Are people in your organization energized and happy or anxious and stressed? Does it matter? New findings from the ongoing Workplace Vitality Study offer important insights into people and what drives performance. Here are three key findings, and a link to download the full report. (Note: The 2020 edition of this study is here)

Research: Organizational Vitality 2017


Key findings linking emotions & organizational performance


Six Seconds, a global leader in emotional intelligence, has been surveying workplace vitality for over 10 years and our latest results are now available. The Vitality 2017 report includes responses from 1675 people in 95 countries and reveals critical findings about the level of trust and other key performance drivers, as well as the value of emotions in determining workplace climate.

1. Trust Drives Retention, Productivity and More… but it’s LOW

Vitality 2017 delivers the sobering message that trust is low across many types of organizations in different regions, but also shows that rebuilding trust can have a powerful positive impact on Key Performance Indicators such as retention, productivity, customer focus, and future success.

Although trust has the lowest score of all 5 drivers (trust, motivation, change, execution, and teamwork), it impacts 62% of overall performance, clearly showing that the focus, organizationally, should be on building trust.

Top Issues at Work, 2017



1. People Leadership

Poor leadership/management creating lack of communication, little change, and low trust.


2. Great Resources

People don’t have the time, or enough employees on the team, to do the work.


3. Compelling Vision

Short term focus = lack of planning. The vision / direction / goals are not clear.

2. Workplace Issues are Personal. The barriers to employee engagement and high performance are primarily related to emotions and relationships.

With engagement at just over 30 percent, the report discloses the biggest barriers people are facing in the workplace. It also shows that emotional and relational issues are almost 2.5 times more likely to be top concerns than technical and financial ones.

Survey respondents said over 70% of the key issues in their organizations are on the emotional/relational side (rather than financial/technical). The most frequently cited issues are about managers / leaders lacking sufficient communication skills.

3. Mood Matters. The emotional climate is a massive predictor of performance.

Companies with a “negative emotional valence” (aka “bad mood”), are 16x as likely to have poor retention

And what happens when the mood is positive? Get the full report, it’s free. Just fill in the form below to request it

Frustration may be a fact of organizational life today, but people in companies that embrace EQ express many more positive feelings than people who work where the importance of EQ is not recognized. Trust skyrockets when the mood is positive, while employees are much more likely to leave when the prevailing mood is negative. 

Bottom Line: In organizations, actionable data drives positive change

The international survey is built on Six Seconds’ Organizational Vital Signs assessment, a normed, validated tool for measuring and improving workplace climate. Ignite a new commitment to enhance climate, increase engagement, and bolster performance by sharing the insights of the Vitality 2017 report and create a new dialogue about people, emotions, and performance. The form is below.

Learn more about the ongoing Workplace Vitality Study

Note: The 2020 report from the Workplace Vitality study is here)

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