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What Is Positive Organizational Behavior?

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  • Written By: Marlene Garcia
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 22 August 2016
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Positive organizational behavior represents the study of how positive emotions relate to employee performance in the workplace. It explores how positive psychology applies to the work environment and how employees can be taught to improve their positive psychological resource capacities. Researchers of positive organizational behavior believe developing hope, optimism, and resilience leads to higher-performing employees.

Employees who possess hope spend energy on meeting goals and using willpower to face challenges, according to these researchers. They plan for situations and re-evaluate events as they occur. This positive organization behavior creates determined employees who look for alternative solutions to get a job done when problems arise. They see problems as challenges and more effectively produce results beneficial to the company, the theory states.

Optimism allows a person to internalize events and see negative events as temporary and linked to outside situations. Pessimism promotes failure, according to positive organizational behavior studies, but optimism can be learned and measured, and impacts how a person performs in the workplace. An employee who is optimistic forgives past mistakes, lives in the present, and looks to the future for opportunities.

The positive organizational behavior defined as resilience permits employees to recover quickly from setbacks and move on. It enables them to overcome conflict and failure and meet new challenges. When employees possess optimism, they use flexibility and adaptation to find solutions for problems. Optimism can be developed in the workplace through training and measured by how well employees meet company goals.

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Teaching positive organizational behavior leads to better job satisfaction, work happiness, and commitment to the company, the theory states. Employees who are satisfied at work will go above and beyond what is expected of them. They will volunteer to help coworkers and take on additional tasks without resenting the extra work. When job satisfaction is high, employees are open to change if it benefits the employer.

Happiness at work denotes another benefit of positive organizational behavior. This is considered an emotional trait that promotes a sense of well-being in employees. Workers who are happy in the workplace generally appear healthier mentally and physically, and are better able to cope with stress. They are more likely to reach their highest potential, which can be evaluated via their performance.

Commitment to the organization suggests a positive organizational behavior that results in less absenteeism and turnover. Employees who believe in the company or agency where they work remain at their jobs because they want to, not because they need to. They believe in the products or services produced and work to make the firm stronger and more profitable.

Studies conducted on positive organizational behavior show the capacities of hope, resilience, and optimism create motivated employees and affect their professional attitudes. Some companies using these psychological approaches use self-testing to measure employees’ job satisfaction, happiness at work, and commitment to the organization. These factors can be compared with job performance to determine if a correlation exists.

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