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Emotional Intelligence: The Impact on Work Performance


Emotional intelligence has been a common research topic in analyzing different aspects that affect job burnout and insecurity. This is directly attributed to the fact that emotional intelligence directly affects different levels of human functioning. Emotional intelligence therefore affects life’s satisfaction and general well-being of employees (Palmer & Donaldson, 2002). Emotional intelligence has also been noted to affect physical and psychological health. As a result, workers have in the past been noted to experience job insecurity and work burnouts out of the ability or inability to control their emotions (Herbert, 1993).

Background and Context

It has been established that negative emotional health has been related to detrimental patterns of work behavior. Positive emotional intelligence has also been associated with productivity and healthier work relations.

Scope and Objectives

This study will evaluate emotional intelligence among employees in a child welfare group. The objective of the Research would be to identify the relationship between Emotional intelligence, work burnout and job Insecurity

Literature Review

It has been established that negative emotional health has been related to detrimental patterns of work behavior. Positive emotional intelligence has also been associated with productivity and healthier work relations. In a research study cited in Salovey (1999) it was established that individuals who have high emotional intelligence are more likely to experience less work burnout and job insecurity. This is because they are well versed with how and when to express their feelings. In this manner, employees have also been able to regulate their states of feelings and moods (pp. 161-164).

Taylor (2001) affirms that, if employees in the workplace are intelligent enough, they can better cope with the challenges that the work place environment poses to them. At the same time, they can be able to effectively control their emotions. Overall job security is therefore improved in this manner and emotions can be better kept in check. In addition, Bar-on (1997) identifies stress management and the ability to adapt fast as the two critical components to the analysis of Emotional intelligence. At the same time, research studies cited in Mathews (2000) identifies the ability for employees to adapt effectively to the nature of the job in the workplace as a clear conception of the concept of emotional intelligence. This can be further assumed to depict an example of true mastery of emotions, and growth of emotional feelings including both cognitive and differentiation related to emotions. These attributes help employees to better cope with the dynamics of work in an ever changing work environment (p.460).

Suppressing emotional feelings is however not recommended for employees because manifesting emotional feelings is a commendable strategy, so long as employees and managers are able to effectively regulate them. A further interesting study cited in Ciarrochi (2002) established the relationship between emotional intelligence and its ability to influence job burnout and security. Emotional intelligence also has a role to play in the suicide attempts of employees in the workplace. This is because emotional intelligence has the ability to influence the sense of hope and depression of employees. When employees are overwhelmed by emotional pressures, they are inclined to quit their jobs, experience work burnouts and in extreme cases, commit suicide. This is however more observed among young employees.

In a study cited in Mohammadifar (2009) emotional intelligence was analyzed in relation to job burnout on a group of high school teachers. The study established that job burnout and teacher stress ultimately affected the environment of learning. These factors (job burnout and teacher stress) were directly related to emotional intelligence. The relation was further noted to result in teacher absenteeism and eventual drop out from work. The high school teachers were noted to experience poor performance in the work place as a result of dealing with students with low morale, heavy workload and little time to accomplish objectives. The situation was attributed to a lack of emotional control by the teachers (Mohammadyfar, 2009).

These studies relating to emotional intelligence indicate that; there exists a negative correlation between emotional intelligence and job burnouts and insecurity. Dulewicz (2003) used a small sample of managers engaged in retail business to establish a relationship between stress, job burnouts and distress through the influence of emotional intelligence. The study established that emotional intelligence directly affected job burnouts and stress with a subsequent effect on psychological well being of employees.

There is therefore growing literature between emotional intelligence and career performance. Subsequent relations between the ability to effectively perform in the work place and employee intelligence (cognitive ability) have been evaluated in the past (Sternberg, 2003). A further research study to define this relationship is cited in Van Rooy (2004) where there was a meta-analysis of 69 research studies. The study explored the ability of emotional intelligence to affect the ability of employees to maintain their jobs. The study also established that emotional intelligence exposed a correlation of the studies undertaken. 23 studies were associated with job security and the other 22 were associated with mental capability. In other words, emotional intelligence was noted to affect job security and success in the workplace.

Other studies depicted a situation whereby employees with high emotional intelligence were more likely to enjoy job security and experience less job burnouts (Wanus, 1997). The studies highlighted in this analysis depict a relationship between emotional intelligence and job security coupled with work burnouts but this research study will be more specific in evaluation of emotional intelligence on children workers.


This research study will be quantitative in nature and will obtain data from past studies to compare resultant and past conclusions on the topic. The statistics will therefore use statistical techniques including graphs and pie charts to depict the resultant relationships. Information will be obtained through a clearly structured questionnaire that will be administered to all employees in the organization.


Research studies have in the past revolved around the impact of emotional intelligence on work performance and general health of employees. This study will be important because it will be analyzing the way emotional intelligence can be positively used to improve productivity of employees working with children. This is especially important because of the strategic importance such employees pose in the general upbringing of children. Like other studies, it would be interesting to note whether the research would depict a negative correlation between emotional intelligence and work burnouts coupled with job insecurity.


  1. Bar-on, R. (1997). Bar-on Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ I). Toronto, Canada: Multi Health systems.
  2. Ciarrochi, J. (2002) Emotional Intelligence in moderation of the relationship between suicide and stress. Personality and Individual differences, 32, 197-209.
  3. Dulewicz, V. (2003). Measuring emotional Intelligence: Content, construct and Criterion related validity. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 18, 405-420.
  4. Herbert, T. B. (1993). Depression and Immunity: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 113, 472-486.
  5. Mathews, G. (2000). Emotional Intelligence and adaptation to Stressful encounter. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.
  6. Mohammadyfar, M. (2009). The Effect of Emotional Intelligence and Job Burnout on Emotional and Physical Health. Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology, 35(2), 219-226.
  7. Palmer, P., & Donaldson, C. (2002). Emotional Intelligence and Life Satisfaction. Personality and Individual Differences, 33, 1091-1100.
  8. Salovey, P. (1999). Coping Intelligently: Emotional Intelligence and the Coping Process. Coping: The Psychology of What Works. New York: Oxford Psychology Press.
  9. Sternberg, R. J. (2003). A broad view of Intelligence: The theory of successful Intelligence. Consulting Psychology journal, 55, 139-154.
  10. Taylor, G. J. (2001). Low Emotional Intelligence in Mental Illness and Work Place Performance. Emotional Intelligence in Every day Life: a scientific Inquiry. Philadelphia, PA: Taylor & Francis.
  11. Van Rooy, D. L. (2004). Emotional Intelligence: A Meta Analytic Investigation of predictive validity and nomological net. Journal of vocational behavior, 65(1), 71-95.
  12. Wanus, J. (1997). Overall Job Satisfaction. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82, 247-252.
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