Character defines work environment

If your work utilises your key character traits, you find the work more fulfiling and enjoyable, says new research.

Woman happy at work
width="300 " Woman who is happy at work

Are you happy at work? Ever thought that it could be one of your character traits that make you happy or sad at work?

Latest research conducted by, Claudia Harzer and Professor Willibald Ruch from the Section on Personality and Assessment at the University of Zurich proves that a job is particularly cherished if it suits one's own signature strengths: The application of signature strengths in one's profession actually goes hand in hand with more positive experiences at work, namely enjoyment, flow, sense of purpose or satisfaction and calling.

We have heard of a few signature styles, but what do signature character strengths mean?

The character strengths can be defined as traits that are evaluated as morally positive, such as self-control, teamwork or kindness. Character strengths that are particularly distinctive for a person and which he or she likes to use frequently are referred to as signature strengths. Everybody typically has between three and seven of these signature strengths.

In the study researchers Harzer and Ruch interviewed over 1,000 working people about the manifestation of their character strengths, whether they are able to apply these strengths at work and how positively they experience their work in the first study. In their second study, besides self-assessments the scientists also analyse how the test subjects' colleagues rate the applicability of the character strengths.

The people who were able to apply four or more signature strengths at work had the highest value in terms of positive experiences; they also regarded their work as more meaningful and were satisfied with their work.

How is it useful for us? Well, as employers or employees we can identify our strengths and accordingly decide our careers or while recruiting personnel. "If it is clarified which character strengths are central for the job before a position is filled, a person can be recruited based on these strengths. Employers and employees only stand to benefit from this," explained Harzer.

The scientists look forward to study the topic in more depth to understand if four signature strengths are found in all professions and hierarchical levels or whether fewer signature strengths suffice to facilitate a positive experience in employees.

Eurekalert

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