PsyCap they call it in short. Branched out from the positive psychology movement and merged with positive organisational behaviour concepts, it provided a great framework that steps beyond usual social and human capital. It has organisational application, it’s measurable and proved to bring major positive changes in well-being, performance and attitude (& behaviour).
HERO. A stunning acronym that finds its roots deep in myths as well as modern cinematography, and now, well, in organisational psychology. We love heroes. Here, H — Hope, E — Efficacy or confidence, R — resilience, O — optimism.
Martin Seligman (after years working on helplessness and depression) identified the gap between ‘cure the illness’, ‘focus on deficit’ approach in psychology and lack of research within ‘normal, healthy’ people to understand deeper what leads and helps to sustain happiness, optimal functioning, excellence, high performance, satisfaction, compassion, love and so on. It launched Positive psychology about 20-sh years ago that focuses now on human strengths.
Fred Luthans and his colleagues stand at the beginning of PsyCap construct, which to me, very similar to coaching and GROW model. They conducted numerous research to make sure the interventions are theory- and evidence-based, follow POS criteria, align with positive org. behaviour and actually manageable within an organisation, bringing positive measurable changes that influence performance.
The concept is around developing and emphasising human qualities, more stable than moods, and more flexible than personality traits. Psychological capital is defined as an “individual’s positive psychological state of development and characterised by (1) having confidence (self-efficacy) to take on and put in the necessary effort to succeed at challenging tasks; (2) making a positive attribution (optimism) about succeeding now and in the future; (3) persevering toward goals and, when necessary, redirecting paths to goals (hope) in order to succeed; and (4) when beset by problems and adversity , sustaining and bouncing back and even beyond (resiliency) to attain success” (REF: F. Luthans, C.M. Youssef, B.J. Avolio).
How many of us in this modern circumstances have these assets? How many of us experiencing lack of resources and falling into pattern of burnout-recovery? Why this game is never ending and how can we support those who struggle?
I believe that the key is to start with yourself, knowing you are a part of something bigger. There is no true isolation or separation. Even in this work, Luthans and colleagues, talk about how PsyCap can be contagious within organisation. How important it is to have a positive climate in the workplace and so on.
There is definitely a move towards more evolving, positive and talent-oriented organisations, dictated by the huge changes on the market and a new focus on human potential, strengths and development. Not everywhere yet, but spreading fast. But is everything so cool and truly visible, recognised and administered not only on paper and PR publications, recruiters’ talks and benefits list…Who knows…
Recently I had an interesting conversation with employees of well-known organisation, one from senior level and other two were project managers in a local brunch. The former explicitly explained how wonderfully all modern and exciting well-being interventions have been used, applied, and happily received in the company. On the other hand, the latter, mentioned that it’s highly competitive atmosphere, nobody cares much about your social commitments or well-being as such.
Share your stories in comments… Do you practice corporate yoga, mindfulness or coaching as an on-boarding technique?
By Svetlana Elfimova – our own Organisational Psychology Graduate and Account Manager at Red Square International