The degree of positive experiences increases with the number of signature strengths applied. In both studies, people who are able to apply four or more signature strengths at work have the highest values in terms of positive experience. They enjoy work more, are more wrapped up in it, perceive their work as more meaningful and are more satisfied with their job. These people also perceive their work more as a calling than people who are able to apply three signature strengths or fewer in the workplace.
Whether character strengths can be applied at work depends, among other things, on which rules are stipulated in the job description or whether strength-related behavior is helpful to carry out the work. A job description for nursing staff, for example, might contain a lot about hygiene but not so much on friendly conduct. Nonetheless, we can expect patient care to be more successful if the nursing staff is friendly and sympathetic.
Harzer, C., & Ruch, W. (2012). When the job is a calling: The role of applying one’s signature strengths at work. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 7, 362-371. doi:10.1080/17439760.2012.702784
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Nathalie Huber | Universität Zürich
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