“To win customers and a bigger share of the marketplace – 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” policies as we are all different with our own goals, interests, beliefs and attitudes, and more of the time, if we cannot motivate ourselves to do something, it is likely that it’ll prove even harder for someone 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? However it is not just 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 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 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 (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.
So does PsyCap really make a difference to organisational performance?
PsyCap has been related to several positive organisational outcomes, including:
- A reduction in self-reported levels of stress and anxiety in the workplace
- Higher job satisfaction and commitment
- Increased organisational citizenship behaviours
- Less deviance
- Less employee criticism and intentions to quit
- Lower absenteeism
- Positive employee attitudes and behaviours
How to implement PsyCap in a working environment?
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 with their efforts and contributions, providing employees with a safe and supportive environment, and helping each team member plan the necessary steps required for achieving their goals, you will be one step closer to seeing the results you want from your teams.
So the next time you set a goal for yourself or your team, remember to consider how PsyCap might influence the outcome work together with your team member 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 enough to succeed? Are other psychological factors more important in determining job satisfaction and success? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!