Psychological capital: how to create more resilient employees

New research suggests that improving the psychological capital of employees can have a significant impact on their creativity, wellbeing and performance. But how can psychological capital be enhanced?

Improving the ‘psychological capital’ of employees is a subject that is moving quickly from academic research to the frontline of workplace practice. But what is psychological capital, how can it be developed and what is the impact on productivity?

An exclusive report for WORKTECH Academy by Sally Augustin, an environmental design psychologist and editor of Research Design Connections, seeks to answer these questions. You can read her report in our Innovation Zone here.

Psychological capital, or PsyCap as experts call it, can be defined as the emotional resources available to someone at any one time, specifically feelings of hope, efficacy, resilience and optimism. It can be measured within individuals but also amongst a collective group, such as a team of co-workers.

Higher levels of psychological capital have been linked to greater performance in the workplace and a lower rate of turnover within staff. There is also a positive correlation between levels of PsyCap and the health, wellbeing and creativity of individuals in office environments.

‘Higher levels of psychological capital have been linked to better workplace performance…’

So how can employers work to increase the psychological capacity of their staff?

Sally Augustin suggests that ‘organisations can actively develop the PsyCap of their employees’ so they are better equipped to deal with the challenges thrown at them.

Research shows that taking steps such as thinking through the sensory experience of workers in a particular space, creating different zones within an office to suit the diverse needs of staff members and incorporating elements of biophilic design into a space can make significant differences to the psychological capital of employees and increase coping strategies and resilience to stress.

Read more about the impact of psychological capital on the workforce and the steps that can be taken to bolster PsyCap amongst staff here.

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