The Correlation Between Emotional Intelligence and Employee Engagement within the Human Services Industry

The Correlation Between Emotional Intelligence and Employee Engagement within the Human Services Industry

Author: 
Juenara D. Washington
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
Emotional intelligence and employee engagement are researched broadly as independent topics of employee and organizational performance. Despite the vast amount of research, there is a continued engagement gap in organizations. The purpose of this quantitative correlational research study was to determine the relationship between emotional intelligence and employee engagement. The Schutte Self-Report Emotional Intelligence Test and The Utrecht Work Engagement Scale respectively measured emotional intelligence and employee engagement levels of workers in the human services industry of two organizations. Data were collected using SurveyMonkey, an online survey software service. The sample size of the two organizations was 371 with a confidence level of 95%. A correlational analysis using Spearman's rho concluded rs =.488 where p = <.001and N = 43 indicating a positive, yet moderate relationship between emotional intelligence and employee engagement. This study contributes to leadership by providing knowledge to augment organizational behaviors and performance. The benefits of this study for leadership highlight the importance of examining organizational members as a group instead of the limited focus on leader-subordinate relationships. Furthermore, leaders benefit by gaining knowledge of other interrelated aspects of employee engagement highlighting emotional intelligence as a competency correlated with employee engagement. The outcomes of this study provide knowledge regarding improving employee engagement, which leaders can integrate into recruitment, training, and development processes for all organizational members. The moderate relationship between emotional intelligence and employee engagement suggests future opportunities for study to determine other unidentified variables that may highlight a stronger correlation between emotional intelligence and employee engagement.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to my father, Reverend Dr. Earl Thomas Matthews, who dedicated his dissertation to his children decades ago. Completing this doctorate embodies the accomplishment of his dream, which was that one day when someone called the house and asked to speak with Dr. Matthews, he could reply, which one? To my children, Noah Earl Thomas and Sairai Juenara, and to my niece Harper Marie, I dedicate this dissertation also to you. Let this serve as a constant reminder of the importance of continuing the work started by “Poppa” ensuring that education continues as a top priority in our family for many generations to come.
Acknowledgements: 
An endeavor of this magnitude requires the love, support, and dedication of many. I must first acknowledge my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for, without Him, this accomplishment would not be possible. This process has strengthened my faith and deepened my understanding and appreciation of God’s grace, mercy, and lovingkindness. The arduous process and completion of this dissertation is a constant reminder to me that with God nothing shall be impossible. I am also grateful for my chair, Dr. Alex Lazo, for agreeing to work with me and whose style of mentorship was an ideal complement to my style of work. Dr. Lazo was always quick to respond and provided direct and straightforward feedback. Dr. Tony Ruffin and Dr. Maja Zelihic’s feedback was equally invaluable throughout this journey. The support and vast experience of my committee have been priceless. I would be remiss if I did not also acknowledge Jill Cretella, Hope Eder, and Lauren Pace who were instrumental in allowing me to conduct the study in their respective organizations. When everyone else said no, you said yes, and I am forever grateful. Also, a huge thank you to my cousin Kia J. Harper, who was a saving grace in my time of need. I must also acknowledge the love, determination, and faith of my grandparents: Verge Harper, Sarah Harper, and Juanita Matthews. I completed this doctoral journey to honor the sacrifices that you made for our family. It is my father, Reverend Dr. Earl Thomas Matthews who ignited the fire and passion for me even to consider pursuing a doctorate. However, it was my mother, Alfreda Matthews, who prayed for me and encouraged me to keep going. When I called, she listened, when I cried, she prayed, and now that I am finished she will join me in praise. There are no words to express the admiration, love, respect, and appreciation that I have for my parents and their unwavering love and support. A special thank you to my husband, Darrell Washington, who took on many of the nontraditional gender roles to allow me time to research, read, write, and repeat for over four years. A special acknowledgment to my children, Noah Earl Thomas and Sairai Juenara, who, although very young, always understood and were supportive when “mommy was doing her homework”.