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The impact of emotionally intelligent leadership on talent retention, discretionary effort and employment brand

Benjamin R. Palmer (Founder and CEO of Genos Pty Ltd, Waterloo, Australia)
Gilles Gignac (Director of Research and Development for Genos Pty Ltd, Waterloo, Australia)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 27 January 2012

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present research on the relationship between the emotional intelligence (EI) of managers and levels of engagement amongst their direct reports. The findings are discussed in terms of a business case for EI development as a strategy to improve employment brand, talent retention and productivity.

Design/methodology/approach

Within three different organisations, employees completed an assessment of their engagement and the EI of their manager via an online web survey system. Correlation analyses were then performed with the data.

Findings

The EI of managers was found to meaningfully correlate with employee engagement scores. A substantial amount of the variability in direct report engagement scores was accounted for by managers' EI.

Research limitations/implications

Future research needs to establish whether the EI of managers correlates with direct report engagement scores whilst controlling for direct reports' EI. Additionally, whether employee engagement scores improve as a result of improvements in managers' EI needs to be examined.

Practical implications

Organisations may be able to improve their employment brand, talent retention and productivity by developing the EI of management.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to report on the empirical relationship between managers' EI and employee engagement. It will be of interest to those who are challenged with the task of improving leadership and employee engagement more broadly.

Keywords

Citation

Palmer, B.R. and Gignac, G. (2012), "The impact of emotionally intelligent leadership on talent retention, discretionary effort and employment brand", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 44 No. 1, pp. 9-18. https://doi.org/10.1108/00197851211193372

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited