Job Satisfaction Versus Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence and Job satisfaction are two concepts of high interest in the modern work environment. They serve as a competitive edge in personal and organizational life. However, there are only a few studies that explore the factors which affect the two concepts.

The primary aim of this study is to examine the relationship between emotional intelligence and job satisfaction. It also tries to analyze how the designation, experience and marital status of an employee affect his/her emotional intelligence and job satisfaction.

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The methodology of this study

Data was collected from 208 respondents of an International Electronic Firm using self-administered questionnaires. Findings were made with the help of standard statistical tools such as Karl Pearson coefficient of correlation, t-test and so on.

The study reveals that there is a very high positive relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Job Satisfaction. It also shows that the designation of the employee doesn’t affect his job satisfaction and emotional intelligence. However, experience and marital status have significant effects on the two concepts.

In this era of globalization where there is a high cultural, scientific, economic and social exchange, the success of a person depends on many personal factors. This includes attitude, parental support, good education, social network, financial support and so on.

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Even with all of these, there can be a failure in success. When the root causes of this were searched, it points towards Emotional Intelligence (EI). It is the ability to manage emotions intelligently.

Emotional intelligence is a set of acquired skills and competencies that predict positive outcomes at home with one’s family, in school, and at work.

People who possess these are healthier, less depressed, more productive at work, and have a better relationship.

The present world demands a higher level of inter-relationships, mutual understanding and greater productivity at the workplace. Good knowledge about others’ emotions and the ability to manage them can help a person to gain success and satisfaction in his work.

Though, Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is an important factor which can determine the success of a person, studies shows that beyond a level it is emotional quotient that matters more than IQ; when it comes in to a work environment.

Job satisfaction is an integral component of organizational climate and an important element in the management-employee relationship. It is the positive emotional state that occurs when a person’s job seems to fulfill important job values provided; these values are compatible with one’s needs.

The investigator feels that it would be interesting to study if there is any relationship between job satisfaction and EI of the employees. This research also proposes to study about jobs satisfaction and EI based on the designation of employees. An attempt is also made to study about job satisfaction and EI based on work experience and marital status.

What’s the Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence (EI) describes the ability, capacity, skiller, in the case of the trait EI model, a self-perceived grand ability to identify, assess, manage and control the emotions of one’s self, of others, and of groups.

Emotional intelligence is considered to play a crucial role in the modern work life. This notion as well as the Emotional Quotient has been broadly defined by Daniel Goleman in his book “Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ” and many others publications on management and leadership.

In its sense, everyone knows that a high IQ does not offer guarantees of success, happiness, or virtue, but until Emotional Intelligence, we could only guess why. The author takes us here to the frontier between psychology and neuroscience to define “two minds”, the rational and the emotional in a way… and how these two notions shape our destiny.

Its principles help in evaluating employee behavior, management styles, attitudes, interpersonal skills and potentials and are considered to have great relevance in areas like job profiling, planning, recruitment and selection.

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Another major advantage of emotional intelligence is that it allows people to better understand and manage emotions. It also helps in understanding one’s own conduct as well as the relationship with others.

Research has shown that a person with a high EQ enjoys contact with others and has a certain degree of empathy as well as better adaptability and stress management at work.

Psychological studies have shown that understanding and controlling emotions play a significant role in gratifying one’s life and work environment.

What’s Job satisfaction?

Job satisfaction is a topic that has got wide appreciation in academics as well as industry.

It refers to an employee’s affective reaction to his job in terms of how much it satisfies his desired outcome.

It actually refers to the extent to which one person likes his/her job or it may be considered as the emotional attachment one has with his/her job.

Research studies by various researchers have identified the association of some major HR concepts with job satisfaction. A work done by Melanie K. Jones in 2004 revealed that training is positively associated with job satisfaction.

Also, it is well-known that promotion is a tool to raise job satisfaction like rewards. Job satisfaction is an attitude of an employee over a period of his job so the factors of satisfaction and dissatisfaction changes over the period.

