The relationship between volunteering, emotional intelligence and job performance: a case of Kenyan youth from Nafisika trust
MetadataShow full item record
This research study aimed to analyse the relationship between volunteering, Emotional Intelligence (EI) and job performance. A total of 86 youth who volunteered with Nairobi based NGO Nafisika Trust were the respondents of the survey. Nafisika Trust is a not-for-profit organisation that delivers counselling and educational programmes within Nairobi prisons, with the aim of reducing recidivism rates among inmates and promoting true reintegration into society. The study comprises three main research objectives. Firstly, to assess the influence of volunteering on the EI of volunteers. Secondly, to evaluate the job performance of past volunteers at their current organisations. Finally, to determine if a significant relationship exists between EI and job performance. There are two theories underpinning this research study: the theory of Multiple Intelligence (Gardner, 1983), and the Experiential Learning Theory (Kolb, 1984). In order to answer the research questions, this descriptive, cross-sectional study adopted survey strategy and sequential triangulation design. Two instruments were employed in data collection: an online questionnaire for volunteers, aimed at capturing EI and job performance levels, and a focus group discussion with Nafisika Trust’s supervisors for triangulation of data and in-depth understanding. Due to the limited size of the populations of study, a census technique was employed. Quantitative data analysis techniques included Mann-Whitney test, in order to determine if there was statistically significant difference between volunteers’ EI scores before and after their volunteering experience; correlation, simple linear regression and multiple regression to study the relationship between EI and job performance; and Structural Equation Modelling to determine the structural relationship between measured variables and latent constructs. On the other hand, the qualitative data analysis technique employed was thematic analysis. It was found that volunteering at Nafisika Trust equipped Kenyan youth with a higher degree of Mixed EI. It was also concluded that Nafisika Trust’s past volunteers’ access to formal employment is above national average and that they are generally good performers within their organisations. Finally, the study confirmed the existence of positive relationship between EI and job performance, significant at 95% confidence level. The R-squared values were as follows: 50% for the simple linear regression model; 59.6% for the multiple regression model; and 67% for the Structural Equation Model. Hence, it was concluded that EI is a strong predictor of job performance. The Government of Kenya is therefore recommended to explore strategies aimed at developing EI competencies in the youth, as a way of promoting a smooth transition into the formal wage sector.