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Personal Resources

When we talk about wellbeing in organizations, there are very nice initiatives that help employees to work on their personal resilience and stress resistance. In other words, the focus is on sharpening or strengthening personal resources. Research also shows that these personal resources play a very important role in translating job resources into work engagement and then also into job performance and organizational engagement.

A very good framework for this is the well-known Job Demands-Resources Model (Bakker, Schaufeli & Demerouti, 1999). This model also shows us that it is more effective to invest in energy sources at work and in personal resources than simply eliminating work demands (Bakker, Van Emmerik & Euwema, 2006; Le Blanc & Oerlemans, 2016). In addition to strengthening personal resources, we certainly need to dare to take into account the organizational context.

A matter of Vitamins

After all, a working environment with many energy sources responds to our basic human needs for autonomy, belongingness, and competence (Deci & Ryan, 2000; Van den Broeck, Vansteenkiste, De Witte & Lens, 2008). Moreover, such an environment stimulates us to make extra efforts and helps us to buffer work demands much better (e.g. work pressure) (Schaufeli & Taris, 2013). But what are these organizational vitamins that motivate us so much?

  • Autonomy: an environment or manager that gives us the necessary freedom to choose when and how we take on certain tasks.
  • Good working atmosphere thanks to the relationship with colleagues and supervisor: a culture of trust and fairness that allows us to be vulnerable. This contributes to our sense of belonging and connection.
  • Social support or the feeling of not being alone and being able to reach out to someone.
  • Meaningful work: feeling that our work matters, that we make a difference or can contribute to a higher goal
  • Development opportunities: the space to develop our potential and our talent. People like some form of challenge where they can use their skills. This state of flow contributes to intrinsic motivation, learning, and development (Csikszentmihályi, 1990).
  • Constructive feedback helps us to grow and enhances our learning potential.

Wellbeing and Resilience

Consequently, in order to reach the full potential of wellbeing initiatives, you have to work in an integrated way in which organizational and individual elements all come together. The challenge is to design and develop that environment that fosters wellbeing. This environment has come under pressure due to the corona crisis. Organizations that are able to create this context, will not only strengthen employee resilience and wellbeing, but also that of their teams and of the organization as a whole.

In need of support with this? I’d be happy to advise you! Reach out


The bibliography is available upon request.

Investing in wellbeing means focusing on energy sources and personal resources. There are organizational vitamins that respond to our work engagement, job performance & organizational involvement.

Eva De WinterSenior Consultant @ Otolith and Co-president of VOCAP.

Eva is a senior consultant with Otolith and co-president of the Flemish Association of Work and Organizational Psychologists.

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