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Also, research studies shows that Job satisfaction has a negative impact on employee turnover and an increase in wages can positively affect job satisfaction.

Emotional Intelligence and Job satisfaction: where’s the correlation is located?

It is generally considered that employees with higher emotional intelligence will have higher job satisfaction. This is because the employees with higher emotional intelligence are able to develop strategies to overcome the possible consequences which may arise out of stress whereas those with less emotional intelligence won’t be in a position to overcome the stress situations.

In addition, “in a group setting employees with higher EI will be able to influence the emotions of others in such a manner that, they will be able to boost their own as well as their co-workers morale” — “Executive EQ: Emotional intelligence in leaders and organizations” by R.K. Cooper, A. Sawaf.

This study uses a descriptive method wherein data is collected to test the hypothesis or to answer questions concerning the current status of the study. A survey method was selected for this study.

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Procedure for this study

The study was conducted among the employees of an International Electronic Firm located in India. Data was collected from 208 employees of the firm from different locations in the country using self-administered questionnaires.

Development of Hypotheses Based on the objectives of the research. The following hypotheses have been formulated:

  • H1: There is no significant relationship between Job satisfaction and Emotional Intelligence of the employees considered for this study.
  • H2: There is no significant difference in the mean scores of job satisfaction based on designation.
  • H3: There is no significant difference in the mean scores of Emotional Intelligence based on the designation.
  • H4: There is no significant difference in the mean scores of Job Satisfaction based on experience.
  • H5: There is no significant difference in the mean scores of Emotional Intelligence based on experience.
  • H6: There is no significant difference in the mean scores of Job Satisfaction based on marital status.
  • H7: There is no significant difference in the mean scores of Emotional Intelligence based on marital status.

Measures Emotional Quotient Tool

Dr Daniel Goleman, PhD of the University of Harvard, identified a set of competencies that differentiate individuals with Emotional Intelligence.

The competencies fall into four clusters:

Cluster 1: Self-Awareness or the capacity of an individual in understanding one’s emotions, strengths, and weaknesses. The major components of this cluster consist of Emotional Awareness, Self-Assessment and Self-Confidence.

Cluster 2: Self-Management or Capacity for effectively and efficiently managing his/her own motive and behavior. This consists of Self-Control, Achievement, Orientation Initiative, Conscientiousness, Trustworthiness and Adaptability.

Cluster 3: Social Awareness or the ability to understand the feelings, views and motives behind the actions of others. This includes Empathy, Organizational Awareness and service Orientation.

Cluster 4: Social Skills or one’s ability to achieve desired results from others and attain one’s own personal goal. The subset includes leadership, Influence, Communication, Conflict Management, Team works, Building Bonds and Collaboration.

The competencies mentioned in the first three clusters are considered to be the necessary requirement for an individual to be successful in the fourth cluster. Test Job satisfaction is an area of complex research and theory.

Herzberg, behavioural scientist, proposes that job satisfaction is composed of 2 elements, “hygiene factors” and “motivation factors” (Theory of 2 factors):

  • Hygiene factors are the necessary condition, but not the sufficient one for high job satisfaction in the organization. Hygiene factors are related to administrative factors such as work environment, pay and other benefits or facilities associated with the job.
  • Motivation factors are more related to factors like degree of autonomy and decision making capacity associated with a job. It also includes factors that make jobs more intrinsically rewarding which includes interesting content, conducive team environment, importance of the work, relationships, good leadership and so on.
Read More: Putting Performance and Happiness Together in the Workplace

Profiles of the respondents

It is found that about 69% of the respondents have spent 3 and more than 3 years at the Firm based in India.

The sample also has about 30% of the employees with limited exposure in the company. It can be observed that 65 % of the respondents have experience of 4 and more than 4 years.

