•    Over a third of leaders globally believe that Socially Intelligent Organisations (SIOs) enable employee engagement.

•    Malaysian SMEs rank amongst highest in terms of being a Socially Intelligent Organisation as Gen-Ys are identified as the most socially intelligent of all workforce generations.

Kelly Outsourcing & Consulting Group (‘KellyOCG’), the Outsourcing and Consulting Group of Kelly Services®, shared that ‘Social Intelligence Quotient’ (SQ) that has emerged strongly as the latest quotient for organisational workforce dynamism, competitiveness and growth of businesses around the world.

KellyOCG’s Vice President in Asia Pacific, Anthony Raja Devadoss shares that SQ has joined the equation to measure organisations’ human resource (HR) readiness to support business growth.

“This aggregated measure (SQ) comprises self and social awareness, evolved social beliefs, and interaction styles of the workforce – of how these contribute to the organisation’s ranking in terms of being a Socially Intelligent Organisation (SIO),” he says.

He adds that KellyOCG advocates the fact that SIOs are better prepared for business growth, as they (SIOs) constantly engage with the existing workforce in promoting compelling common goals across the organisation.

These findings come from KellyOCG’s most recent Executive Outlook Survey 2014 that unveiled some significant findings centred on the SQ measurements, and its effect on SIOs.

Malaysian SMEs Rank High As SIOs

KellyOCG’s survey also highlighted another interesting finding that Malaysian SMEs perceived their organisations to be a more likely SIO when compared to majority of ASEAN countries.

“Malaysian SMEs surprisingly revealed themselves to be more SQ-driven, as compared to larger multinational companies, conglomerates and government agencies.”

Devadoss adds that this could be a direct result of a) more Gen-Y hires that make up the SMEs’ workforce and thus driving them to be more highly ranked as SIOs and b) the higher level of entrepreneurial spirit and agility that drives SQ in Malaysian SMEs.

“Our survey also further revealed that Gen-Y are the most socially intelligent among the workforce generations across all senior leadership roles and they are most preferred by the top managements – rated at 91% globally and 76% in Malaysia.”

“This is a positive suggestion for the socially smarter Gen-Y to be equipped with solid vital skills, perhaps as part of an organisation’s top performer development programmes, in order for them to take greater lead in the near future.”

He adds that entrepreneurial spirit and organisational agility are the other main de factos driving the SQ trend in SIOs. “Smaller firms tend to have better ability to underpin the efficacy of social intelligence (SQ) and therefore likely to gain the most benefits out of it. According to the Survey, more than 23% of the global organisations who consider themselves SIOs are predicting significant growth for their businesses.”

Improving Organisational Effectiveness with SQ

In ASEAN, businesses continue to face steep market competition and challenges in achieving profitable growth, delivering constant performance and meeting the increasing expectations of the company stakeholders.

KellyOCG advocates that leveraging SQ would contribute an increasingly significant role to address these business challenges and organisational effectiveness, in terms of workforce efficiency and productivity, in the next coming five years.

“We strongly promote the fact that SQ is a key enabler that newly emerged for organisations to accelerate the business readiness to respond to changing demands of customers, employees, governments and company stakeholders.

Globally business leaders are now faced with managing three or four generations of workers all with their own unique ways of working and behaving, whereby 36% posted that resistance to change as the biggest hurdle faced in managing SIOs, followed by the possible risks of aversion culture (20%), stiff legal requirements (11%) and other reasons (33%).

Thus ASEAN business leaders need to focus on becoming SIOs to enable a more effective workforce, and this means developing the SQ or ‘people skills’ which includes knowledge of interaction styles and strategies that help to achieve objectives in dealing with others,” he ends.