Businesses are always on the look out for exceptional employees, those who are seemingly a cut above the rest, who can ‘hit the ground running’ and are ’star players‘ – but what does that actually mean? What distinguishes an exceptional employee from others in the organisation?
In a recent international study, 78% of leaders stated that it is personality that sets great employees apart from the rest – with surprisingly only 39% indicating that being exceptional is linked to employees’ skills. However, it would seem that there is some confusion regarding what exactly ‘personality’ is, with the qualities that were identified being subsequently linked to emotional intelligence skills.
If this is the case then perhaps a different approach needs to be taken, to not only identifying exceptional talent but also to building it. As opposed to personality, which is seen by most as being fairly static and unchanging (depending on your stance on this), emotional intelligence is viewed as developable. Could this signal a shift in what companies look for in talent assessment and selection processes? Should leaders focus on developing their peoples’ emotional intelligence in order to make everyone exceptional?