Retaining Prison Staff: The Influence of Leader Emotional Intelligence on Employee Job Satisfaction

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Piedmont International University

Correctional leadership faces staffing challenges that potentially compromise safety and security and cause stress for remaining prison staff. Leadership is especially crucial in prisons due to threats of danger and stress. Leaders exhibiting emotional intelligence control their own emotions and manage interactions with others. Staffing shortfalls and the significance of prison leadership motivated a quantitative investigation of the relationship between leader emotional intelligence and employee job satisfaction. The researcher disseminated electronic surveys to prison staff in 5 southern states, which resulted in 1,174 surveys for analysis. Participants completed a survey that included the Genos Emotional Intelligence Inventory and the Job Satisfaction Survey. Results from a hierarchical linear regression revealed that both select demographic factors of prison employees and employee perception of their supervisor’s emotional intelligence are significantly predictive of prison employee job satisfaction. Findings provide both practical and theoretical implications for correctional leaders and support further research in the area of correctional leadership.

Emotional intelligence, Leadership, Correctional leadership, Prison staffing, Retaining correctional employees, Employee retention, Job satisfaction