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Do‐it‐yourself: An online positive psychology intervention to promote positive emotions, self‐efficacy, and engagement at work

Else Ouweneel (Work and Organizational Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Pascale M. Le Blanc (Human Performance Management Group, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands)
Wilmar B. Schaufeli (Work and Organizational Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 17 May 2013

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of an individual oriented positive psychology intervention on positive emotions, self‐efficacy, and work engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

The online self‐enhancement intervention program consists of three types of online assignments: happiness assignments, goal setting assignments, and resource building assignments. The authors expected the self‐enhancement intervention group to show a significantly stronger increase in the outcome variables compared to a self‐monitoring control group.

Findings

The results revealed that the self‐enhancement group showed a stronger increase in positive emotions and self‐efficacy compared to the control group, but not on engagement. Additional analyses showed that the positive effects of the self‐enhancement intervention are present for employees who are initially low in engagement, but not for those medium or high in engagement.

Research limitations/implications

The study was conducted via a semi‐public web site. The participants were all working in different organizations throughout the country and did not have the advantage of having the support of their supervisors and colleagues who were participating in a similar intervention.

Practical implications

Positive psychology interventions should target employees who are low in engagement, because they have the most unused potential and therefore have more to gain.

Originality/value

Traditionally speaking, individual interventions are carried out when something is wrong or malfunctioning, and with the sole objective of fixing it. The intervention presented in this paper includes the entire workforce, because it is based on the belief that improving employee well‐being is relevant for all.

Keywords

Citation

Ouweneel, E., Le Blanc, P.M. and Schaufeli, W.B. (2013), "Do‐it‐yourself: An online positive psychology intervention to promote positive emotions, self‐efficacy, and engagement at work", Career Development International, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 173-195. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-10-2012-0102

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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