The Workplace Vitality Study


Tracking the role of emotional intelligence in building vitality in the workplace – since 2007

What are the key challenges people face at work? How are organizations building the capacity to address these challenges? We began the study in 2007 (originally called the Workplace Issues Report) to understand how leaders were perceiving the people-side of their work — and the role emotional intelligence place in performance.

2020 Workplace Vitality Report

The 2020 edition of the report is here, focused on individual leadership. Key findings:

66% of the variation in leadership outcomes is predicted by 5 key drivers of “vital leadership.”

Leaders who score high on emotional intelligence are 7x as likely to have high leadership performance outcomes.

The emotional intelligence competency of Exercise Optimism has the highest impact on leadership vitality, predicting 31% of the variation in scores on a leaders’ capacity to drive change.

Leadership capabilities are key to personal outcomes, in particular the leadership vitality driver of Trust predicts 34% of the variation in personal outcome scores (wellbeing, effectiveness, quality of life, relationships).


2017 Workplace Vitality Report

This report is available by filling in the form below

When trust in the workplace is high, it is 27x as likely to be high performing.

When emotional intelligence is a priority, organizations are 22x as likely to be high performing.

Top issues at work:

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.



2012 Workplace Issues Report

The top words used to describe challenges: Retention, Talent, Leadership.

How effective are leaders in your organization at driving change? Score: 61.7 / 100 (D)

To what degree is the development of future leaders a priority in your organization? Score: 70.9 / 100 (C-)

To what degree are emotional intelligence skills (e.g., recognizing & managing feelings, building trust, making careful decisions) important in addressing the top issues?  4.5 out of 5
To what degree is emotional intelligence training & development a priority in your organization? 2.6 out of 5
That’s a 74% gap between the perceived value and implementation


2010 Workplace Issues Report

The most pressing challenge today is maintaining a healthy culture under intense economic pressure.

Getting and keeping good people – especially “people people” – will make the difference.

Only 8% of respondents report that they’re fully trained to deal with the issues they’re seeing.

92% see the value of EQ — but only 33% say their organizations do likewise.


2007 Workplace Issues Report

76% of the issues managers identify as “top challenges” are on the people-side (vs financial & technical).

“Soft” issues such as finding and keeping talent are over 3 times as prevalent as “hard” issues such as finance.

Leaders are twice as concerned about leadership than all other issues combined.

Top issues are around leadership, change management, and fostering a healthy environment where people can sustain productivity.

While many respondents see emotional intelligence as valuable, for most it’s unclear how to access that value.








What’s new in emotional intelligence?

Empathy Is the Future of Work

Empathy Is the Future of Work

As AI replaces knowledge workers across industries, social and emotional skills will be what separates the top performers

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