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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:

  • Create Conditions for Performance;
  • Create Conditions for Connection; and
  • Create Conditions for Growth.

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 fulfilment. In thriving workplaces, all individuals can experience positive well-being3

Promote Thriving pillar table showing building blocks, and key strategies.

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

Create Conditions for Performance

To be able to cope with and benefit from changes in the future of work, organisations need to build a thriving and high performing environment.

High performing organisations are those that foster innovation, proactivity, and engagement at work.

Key strategies to create conditions for performance include:

  • strategic human resources practices – implement practices that drive employee outcomes. This can include: self-managed work teams; recruitment and selection; training and development; compensation and benefits; employee relations; communication practices; work design and involvement; performance management and appraisals; promotions and internal mobility; and turnover, retention, and exit management.

Fact

Employees who experience states of positive mental health are more committed to the organisation and perform better. 8

Create Conditions for Connection

In order to reap the benefits of a thriving workforce, it is vital that employees have a sense of meaning in their work.

One way that employees derive meaning from their work is through their connections. Importantly, these connections can be internal and external to the organisation.

Key strategies to create conditions for connection include:

  • high quality work connections – build work relationships that allow for both resource and information sharing, a sense of social connectedness, and emotional support;
  • diversity and inclusion – ensure organisational policies, procedures and behaviours support diversity and inclusion; and
  • community engagement – provide opportunities for employees to contribute to the community.

Fact

Thriving employees behave more safely, are more creative, proactive and open to new experiences. 9

Create Conditions for Growth

Growth is an essential human process across the lifespan and individual learning and growth is a key dimension of thriving.10

Workplaces are an important source of learning, growth and well-being for individuals.11

Key strategies to create conditions for growth include:

  • strengths-based development – assist employees to identify, grow, and leverage their natural strengths at work; and
  • support lifelong learning – encourage continuous learning and self-development.

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. Bakker, A.B., E. Demerouti, and A.I. Sanz-Vergel, Burnout and Work Engagement: The JD–R Approach. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 2014. 1(1): p. 389-411.
  9. 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.
  10. 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

Create Conditions for Performance

To become a high performing workplace, an organisation needs to enable employees to have the capacity and capability to perform beyond simply meeting performance requirements.