Relation between emotional intelligence and employee performance
The intellectual process that is pertinent in the management of an individual’s state of emotion as well as ability to recognize feelings and experiences of others are all important elements of emotional intelligence. Besides, emotional intelligence enables a person to achieve, plan and motivate others who may be in need.
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Similar to myriad of definitions and applications of other organisational behaviour terms as adopted by different scholars, there are various viewpoints that have been used to define emotional intelligence. In spite of the fact that human emotion has been presumed to lack coherent organisation, disruptive and equally characterized by inability to adjust, some of the latest theories on human psychology underscore the integral role played by emotions in organizing and directing human activity.
In this paper, the relationship between emotional intelligence and the overall performance of employees in organizations has been discussed. Empirical research models have been applied throughout the essay in order to obtain objective reporting from various viewpoints.
In a research study by Rangriz and Mehrabi, the Red Crescent Societies employees were surveyed on their work performance in relation to individual emotional intelligence. In the empirical study, questionnaires were used to collect data. The four part questionnaire sought to gather data both on employee performance in the organisation as well as their emotional intelligence. In the first section, a total of six questions were asked detailing the Red Crescent Societies in terms of organizational structure and employee population statistics.
In the second section, the emotional intelligence of Red Crescent Societies employees were featured. Organisational competence of each of the individual employee was addressed in the third section while the fourth section sought to gather information on the performance of employees. The research study incorporated a total of 116 employees derived from across the organisation, namely top managers to subordinate workers.
The marital status of the respondents was also an important factor to consider in the survey. Out of those interviewed, 25% were not married while the remaining 75% were married. Those who were between the ages of 20 and 30 constituted only about 19 % of the total respondents while the age bracket of 31-35 made up of 33.3% of the respondents while the remaining percentage were adults aged above 35 years.
In terms of working period, respondents who had been in employment for 15 years and below were slightly over 70%. Only 30% had exceeded a working period of 15 years.
As already mentioned, there were two main parts in the research survey. The first part dealt with demographics of the organisation while the second part utilized five point Likert- type scales as a way of obtaining the right correlation between employee performance and emotional intelligence.
Perceptual measures have been employed by several researchers in the past in an attempt to establish the correlation between emotional intelligence and the performance of employees.
On the same note, this empirical research study conducted in Iran used a similar approach albeit slight modifications to fit the unique working environment and organizational structure.
In order to obtain a qualitative measure of emotional intelligence, a multi-dimensional measure was used. This measure utilized self-reported ratings as the benchmark of the survey.
Using the five point scale, both the employees and managers were asked attach some degree of importance to the given ratings namely 5= “always” to 1= “never”. The four emotional intelligence dimensions would later be used to rate each one of them in relation to their performance at work. The dimensions included in this self-reporting included relationship management, social awareness, self-managerial as well as self-understanding.
This study also made use of perceptual measures that had been earlier applied and unanimously adopted by researchers on emotional intelligence and employee performance. Similar to the above analysis, employees were requested to do self reporting based on two employee performance dimensions.
The first dimension in the survey was the satisfaction of the organisation with employee performance while the second dimension used was the level of employee performance in the organisation. The employees were supposed to attach their individual level of importance of each dimension. The inevitable variances that featured in the survey were explained using some controlled variables. Both gender and age were employed as controlled variables.
In order to compare the emotional intelligence between males and females, a “U- Man Vitni” testing measure was employee. From the research findings, it was evident that gender does not significantly contribute towards emotional intelligence. In addition, employee performance was found to be not reliant on either the male or female gender.
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On the same note, the emotional intelligence of managers and employees are not significantly different. However, it was found out that employee performance has a direct correlation with emotional intelligence.
In another separate study by Shahzad et al., the researchers attempted to relate emotional intelligence efficacy with the performance of employees in a Pakistani telecom employees. After the process of data collection, the effects of the four pertinent components of emotional intelligence were reviewed. These were relationship management, the ability to be self and socially aware as well as being able to manage one self.
Questionnaires were used to gather information. As suggested by the researchers, it was pertinent for the telecom organisation to put into consideration the role played by emotional intelligence in determining the performance of employees.
A growing body of research is also laying more emphasis on the momentous role that emotional intelligence can play in the overall performance of employees.
Some of the latest research on this subject suggests that cognitive ability or general intelligence does not have any major influence on the performance of employees at workplace. One of the latest meta-analysis of emotional intelligence and performance involving a total of 69 research studies that were carried out independently revealed a lot on the relation between the two parameters.
In the research survey, a total of 4158 participants took part in the 69 studies. Out of the survey, 23 were directly linked with the performance at work while cognitive ability only accounted for 22. Hence, it imlplies that job performance can be slightly predicted by emotional intelligence and success in ones career. Similarly, employees who are not well endowed with both emotional and social intelligence tend to perform more poorly at workplace than their peers who have a higher emotional and social intelligence.
Such groups of employees are also found to be highly conscientious and as a result of their relatively low emotional intelligence, their productivity at workplace is equally low. For managers who are highly performing, it has been concluded that they have a higher emotional competence compared to those whose performance are lower.
In another meta-analysis study, the satisfaction of employees was investigated against the outcomes or return levels of 38 different companies. From the survey of 38 companies, it was evident that productivity and profitability of each of the organisation under survey relied heavily and significantly on employee satisfaction, a managerial element closely tied to performance at an individual level.
The level of engagement of employees at the place of work and their eventual output was found to be practically of substantial value, suggesting that emotional intelligence was a significant factor in the output of performance of employees.
Another research study was undertaken in the city of Belgaum to determine some of the latent and visible factors that determine the level of performance of the top management team. In particular, the study targeted supervisors and managers. This group of employees were both working at an automobile retail outlet.