Again it can be observed that 38.46 % of the employees are executives, 32.69% are senior executives, 21.16% are Assistants. Managers and 7.69% are Engineers Out of the 208 respondents covered in the survey 144 respondents are married and 64 respondents are unmarried. Also, 96 respondents are from the sales department, 80 are from HHP department and 32 respondents are from the IT department.

In general, it can be concluded that the responses are fairly balanced.

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Analyze of this survey

We observed that there is significant difference in the mean scores of Emotional intelligence based on marital status.

Other findings from the study:

  • 73% of the respondents are having high EQ
  • 70% of the respondents are having high Job satisfaction
  • 75% of the married respondents are having high EQ
  • 69% of the unmarried respondents are having high EQ
  • 64% of the married respondents are having high Job satisfaction
  • 82% of the unmarried respondents are having high Job satisfaction
  • 67% of the respondents whose work experience in between 2–4 years is having high EQ
  • 77% of the respondents whose work experience in between 5–7 years is having high EQ
  • 75% of the respondents whose work experience in between 8–10 years is having high EQ
  • 42% of the employees are having high EQ and high job satisfaction.
  • 31% of the employees are having high EQ but low job satisfaction.
  • 27% of the employees are having low EQ but high job satisfaction
Read More: How to Strengthen Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence

Results of this study

In business, Emotional Quotient programs:

  • Should be used to build organizational capacity for bringing out the best in people and forming powerful workplace relationships.
  • This helps to increase engagement, trust and integrity to build more effective teams, retain great employees, provide exceptional customer care, and effectively manage change.
  • Development of skills like communication skills, logical skills, comprehension skills, creative skills, and management skills must get priority.

Emotional intelligence tests should be used in the workplace for giving promotions, staff reviews, Recruitment etc.

The scope of the study was limited to a single firm so the results may not be generalizable to the whole industry. Administrating the structured questionnaire personally would have been advantageous than the same filled in by the employees but the cost was the limitation. It is well known that no two individuals perceive things alike. To this extent, the finding of the survey might suffer from bias in the respondents. Survey opinion gets distorted by extreme views. It may be difficult to spot such cases and eliminate them.

As a result, the conclusions may not reflect really in some issues.

The basic idea underlying the concept of Emotional Intelligence is that effective action requires more than purely rational thought. Emotion is critical for energizing and directing behaviour.

Also, to be happy and successful in life, one needs more than just cognitive ability as measured by Intelligence Quotient tests. Research consistently shows that IQ scores and academic intelligence do not predict important life outcomes very well. Job satisfaction is an integral component of organizational climate and an important element in management employee relationship. There should be firm and concrete steps taken for the purpose to improve job.

Job Satisfaction can be an important indicator of how employees feel about their jobs and a predictor of work behaviours such as organizational citizenship, absenteeism, and turnover.

Read More: Why Parents Should Be Concerned About Their Kids’ ‘EQ,’ Not Just Their IQ

Further, job satisfaction can partially mediate the relationship of personality variables and deviant work behaviours. One common research finding is that job satisfaction is correlated with life satisfaction. This correlation is reciprocal, meaning people who are satisfied with life tend to be satisfied with their job and people who are satisfied with their job tend to be satisfied with life.

However, some research has found that job satisfaction is not significantly related to life satisfaction when other variables such as non-work satisfaction and core self-evaluations are taken into account.

A major finding for organizations is that job satisfaction has a rather feeble correlation to productivity on the job.

In short, the relationship of satisfaction to productivity is not necessarily straightforward and can be influenced by a number of other work-related constructs, and the notion that “a happy worker is a productive worker” should not be the foundation of organizational decision-making.


Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope that according to this study I submitted to you, you have been able to consider more deeply these notions and especially the notion of emotional intelligence, so important, on the labour market, in terms of leadership, recruitment, whether you are a simple executor, manager or “leader”…

Moreover, We’d love it if you would let us know how you valued this article, by dropping your comments below. Finally, if you know anyone who you think this article might be valuable for, please share it.

Authored by Emmanuelle ROBIN

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October 22, 2019

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