Impact of Social Support, Emotional Intelligence on Work Turnover Intention: A Cross-Sectional Study among Employees

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
High employee turnover rate is a serious problem faced by most public and private sector organizations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While the most common reason for high employee turnover is inadequate financial remuneration, the existing evidence indicates that factors such as social support and emotional intelligence (EI) could also be related to high employee turnover. Generally, the available literature about the effect of EI and social support on employee turnover is scarce with even fewer studies in the context of universities in UAE. Since employee turnover could become a bigger challenge for the economy of the UAE in the future, it is imperative to explore the association between factors such as social support and EI and employee turnover in the UAE. Therefore, the goal of this study is to explore how social support and emotional intelligence could affect employees’ turnover intention in the UAE setting. A cross-sectional study was conducted in the UAE from June 2020 to July 2021. The sample comprised 452 respondents from thirteen universities and data were collected by using a questionnaire. The data were analyzed using SPSS and linear regression was performed to assess the factors associated with employee turnover intention. The results of the study showed that factors such as supervisor support, coworker support, sympathy, and self-regulation affected the employees’ turnover intention while adjusting for age, gender, and work experience. Employees with high scores for social support (supervisor and coworkers’ support), sympathy, and self-regulation were less likely to intend to leave the job. The results of this study, therefore, led to a conclusion that organizations should provide appropriate social support including both coworker and supervisor support to retain the employees in the universities.
turnover intention, social support, emotional intelligence, United Arab Emirates (UAE), employees, employee turnover