Strengthening personal growth: The effects of a strengths intervention on personal growth initiative

M. van Woerkom*, M.C. Meyers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Personal growth is not only a central individual need but also a key requirement for organizational success. Nevertheless, workplace interventions aimed at stimulating the personal growth of employees are still scarce. In this study, we investigated the effectiveness of an intervention that aimed at the identification, development, and use of employee strengths in stimulating personal growth initiative. We conducted a field experiment with a sample of 84 educational professionals who were either assigned to a strengths intervention or a wait-list control group. In a 1-month follow-up study, we found that the intervention had a direct effect on general self-efficacy (GSE) and an indirect effect on personal growth initiative. Moreover, in line with plasticity theory we found that the intervention was especially effective for participants with low to medium initial levels of GSE. We conclude that a strengths intervention may provide a brief and effective tool for organizations that aim for self-directed learning among their staff, in particular when offered to employees who lack confidence in their own abilities. Practitioner points

In a 1 month follow-up study, we found that a strengths intervention had a positive direct effect on general self-efficacy and an indirect effect on personal growth initiative. In line with plasticity theory, we found that the strengths intervention was especially effective for participants with low to medium initial levels of general self-efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-121
JournalJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Volume92
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • strengths intervention
  • character strengths
  • general self-efficacy
  • plasticity theory
  • personal growth initiative
  • GENERAL SELF-EFFICACY
  • POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
  • NEED FULFILLMENT
  • PERCEIVED DEFICIENCIES
  • JOB-ATTITUDES
  • VALIDATION
  • MANAGEMENT
  • MEDIATION
  • MODEL
  • ANTECEDENTS

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