A MODERN day police officer's emotional intelligence may be just as important as physical fitness and knowledge of the law, according to a Southern Cross University study.
Southern Cross Business School Professor Yvonne Brunetto was the principal researcher in a study titled Emotional Intelligence, job satisfaction, wellbeing and engagement: explaining organisational commitment and turnover intentions in policing.
The study used responses by 193 Australian police officers to take a closer look at the effect of emotional intelligence on job satisfaction, wellbeing and engagement of police officers in explaining organisational commitment and turnover intentions
It found that as police officers increased emotional intelligence, their reported wellbeing rose and subsequently they also noted improved job satisfaction, engagement and organisational commitment, leading to lower levels of staff turnover.
Professor Brunetto thinks improved emotional intelligence through proper human resources management could increase officer morale and potentially save money.
"This is crucial in contemporary policing because the retention of valued, experienced and highly trained officers affects policing outcomes," she said.
"The research also showed two possible causes of police job dissatisfaction and disengagement, one, inadequate supervisory resourcing and support and, two, unrealistic performance targets."
Emotional intelligence is described as the interrelated skills of self-awareness, managing emotions, self motivation, empathy and handling relationships.