victim of acting on an impulse. Maybe it was that chocolate bar that was right by the checkout or that new gadget that you need to buy right now!

Although not every impulse ends in a negative outcome, they contribute to the decrease in your overall well-being. It is important to control your impulses and rationally think about what you are about to do.

4. Interpersonal Relationships

Even if you are a workaholic and your job takes up 90% of your time, it is important to create and maintain friendships outside your work life. If you are surrounded by business 24/7, it will start to weigh on your mental health. When you leave work, leave everything work-related, including your work-related thoughts, behind. It is great to make work-friends, but just remember when you meet outside of work, don’t talk about it. Surround yourself with people that are going to lift your spirits; who understand your beliefs, opinions, and will support you through all aspects of your life.

Self-management is a never-ending process. Remember that taking care of yourself first doesn’t mean you are not looking out for others; rather, it demonstrates your passion for your self-worth, which is an important value to have!

Take our EQ Assessments to learn more about yourself and your well-being.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you’re looking to improve well-being, self-management, and emotional skills, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to keep up with our latest blogs!

Emotional Intelligence Interview Questions

Emotional Intelligence Interview Questions

Are you tired of having to constantly recruit fresh new talent? We spend significant resources of time and money in creating emotional intelligence interview questions for leaders because we all know that people can make or break our business.

Are you sure you are hiring the best people into your organization? Will these individuals stay for their entire careers? Will they be a catalyst that pushes your company past all of its competitors?

The answers to all of these questions are YES…if you are hiring emotionally intelligent candidates.

Recruiting Emotionally Intelligent People

We all know that the higher up the proverbial corporate ladder you go, the more important your emotional intelligence skills are. Unfortunately, when you are entering the job market hiring managers tend to stick to more traditional interviewing methods (such as one-on-one job interviews) and hiring techniques (such as ubiquitous series of interview questions).

As an HR professional, your goal is to improve the candidate pool and hire the best. You want the cream of the crop to pick your organization as their employer of choice to continue their career. However, during the traditional one-hour interview you do not always wean out the best of the best. So, why is that?

Well, potential candidates are often asked more interview questions relating to their IQ and technical skills, and very few, if any, EQ interview questions.

Although you might be hiring a recent graduate who was top of his/her class, you do not know if they have the emotional intelligence skills needed to lead teams in the future.

According to Daniel Goleman, “as a leader moves up in an organization, up to 90 percent of their success lies in emotional intelligence.” It’s an essential skill that in the past has been undervalued as a ‘soft skill’, but now these skills are at the forefront of great leadership. “The rules for work are changing. We’re being judged by a new yardstick: not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other.”

The Core EI Workplace Competencies

Richard Boyatzis has identified 14 core competencies that differentiate “outstanding leaders, managers, advanced professionals and people in key jobs” from average performers. Only two of these competencies are cognitive – the remaining twelve are emotional and social intelligence competencies.

So, ask yourself:

  • Are you tired of gambling to see if the up and comers you hired for their technical skills will have the talent and skills to provoke and ignite passion in others?
  • Will these candidates have the leadership you will be looking for later on in their careers?
  • How will you know if these individuals, as smart as they are, will have the skills to energize and inspire employees to make their best contribution to the organization?
  • Do they have the ability to motivate other great employees to stay?
  • Will they be able to keep all the best talent within your four walls?

Testing for Emotional Intelligence

Many hiring managers have a hard time constructing interview questions to test emotional intelligence and emotional self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Therefore many HR professionals fall back on trusting their gut instincts and subjective first impressions.

The secret to enhancing your HR techniques and practices and ensuring you are screening out the best of the best is to utilize a few emotionally intelligent questions throughout your interview process.

People who have low emotional intelligence do not understand or know how to manage their own emotions. Additionally, they also don’t know how to read emotions in others. This much is evident when we see employees struggling to deal with stress, overcome obstacles, or resolve conflict. We see people who struggle with emotional intelligence when they are negative, blame the system/process, are excessively entitled, point fingers at others, resist change, procrastinate, and/or are overly sensitive or critical.

Nowadays every smart or experienced candidate has figured out how to answer the basic interview skills questions. While they may be technically competent, it is your job as a hiring manager to move away from the traditional interview model.

The traditional interview model consists of probing individuals about their past experience, and/or coming up with hypothetical and situational questions about similar circumstances. To move forward, the interviewer needs to delve into the candidate’s views and awareness of themselves, particularly in relation to others. These questions need to be non-leading and open-ended behavioral questions…which can reveal a lot about a person’s emotional intelligence level in how they answer them.

This will allow a candidate to open up and offer their own candid perspective versus the scripted one they practiced to land the job back at home role-playing when facing the mirror in their bathroom.

Emotional Intelligence Interview Questions

Here are a few questions you can use throughout your interview process to gain a better sense of the candidate’s emotional intelligence level.

1) Can you tell me about a time when you made a mistake in the workplace?

An emotionally intelligent person takes responsibility for their mistake; the non-emotionally intelligent candidate blames others for the mistake. Someone who has a high EQ would know it is okay to make mistakes; sometimes that is where the most profound learning comes from. They would also acknowledge the error, learn the lesson, make adjustments, and share with others how to avoid making similar errors.

2) Share a time when you received negative feedback about your performance

The emotionally intelligent person is open to feedback, appreciates him or herself, and is self-aware. They would use this feedback as an opportunity to grow and develop. Someone who has low emotional intelligence would become defensive, offended, and perhaps shut down.

3) Can you tell me about a time when you accomplished something you were proud of, but required help to do it?

An emotionally intelligent individual would share his or her success. Watch carefully the word choices the candidate uses. If they use words like ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘my’…they may be self-centered and ego-focused. If they acknowledge the team for their help in achieving the success the team had, they take into consideration the feelings and efforts of others.

However, be careful – it’s a fine balance of using ‘I did…’ to show leadership, versus ‘I did…’ to take all of the glory. Traditionally behavioral-based questions are intended to lead into the ‘I did….’, or ‘my involvement was…’ answers, but you want to see if the candidate can answer these types of questions in that fashion while including and appreciating the rest of the team.

4) Describe a time when you had to share some bad news with a colleague.

 People with high emotional intelligence will display empathy in their delivery of the bad news.  They would be able to share the news while staying composed and not getting enmeshed in the other person’s stuff. They can respect and appreciate the feelings of the other person, but they can separate themselves from that person.

These four interview questions on emotional intelligence are just a starting point; so use them as a springboard for coming up with more, or adapting these to better fit your needs. Either way, with a few good emotional intelligence questions spread into your interviews, you can start to identify the level of emotional intelligence the candidate holds.

If you are meeting with someone who can demonstrate self-awareness about their own emotions, positive or not, and those of others, then you are heading down the right path. Chances are these candidates can move past anger, doubt, and anxiety; and they are flexible, empathetic, and confident when working with others.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help attracting and recruiting the right people for your organization, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to keep up with our latest blogs!