Thrive At Work Instead of Going Through the Motions

Topic(s): development, job performance, self efficacy, wellness
Publication: Journal of Organizational Behavior (April, 2014)
Article: Thriving at work: Impact of psychological capital and supervisor support
Authors: T.A. Paterson, F. Luthans, and W. Jeung
Reviewed by: Lauren Zimmerman

Are there times where you feel like you’re just “going through the motions” at work? If so, there’s good news: Instead of continuing with your daily tasks like a programmed robot, you can thrive at work! A new study from (Paterson, Luthans, & Jeung, 2013) examines thriving at work, which involves an employee’s experience of both learning and vitality in the workplace. Specifically, this study looked at how supervisor support and employees’ levels of hope, efficacy, resiliency, and optimism ultimately influence their success in the workplace. Additionally, the study explored the influence thriving at work has on employees’ job performance and self-development.


The results revealed that employees who were more hopeful, efficacious, resilient, and optimistic at work were more likely to thrive. This led them to be employees who were more focused on their assigned tasks. Similarly, employees with very supportive supervisors were also more likely to thrive at work and be more focused. Furthermore, the employees who thrived at work engaged in more work-related self-development and had higher levels of job performance, as rated by their supervisors.


Collectively, these results indicate that employers and organizations should seek to promote “thriving at work” and not just “going through the motions” on a daily basis. Not only because employees who thrive at work perform better than their robotic coworkers, but also because the experience of thriving at work promotes employees’ self-development initiatives. This discovery is especially important for organizations. Today’s workplace continues to evolve rapidly and companies need employees who can easily adapt and develop along with the ever-changing work environment. Therefore, organizations should strive to create supportive work environments, which provide employees with enhanced opportunities for thriving at work.


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