“To win customers – and a bigger share of the market place – companies must first win the hearts and minds of their employees.”
Human motivation is a tough nut to crack; there’s no ‘one fits all’ policy as we all have different attitudes, beliefs, goals and interests, and most of the time, if we cannot motivate ourselves to do something, it is going to be extremely difficult for someone else to do it for us. This is a very big problem faced by many organisations at present, which raises the fundamental question of what can be done to boost employee performance once and for all?
As mentioned in last week’s blog on setting goals, it is not just the motivation that plays a role in goal attainment and performance; there are a number of other factors that come into play, such as self-efficacy and optimism. If you believe that you are incompetent and ill-equipped, chances are, you will be less motivated to approach your goals. In addition, if you adopt a pessimistic thinking style, you are more likely to narrow your focus, resulting in a reduction in the opportunities you see in front of you; it’s a vicious circle, isn’t it?
So the bigger question we should really be asking ourselves is not what we can do to boost employee motivation, but whether we should be focusing on more than motivation to determine the success of our teams. After all, is motivation really the key to goal attainment and performance?
Psychological Capital
Psychological capital (PsyCap) is defined as “The positive and developmental state of an individual as characterised by self-efficacy, optimism, hope and resiliency.” By focusing on the positive mental state of ourselves and others, we are likely to see an increase in mood, productivity and purpose, which as a result, will lead to a more successful workforce.


Each individual contributor to PsyCap is liked to self- regulation, which is a pre-requisite to emotional intelligence. Read our blog post on EI here! By making an active effort to develop each of these contributors in yourself and your employees, you are likely to see an increase in goal-oriented determination and thus, goal attainment, which in itself, is the primary goal of all organisations.
Does PsyCap really make a difference to organisational performance?
According to research, PsyCap has been related to several positive organisational outcomes, including:
  • Higher job satisfaction and commitment
  • Positive employee attitudes and behaviours
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Less deviance
  • Less employee criticism and intentions to quit
  • Increased organisational citizenship behaviours
  • A reduction in self-reported levels of stress and anxiety in the workplace
So how can PsyCap be implemented in a working environment?
As PsyCap can be developed in all individuals, one of the best ways to foster it in your working environment is through positive leadership.

By rewarding individuals for their efforts and contributions, providing employees with a safe and supportive environment, and by helping each team member to plan the necessary steps required for achieving their goals, you will be one step closer to seeing the results you want from your teams.

Check out our blogs on inspiring your teams and leadership here. 
So the next time you set a goal for yourself or your team, remember to consider how PsyCap might influence the outcome and work together with your team members to boost the elements of PsyCap as much as possible; this will enable you to achieve your goals to maximum effect.
What do you think – is motivation alone enough to succeed? Are other psychological factors more important in determining job satisfaction and success? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Author: Megan Lazenby, Online Marketing, Masterclass Training Ltd
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