Positive psychology in organisations is ofte Click and drag to move n perceived as being a "fluffy" practice and a rather soft management style as it focuses more on employees and their well-being at work, targeting concepts such as engagement, optimism and resilience as opposed to hard management styles based on control, efficiency and cost reduction with the single aim of increasing organisational revenue.
Positive Psychology applications at work have therefore been renamed "Positive Organisational Behaviour", short "POB", to avoid the fluffy stigma. POB is defined as the study and application of positive psychological capacities which are continuously measured, developed and managed effectively with the aim of improving the workforce hereby focusing on positive strengths rather than negative weaknesses of employees (Luthans, 2002). For a positive outcome of POB, psychological capacities must be empirically valid and state-like in order to be able to develop over time (Luthans, et al. 2007).
This can be achieved by changing an organisation's management style from hierarchical to flat management focusing on team-building and management hereby playing to the strengths of each team member. Each employee therefore works within a team towards the same goal which is in line with the vision of the whole organisation. Managers and leaders should be encouraged to use positive reinforcement, giving employees constructive and encouraging feedback with the purpose for individuals to learn from their mistakes and develop as a professional.
Previous studies discovered that applications of positive Psychology concepts such as hope, optimism and resilience at work predict desired work-related outcomes, such as increased levels of job satisfaction, organizational citizenship behaviours and organisational commitment which in turn impact levels of job performance and productivity levels thus resulting in increased overall organisational performance (Youssef & Luthans, 2007). However, the application of Positive Organisational Behaviour does not only lead to beneficial behaviours in employees, but also has implications for an increased competitive advantage for the whole organisation, as all employees have the same vision and work toward the same goal while at the same time staying loyal to the company (Ramlall, 2008).
Applying Positive Organisational Behaviour to the workplace can therefore be seen as a win-win situation rather than a fluffy practice by everyone involved in the organisation: Employees feel valued and committed to the organisation leading to increased levels of productivity. Managers do not have to deal with discouraged employees and have a motivating and encouraging role rather than a controlling one. Finally, this makes any organisation a great place to work thus giving the company a good reputation for potential future employees as well as clients.
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