We are all facing a highly volatile and dynamic business environment – some industries more than others. 2020 has been a tumultuous year with a worldwide pandemic, changing economies, a contentious election in the U.S., social unrest, and more. Business owners in many industries, quite honestly, do not know what to do to survive and grow in this environment. Needless to say, this is a time when organizations must turn to their leaders and employees to “step up” and it benefits us to look at what separates those who are prepared to deal with the current times.

In a recent academic article, Archana Pandey and Gunjan Anand (Mukt Shabd Journal ISSN NO: 2347-3150) looked at, among other things, the relationship between emotional intelligence and work attitude of employees. They also measured the impact of these personal attributes on job success in a highly volatile and dynamic environment. As they point out, the traditional approach in attempting to predict job performance, overall job success, and even the impact on a company’s bottom line has been to study cognitive aspects of workers and leaders. We believe, as Pandey and Anand do, that there is more to the story than thinking skills. Yes, being smart enough to make correct decisions is absolutely necessary. Yet, this has been shown to be insufficient.

More and more academicians, like Pandey and Anand, and business leaders have begun to understand that it is not just how smart employees are that contributes to job success, especially in a highly volatile and dynamic environment. It is also the attitude they bring to work that sets the high achievers apart. But this is not really a new finding in the world of emotional intelligence. As Pandey and Anand point out, the concept of emotional intelligence can be traced back to Charles Darwin’s (1872) early works emphasizing the importance of emotional expression for survival and adaptation. Advances in this area came about as scientists studied related concepts such as social skills, interpersonal capability, emotional responsiveness, etc. This begins to make even more sense when you add work attitude to the equation.

Work attitude refers to the way we think or behave at our workplace towards our jobs. E.A.S.I-Consult® has researched this over the past years and identified numerous aspects, or dimensions, of work attitude that impact work outcome. They include, for example, dependability, adaptability, quality initiative, productivity drive, customer orientation, and customer centric (see Work Styles Predictor Dimensions for complete list and definitions of dimensions). We know that hiring employees with the right attitude goes a long way in bottom line profits (see The Hidden Cost of a Bad Hire).

It appears that work attitude shapes itself through emotional intelligence. That is the findings of Pandey and Anand. We also know through our own research that work attitude plays an important role in work outcome. But where does work attitude come from? Some employees will take the initiative to produce work with the highest quality or go the extra mile for a customer. They do not have to be told or supervised. It is just inherent to them. Others take the least path of resistance. They offer the bare minimum required by the job. Some light is shed on this by Pandey and Anand and through our own research.

Pandey and Anand found that workers with higher emotional intelligence often have a stronger positive work attitude. E.A.S.I-Consult has demonstrated, in a study of the workplace, that stronger positive work attitudes result in higher productivity on the job (see ROI Study: Hiring for a Stronger Workforce). The diagram below illustrates the relationship of emotional intelligence, work attitude, and work outcome.

It seems to begin with emotional intelligence, which impacts work attitude. This, in turn, prepares high achieving employees with the right approach to work. I suggest that emotional

intelligence, alone, may not ready employees to excel in the workplace. This capability needs to nurture the growth of the right attitude for work. Finding the best employees for a position should focus on the closest connection to work outcome, i.e., work attitude. E.A.S.I-Consult has built years of research on this and has been very successful in creating pre-employment assessment tools that measure work attitude and predict job success for non-management employees and supervisors.

About the Author

David Smith, PhD, is the founder and CEO of E.A.S.I-Consult®. E.A.S.I-Consult works with Fortune 500 companies, government   agencies, and mid-sized corporations to provide customized Talent Management solutions. E.A.S.I-Consult’s specialties include leadership assessment, online pre-employment testing, survey research, competency modeling, leadership development, executive coaching, 360-degree feedback, online structured interviews, and EEO hiring advisement. The company is a leader in the field of providing accurate information about people through professional assessment. To learn more about E.A.S.I-Consult, visit www.easiconsult.com, email ContactUs@easiconsult.com or call 800.922.EASI.