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What does it mean to Promote Thriving?

Promote Thriving is one of three pillars in the Thrive at Work Framework, and an important contributor to creating a workplace in which employees can thrive.

The Promote Thriving pillar has three building blocks that work together to optimise employee well-being. They are:

  • Promote Purpose and Growth;
  • Promote Connection; and
  • Increase Personal Resources for Thriving.

Thriving is being energised, feeling valued, and feeling that what you do is valued. Thriving is being productive, being open to challenges presented,  and having the opportunity to continuously learn and grow.1

Research tells us that mental health is not only the absence of mental ill health, but also includes the development of positive mental health, characterised by positive states of thinking, feeling, and functioning.2 A thriving organisation not only protects employees against psychological harm, but also provides an environment that fosters the development of positive mental health and a sense of fulfillment. In thriving workplaces, all individuals can experience positive well-being.3

Why is it important to Promote Thriving?

Thriving employees go above and beyond for the organisation, they are more creative, safer and are more committed to the organisation.

Supporting employees to thrive makes clear business sense. Research has found that thriving employees are more confident and energised, better able to respond to challenges, and recover quicker from the demands of work.4 Thriving is linked to sustainable individual and organisational performance.5 Organisations experience greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, productivity, safety performance and overall profitability along with reduced turnover and absenteeism.6

Fortunately, there are activities and actions that organisations can invest in to promote thriving in the workplace. It is important to have a solid understanding of the three building blocks in the Promote Thriving pillar and how they work together to create conditions of thriving.

Fact

Employees who experience states of positive mental health perform beyond the required tasks of their job.7

Promote Purpose and Growth

Purpose and growth are essential human processes across the lifespan and individual learning and growth is a key dimension of thriving.8

Workplaces are an important source of learning, growth and well-being for individuals.9

Key strategies to promote purpose and growth include:

  • Provide visions and foster purpose;
  • Foster confidence and learning; and
  • Support career progression and lifelong development.

Fact

Employees who experience states of positive mental health are more committed to the organisation and perform better.10

Promote Connection

In order to reap the benefits of a thriving workforce, it is vital that employees have high quality relationships at work.

One way that employees derive meaning from their work is through their connections. Organisational strategies to foster connections and valuing diversity and inclusion allow employees to thrive and grow psychologically.

Key strategies to promote connection include:

  • Foster work connections and linkages;
  • Value and enable diversity and inclusion;
  • Harness diversity; and
  • Support community engagement.

Increase Personal Resources for Thriving

Organisations can foster individuals’ motivation and ability to increase their own thriving.

Like the third category in each of the pillars, this category is focused on strategies that enable individuals to create a better work experience for themselves.

Key strategies to increase personal resources for thriving include:

  • Support job crafting for personal growth; and
  • Foster positive psychology practices.

References

  1. Spreitzer, G., Sutcliffe, K., Dutton, J., Sonenshein, S., & Grant, A. M. (2005). A socially embedded model of thriving at work. Organization Science, 16(5), 537-549.
  2. Seligman, M., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology. An introduction. The American Psychologist, 55(1), 5–14.
  3. Keyes, C. L. (2007). Promoting and protecting mental health as flourishing: A complementary strategy for improving national mental health. American Psychologist, 62(2), 95.
  4. Desrumaux, P., Lapointe, D., Sima, M. N., Boudrias, J. S., Savoie, A., & Brunet, L. (2015). The impact of job demands, climate, and optimism on well-being and distress at work: What are the mediating effects of basic psychological need satisfaction?. European Review of Applied Psychology65(4), 179-188.
  5. Spreitzer, G. M., & Porath, C. (2012). Creating sustainable performance. Harvard Business Review, 90(1), 92–99
  6. Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., & Hayes, T. L. (2002). Business-unit-level relationship between employee satisfaction, employee engagement, and business outcomes: a meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology87(2), 268.
  7. Nahrgang, J. D., Morgeson, F. P., & Hofmann, D. A. (2011). Safety at work: a meta-analytic investigation of the link between job demands, job resources, burnout, engagement, and safety outcomes. Journal of applied psychology96(1), 71.
  8. Spreitzer, G., & Porath, C. (2014). Self-determination as a nutriment for thriving: Building an integrative model of human growth at work. In M. Gagne (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of work engagement, motivation, and self-determination theory (pp. 245-258). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  9. Spreitzer, G., Sutcliffe, K., Dutton, J., Sonenshein, S., & Grant, A. M. (2005). A socially embedded model of thriving at work. Organization Science, 16(5), 537-549.
Next step

Promote Purpose and Growth

To keep up with the changing nature of work, organisations need to change the way they approach employee learning and development and contribute to personal growth.