The greater the level of emotional intelligence of workers employed in the public domain, the better the service they provide, according to a new research study by a University of Haifa doctoral student.

The results show that civil servants with high levels of emotional intelligence are more motivated to serve the public. These public sector workers also show greater job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and better quality of service.

“The study supports the emerging recognition that the understanding and managing of emotions play a significant role in the work of public service providers alongside the so-called ‘rational’ aspects of their work,” said Zehavit Shabtay Levitats, a doctoral student at the School of Political Science at the University of Haifa who conducted the research.

Two hundred public sector workers participated in a study under the direction of Professor Eran Vigoda-Gadot. The study examined the relationship between emotional intelligence and motivation to serve the public of public sector workers on the one hand and the mutual influence of these factors on three indicators of their performance: job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and the quality of service, on the other.

“The results of this study add to our understanding of the performance of the public sector and the relative and combined roles played by the emotions and motivation of public sector workers. On a practical level, human resource teams in the public sector can benefit from these findings by, among other things, combining tools for measuring emotional intelligence and motivation in the public service selection process,” said Zehavit Shabtay Levitats.