Enhancing Team and Guest Experience Through Emotional Intelligence

In the hospitality industry, emotional intelligence (EI) competencies are becoming increasingly important for success. These competencies, which foster skills like empathy, communication, and relationship management, help leaders and employees establish emotional connections with guests, colleagues and the self, leading to increased loyalty and return business.

The EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality (EHL Passugg) is committed to the education of "Affective Hospitality" (emotionally intelligent hospitality industry) since several years on the College of Higher Education and is leading the way in developing an emotional intelligence assessment specifically tailored to the hospitality industry, which will help companies identify and cultivate these skills in their teams. In this overview, we'll explore the importance of emotional intelligence in hospitality and how it can be developed and measured for maximum impact.

Why is Emotional Intelligence key for the Hospitality Industry?

Affective Hospitality encompasses the abilities to recognize and understand emotions, to regulate one’s own emotions, and manage the emotions of others. These competencies are increasingly being recognized as essential for success in the hospitality industry. They can benefit the individual development, the team‘s atmosphere, and ultimately the guest’s experience. Here's how:

EI builds a home-like atmosphere
The EI of leaders and employees permeates the whole business. An emotionally intelligent organization that is apt at handling emotional situations – the good and the bad - will make most of the emotions that are present in everyday life, and adapt to the emotional demands of its guests and teams.

EI builds connections and enhances satisfaction
Hospitality is a people business, and guests are looking for experiences that make them feel seen, heard, and valued. Employees with strong EI competencies tend to foster emotional connections with guests and create experiences that exceed expectations. This drives satisfaction of both guests and employees. 

EI fosters loyalty and drives return business and revenue 
Guests are more likely to return to a property where they feel valued and emotionally connected. Furthermore, guests tend to favor properties whose personnel feel well, content, and happy to serve. Loyal guests are not only more likely to return, but they are also more likely to recommend a business or hotel to others. This can lead to increased revenue and growth for the business.

EI improves the emotional resources of the individual
EI means to know what one feels and how to put it to best use. Leaders and employees who are authentic and competent at dealing with their own emotions as well as understanding those of guests and team members are more flexible and resourceful in meeting the ever present emotional demands of hospitality work-life.

EI improves team communication and dynamics 
EI plays a critical role in how teams function and communicate. Leaders who can understand and regulate their own emotions, as well as recognize and manage the emotions of others, are better equipped to create a positive and supportive work environment. This can improve employee retention, productivity, and overall job satisfaction.

EI helps identify areas for growth and improvement 
By assessing EI competencies, hospitality companies can identify areas where leaders and employees may need additional support. This can help create a culture of continuous learning and improvement, leading to better overall performance and success.


Challenges of Emotional Intelligence in the Hospitality Industry

A major challenge facing the hospitality industry is the lack of a consistent and comprehensive way to measure emotional intelligence specifically in the hospitality context. This makes it difficult for companies to identify areas where employees may need improvement, resulting in missed opportunities to enhance the guest experience and create a positive work environment.

To address this challenge, new ways to measure EI, such as the emotional intelligence assessment being developed by EHL Passugg, are crucial for companies to gain insights into the emotional skills of their teams and support employee development, well-being, and success.


EHL's tool to measure Emotional Intelligence in Hospitality

EHL has partnered with the University of Geneva to develop the world's first emotional intelligence assessment for hospitality. The assessment tests competencies through real-life scenarios, allowing companies to identify areas for growth and development.

By providing a standardized way to measure EI, the assessment enables hospitality companies to target emotional competencies to support employee success. With this solution, EHL is helping hospitality companies create emotional connections with their guests and colleagues.

You want to be part of it?


Feel free to connect with us for a personal exchange. There are many exciting opportunities now and, in the future, to be part of. What we know will help transform our approach towards hospitality.

Affective Hospitality Experts

The Development of Emotional Intelligence at EHL SSTH