Using Signature Strengths to Increase Happiness at Work

Authored by: Nicola S. Schutte , John M. Malouff

The Routledge Companion to Happiness at Work

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367266554
eBook ISBN: 9780429294426
Adobe ISBN:


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Use of signature strengths at work may increase happiness. Signature strengths are the character strengths most prominent in an individual and include strengths in the categories of wisdom and knowledge, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Greater use of signature strengths is associated with happiness and well-being, as well as work-related outcomes such as a greater perception of the meaningfulness of work, more engagement with work, greater work satisfaction, better organizational citizenship behavior, better work performance, and lower job stress. The Values in Action Inventory is commonly used to help individuals identify their signature strengths. Intervention studies examining the effect of signature strength training indicate that assisting employees identify their strengths and encouraging them to use their signature strengths can lead to increased happiness. Across studies examining the outcomes of signature character-strength interventions compared to control conditions with various types of employees, signature strengths training increased the use of signature strengths, and resulted in increased positive affect and life satisfaction. Future signature strengths training programs might investigate the benefits of specific aspects of programs for different types of workplaces and employees and examine the usefulness of incorporating additional elements, such as emotional intelligence training, into signature strengths development programs.

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