Given the highly turbulent, but still competitive nature of today’s global economy, growth, excellence and maximizing the return on both financial and human capital, they are receiving the increasing attention. In line with the positive psychology initiative, management and organizational behavior researchers have begun taking a more balanced perspective by not only trying to fix what is wrong with dysfunctional organization and employees, but also taking a positive, strengths-based approach to organizations and human resource management (Luthans, 2002). Positive psychology has become an essential factor of success in business, because it provides scope for encouraging satisfaction, motivation and output in the work place.
Impact of Positive Psychology
The 21st century workplace is offering workers an unprecedented experience. Developments have paved the way for several changes, including globalization. The net effect of these developments is a high competition, in order for employees to keep up with such fast-paced system; firms have had to rely not only on employees’ creativity and innovation, but also on their personal strengths. There is sufficient evidence to conclude that work environments characterized by negativity, cynicism, incivility and mistrust are neither as productive nor satisfying as those characterized by positivity, hope, optimism and resilience (Seligman & Csíkszentmihályi, 2000).
Going by the data provided by the U.S Department of Labor, employed people worked more than seven hours on weekdays. Further, almost all persons did part or all their work at their work place. This implies that many people spend a large portion of their working hours at work. As such, there is a need for employers to establish a low stress and inspirational work setting to yield a greater productivity (Seligman & Csíkszentmihályi, 2000). This is where the field of positive psychology comes in the place of work to focus on changing the attention from negative aspects, such as stress and burnout. It can aid in creating a working environment objective of promoting the positive affect among employees (Froman, 2010).
One of areas in which positive psychology has been applied is in increasing job satisfaction among employees. One of significant impacts of job dissatisfaction among employees is turnover. Job dissatisfaction can also be related to burnout, stress and boredom. Positive psychology researchers have studied a number of solutions that can lead to the job satisfaction, especially through engagement, flow and self-efficacy. These factors are believed to lead to job satisfaction, as well as reduced turnover, higher job performance, and even a reduction in sick leaves (Seligman & Csíkszentmihályi, 2000).
Job satisfaction is derived from a person's perception of being fit in their place of work. It is considered to be exhibited in two ways: as the general perception attitude and as positive feelings and field-specific satisfaction caused by extrinsic and inherent factors. Inherent factors are entrenched in the job itself and entail aspects, such as the use of one’s skills. Extrinsic factors contain outside motivators, for example, pay and security. Such factors, including others such as work conditions and opportunities for promotion describe a large amount of inconsistency in job fulfillment(Froman, 2010).
The job satisfaction has been of a great focus in the field of organizational psychology for a long time, because employers have searched for ways of increasing the productivity. During recent years, job satisfaction has become an fascinating topic to positive psychologists, as it looks for the comprehension happiness and well-being, and the influence vocation it can have on such constructs. There are two theories that relate the job satisfaction to the job performance. One of theories holds that job satisfaction leads to an increased performance. This theory is acknowledged as one of the oldest theories on this relationship, and is usually traced back to the human relationship movement. Although many people hold the belief that employees who are happy with their jobs are more productive, research has not supported this idea. The theory that has been supported by research holds that job performance leads to rewards and to an increased satisfaction (Luthans, 2002).
Another construct of the workplace which is being influenced by the positive psychology is a motivation. This is a field in which the fundamental question of what is indispensable and about people is acknowledged. Recently, there has been a call for a reexamination of the focus of psychological approaches to the human behavior. Positive psychology has merged as a movement which emphasizes human strengths and is encouraging people to define what is functional and reliable in humanity. There is no simple or positive psychological approach to motivation.
Motivation in the workplace links to such aspects as creativity and innovation (Fredrickson, 2001). When employees are motivated, they are likely to harness the creativity to produce products that add worth to the company. Employees who are motivated need little supervision, and devote most of their time to the company without being told to do so (Froman, 2010). In addition, they develop loyalty to the company, which may lead to strengthening of a company’s brand.
In conclusion, the job satisfaction, performance and productivity in the workplace are all intertwined constructs. This is because an employee who is satisfied is likely to be motivated, hence, increasing in performance. This increase in performance is likely to lead to the high productivity. With increasing demands in the workplace, employees are forced to find ways of enabling employees to work at their best, in order for the company to have a competitive edge and remain viable in the turbulent business world (Froman, 2010).It is bound to become a vital factor to success in the milieu of business, due to the unique emphasis on positive psychology on harnessing strengths of the workforce. Positive psychology will continue to guide managers on how to develop and use human resources, as well as enable employees to make their best contributions.