The purpose of the quantitative explanatory/predictive study was to use a self-assessment emotional intelligence survey combined with an extrinsic and intrinsic inventory completed by restaurant managers to assess the effects on voluntary employee turnover rates. The intent of the research focused on managerial emotional intelligence and the moderating effects of reward usage to alter the strength of the relation between emotional intelligence and voluntary employee turnover rate. The research extended the understanding and application of emotional intelligence in the high stress restaurant industry by demonstrating the connections between managerial levels of emotional intelligence, the usage of rewards, and the subsequent impact on voluntary employee turnover. Based on 130 completed online surveys distributed to randomly selected managers of American restaurants with fewer than 500 employees, the backward deletion multiple regression analysis suggested that the emotional intelligence construct of emotion utilization, modified by the intrinsic reward of employee development, was inversely related to voluntary employee turnover. The results of this research supported the hypotheses which postulated positive relationships between managerial emotional intelligence, extrinsic reward usage, and intrinsic reward usage. Although managerial emotional intelligence and extrinsic rewards contributed to reducing voluntary employee turnover, the combination of managerial emotional intelligence and intrinsic rewards produced a more significant effect. Future studies using structural equation modeling or conditional process analysis may offer superior statistical analysis approaches for understanding the moderating effects of extrinsic and intrinsic rewards on the manager-employee relationships.
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