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The Impact of Emotional Intelligence on Job Performance During COVID-19 Crisis: A Cross-Sectional Analysis

Authors Alonazi WB

Received 22 May 2020

Accepted for publication 8 September 2020

Published 22 September 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 749—757


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman

Wadi B Alonazi

Health and Hospital Administration, College of Business Administration, King Saud University, Riyadh 11587, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Wadi B Alonazi
Health and Hospital Administration, College of Business Administration, King Saud University, PO Box 71115, Riyadh 11587, Saudi Arabia
Email [email protected]

Background: During a pandemic, healthcare professionals encounter various health hazards that affect their personal life and workplace. Emotional intelligence (EI) has a substantial impact on nurses’ success and performance in the healthcare industry. However, previous research studies report inconsistent findings regarding how different levels of EI affect job performance (JP), particularly during pandemics. The present study contributes to the literature on this contemporary topic by investigating the impact of EI on JP among nurses during COVID-19 crisis management in Saudi Arabia (SA).
Methods: In a convenience sampling, 340 nurses from three tertiary hospitals completed an online survey assessing EI and JP during COVID-19 climax levels in March and April, 2020. Only nurses who had direct contact with patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were eligible. The Wong & Law EI scale (WLEIS) was used in a cross-sectional design to determine participants’ EI. Empirically, JP was measured by the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire (IWPQ). Data analysis was performed using SPSS statistical software version 20.0 (IBM Corp).
Results: Generally, nurses reported, out of a 5-point Likert scale, moderate to high levels of EI (M = 3.99, SD = 0.434). Nurses in critical care units demonstrated the highest levels of EI, followed by nurses in intensive care, neonatal intensive care, then general nurses. Nurses working in respiratory therapy demonstrated the lowest levels. Across all groups during crisis, nurses reported a significant impact of EI on JP (β = 0.389, p < 0.01).
Conclusion: Nurses reported satisfactory levels of EI, and most of their practices were aligned with national standards during COVID-19, but slightly in inverse to EI. However, more research is necessary to understand the greater impact of stressors influencing JP to the extent that levels of EI are no longer satisfactory.

Keywords: emotional intelligence, nurses, job performance, COVID-19

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