The most important parameter that was being investigated was the impact of emotional intelligence on their performance at work. The slightly modified perceptual method used in the research study concluded that emotional intelligence plays a significant role in determining the work output of these supervisors and managers.
Senior level managers amounting to one hundred and ten were also incorporated in an empirical research study in a study conducted to determine their differences in leadership styles and performance as top level employees. Three types of leadership and how each type affects the performance of a leader were considered in this study. In the prediction, questionnaires were used to gather information on self reporting of each individual manager.
After the analysis of the raw data, the empirical evidence suggested that transformational type of leadership style among the 110 senior mangers interviewed was highly compatible with vivid elements of emotional intelligence. This implied that mangers who embraced transformational type of leadership were highly likely to e high performers at workplace more than those who favoured laissez faire or transactional leadership.
In a separate but similar research study conducted by William and Carol, varied industries consisting of 24 different project managers were investigated against their different abilities in project management and styles of leadership.
From the research results, the researchers concluded that the performance of each of the project under the managers was largely dependent on the type of leadership employed in running the project. It was evident that transformational leadership accelerated project performance more than the other two types of leadership. Additionally, it is a clear indication that emotional intelligence has a direct bearing on the overall output level of any given project.
A study by William Brown et al. attempted to establish the relationship that existed between desirable outcomes in an organisation as well as emotional intelligence. The type and nature of leadership was also incorporated in the study with the need to investigate whether leadership style would affect organisational performance at any level. In the empirical study, some 2,411 workforce participated in the study. This pool of employees comprised of the professional staff, engineers and workers positioned at the manufacturing level.
Contrary to other previous studies, this empirical research did not find any correlation between emotional intelligence and expected or valued outcomes within an organisation. Nonetheless, this single research study cannot overrule several concluding findings which agree that organizational performance is highly favoured among employees with high emotional intelligence, and that intelligence quotient is not a visible factor when investigating desired organisational outcomes.
In a participatory research survey involving a sample of 225 employees drawn from Lebanon, it was found out that emotional intelligence was an inevitable variable in the determination of employee performance. Four main components of emotional intelligence were used to analyze the data gathered from self-reporting questionnaires.
Social awareness and social skills in addition to self-motivation and regulation were important emotional intelligence parameters in the study. Besides, both the managers and low level employees were incorporated in the research so that a balanced scorecard could be found. Basic competences of each of the employee were well captured in the questionnaire.
From the research results, different emotional intelligence scores were depicted among females and males. For instance, while self-awareness was highly scored by females, self-motivation and regulation was the strongest emotional intelligence among males. The female participants were also found to be highly skilful in their social life while the level of managerial position depicted the magnitude of emotional intelligence.
In summing up, it is imperative to reiterate that while some studies have failed to establish a strong link between employee performance and emotional intelligence, most of the recent empirical research studies unanimously agree that the latter plays a vital role in determining the desired organizational outcomes among workers at all levels.
Additionally, while the impact of emotional intelligence on profitability and growth of an organisation may be insignificant in some cases, it has been concluded beyond any reasonable doubt that emotional intelligence and transformational type of leadership go hand in hand, and will highly favour organizational growth and individual output of employees.
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- Rangriz, Holiuts & Mehrabi Jons. The Relationship between Emotional Intelligence, Organisational Commitment and Employees’ Performance in Iran. International Journal of Business and Management 5, no. 8, (2010, August 1): 50-56.
- Jones, Stephen. Emotional intelligence within organizations: A study of emotional intelligence and performance ranking within a biomedical company”. Ed.D. diss., Pepperdine University (2007). In ABI/INFORM Global [database on-line].
- Mamdouh El-Sayed, Marwa. “The relationship between emotional intelligence competencies and employee’s performance self-rating”. M.S. diss., University of Louisville ,2005. In ABI/INFORM Global [database on-line].
- Wall, Bob Lee. Managing employee performance and reward: concepts, practices, Coaching for emotional intelligence, New York: Amacom, 2007.
- Shahzad, Khurram et al. Impact of Emotional Intelligence (EI) on employee’s performance in telecom sector of Pakistan. African Journal of Business Management 5 (2011): 1225-1231.
- Van Rooy, D. L. & Viswesvaran, conetyu. Emotional intelligence: A meta-analytic investigation of predictive validity and nomological net. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 65(2004), 71-95.
- Harter, J. Schmidt. Business unit relationship between employee satisfaction, employee engagement and business outcomes: A metaanalysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87 (2002): 68.279.
- Kulkarni, M.Praveen. Emotional Intelligence and Employee Performance as an Indicator for Promotion, a Study of Automobile Industry in the City of Belgaum, Karnataka, India. International Journal of business management, 4(2009): 161-169.
- Lisa, Gardner & Con, Stough. Examining the Relationship between Leadership and Emotional Intelligence in senior level managers, Leadership and Organization Development, 23 (2002): 68 – 78.
- William Leban & Carol Zulauf. Linking Emotional Intelligence Abilities and Transformational Leadership Styles. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 25(2004): 554 – 564.
- Matthews, Gerald, Richard D. Roberts, and Moshe Zeidner. Seven Myths about Emotional Intelligence. Psychological Inquiry 15 (2004): 179-96.
- William, F. Brown, eta l. Emotional Intelligence – as measured by the EQI– influence transformational leadership and desirable outcomes. Leadership and Organization Development, 27 (2006): 330– 351.
- Jamali, Y. Sidani & Abu-Zaki, D. Emotional Intelligence and management development implications: Insights from the Lebanese context. Journal of Management Development, 27(2008): 348 – 360.
- Bob, Wall. Working Relationships Using Emotional Intelligence to Enhance your Effectiveness with Other (1st ed.). New York: Davies Black Publishing, 2008.