Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Psychological Capital (Psycap) and it's benefits

Have you ever wondered what "Psycap" stands for?  Have you ever even heard of it?

Psycap stands for - psychological capital.  This evening I had the great pleasure of attending a meeting cum lecture that was given by Maree Roche for the local branch of HRINZ.

Here is the basic rundown on the four key elements of psycap -

  1. Efficacy.  This is the quality of persistence mixed with confidence.
  2. Optimism.  People have a realistic handle on what is happening in the here and now but are still able to see positive outcomes.  This is a permanent trait that is ongoing unlike a feeling of happiness.
  3. Resilience.  People not only bounce back from the not so good events in life but they rebound and go beyond where they were previously.  They go beyond better.
  4. Hope.  This was described as being waypower.  So people are able to not only recognise that a barrier is front of them but the person is able to source/seek out new ways of approaching the problem and coming to a solution.

The ideal people and the happiest employees/managers have all four of these qualities which they are able to display, said Mrs Roche.

So why be bothered with psycap?  Check out this quote -

"Published research on PsyCap has found that it is related to multiple performance outcomes in the workplace, lower employee absenteeism, less employee cynicism and intentions to quit, and higher job satisfaction, commitment, and organizational citizenship behaviors. Research has also found PsyCap can be enhanced by a supportive work climate. In terms of being state-like, PsyCap has been developed by short training sessions in both classroom and field settings and electronically through the internet (Luthans, Avey & Patera,2007)." (Source: http://www.mindgarden.com/products/psycap.htm)

The question I had was - can we grow these qualities in people? And if so how?

Another thinking point I had was do the people who have these qualities actually make it to higher levels of management or do they stay stationary and just do well where they are at?

Here is the model for how it all fits together -


In short probably the best thing you can do if you want to know more (without all the deeply scientific bits) would be to read Drive by Dan Pink.


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