Recruiting and retaining talent in today’s business climate is a tremendous challenge for organizations.  To accomplish this mission, leadership skills are essential.  Developing any skill that increases a leader’s performance benefits all concerned.  A recently published study provides valuable insight into one set of leadership skills associated with successfully recruiting and retaining talent–social competence and emotional intelligence (Bjekić, et al., 2021).

A sample of 30 employees from 8 organizations were surveyed regarding their leaders’ social competencies, particularly social awareness (empathy and organizational awareness) and relationship management (conflict management, coaching and mentoring, influence, inspirational leadership, and teamwork).  The study compared these skills with leadership outcomes as measured by employee perceptions of their leader’s effectiveness, employee satisfaction with immediate superiors and leaders’ encouraging employees to put extra effort into their job.

A statistically significant correlation was found between a leader’s social competencies and their performance (i.e., the greater the social competence the higher the performance outcomes). The researchers concluded that leaders with emotional and social competencies act like leaders and influence their direct reports by creating a work climate of mutual trust that motivates employees to progress, develop, learn, believe in themselves, and achieve more than they think they could. These leaders create a climate that encourages employees to give greater effort to their work and realize their potential as people and professionals.

Bjekić, R., Rodić, M., Aleksić, M., & Gašić, D. (2021). Relationship between Social Competences of Manager and Leadership Outcomes. Ekonomika67(2), 47–57.