Is there an ROI for Emotional Intelligence Training?

At the Institute for Health and Human Potential (IHHP) we’ve been studying human potential and the effects of pressure on performance and leadership since 1998. We’ve delivered our Emotional Intelligence workshops to thousands of companies and tens of thousands of individuals.

The purpose of this article is to help you understand, the real, hard, financial return on investment that Emotional Intelligence (EI) training programs provide. We have collected data from leading research institutions and along with our own research to present the business case for developing leaders to be more emotionally intelligent.

What is clear is that EI is no longer a nice to have for organizations aspiring to be high performing; it is a need to have.

Of our clients – Northern Trust Bank – said to us: “Providing training

As one of our clients – Northern Trust Bank – said to us: “Providing training in Emotional Intelligence to our leaders has become like our phone systems – it’s not a question of whether we need one, it’s a question of which is the best for our organization.”

Here is some key research demonstrating the business impact of EI training:

  • Over 80% of competencies that differentiate top performers from others are in the domain of EI.1
  • Companies, who have executives with higher levels of emotional intelligence, are more likely to be highly profitable. 2
  • After supervisors in a manufacturing plant received training in emotional competencies, lost-time accidents were reduced by 50 percent, formal grievances were reduced from 15 per year to 3 per year, and the plant exceeded productivity goals by $250,000.3
  • American Express tested emotional competence training on Financial Advisors; trained advisors increased business 18.1% compared to 16.2% for a control group.4
  • After a Motorola manufacturing facility provided training in stress management and Emotional Intelligence, 93% of employees had an increase in productivity.5
  • Our research of over 10,000 global leaders revealed that primary differentiator between high and low performing leaders is their level of Emotional Intelligence.6

The ROI goes beyond job performance: a 3-year study of 3,122 Swedish workers showed that transformational managerial behaviors was significantly associated with lower cardiac risk7 and employees who perceived that their supervisors treated them fairly had 30% lower Coronary Heart Disease incidents after adjustment for other risk factors8. Now, there is an important return for Emotional Intelligence training!

For a more in-depth look at the ROI for Emotional Intelligence workshops, visit:


1. Harvard Business Review (2003)

2. Dulewicz, C., Young, Dulewicz, V. The relevance of emotional intelligence for leadership performance. Journal of General Management (2008)

3. Orme, G (2003b), “Emotional Intelligence – perspectives and people,” Competency & Emotional Intelligence, vol. 10, no.4, Summer 2003, pp 43-48

4. American Express Study, (Cherniss, 2000).

5. HeartMath, 2007

6. Institute for Health and Human Potential, 10 year study: How to Grow Your Career (2011)

About the Institute for Health and Human Potential (IHHP):

Since 1996, we’ve been tapping into the best evidence-based research we can find about performance, human potential and how to manage under pressure. We uncover the nuggets that we believe are worth exploring, developing and sharing. Then we study this even further (over 200,000 people have been through various parts of our assessment center) to help us develop not only clear language to understand the research, but also tools and practical activities via our emotional intelligence workshops and leadership training classes that help people and organizations apply what we learn.

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