Employee happiness has long been linked to better job performance. Now, research suggests that happiness is linked to a quantifiable attribute known as “emotional intelligence." The implication is that if emotional intelligence can be measured, employers can make a more educated guess as to whether their employees will be happy at work.
Emotional intelligence is defined as being able to evaluate and control emotions as well as assess their co-workers’ emotion. Those with higher levels of emotional intelligence are more satisfied with and dedicated to their jobs, the researchers found.
“Employees with a higher level of emotional intelligence are assets to their organization. I believe it will not be long before emotional intelligence is incorporated in employee screening and training processes and in employee assessment and promotion decisions,” said study author Galit Meisler, a researcher at the University of Haifa in Israel.
Meisler examined the effects of emotional intelligence on office politics, employees’ attitudes, behaviors, feelings of justice and burnout.
Employees who did not analyze and control their emotions, she concluded, demonstrated unfavorable attitudes such as burnout, desire to quit and negligent behavior . They also had less confidence in their employers and were less committed to their duties. In contrast, workers with higher emotional intelligence perceived office politics as less severe than their counterparts.
“We also found that employees with a higher emotional intelligence level were less likely to use forceful and aggressive forms of persuasion while attempting to persuade their supervisors,” Meisler said in a statement. “Those employees tended to use much softer influence tactics.”
Meisler surveyed 809 employees and managers in two public organizations and two private companies.