Happiness, psychological capital and organisational citizenship behaviour of employees in a financial institution in Durban, South Africa.
The work environment in financial institutions where deadlines, budgets, routine work and performance issues are common can compromise most people’s sense of happiness. Therefore happiness in the workplace rarely manifests without significant effort from employees. Successful organisations need employees that will do more than their job requirements and go beyond expectations i.e. perform organisational citizenship behaviours (OCB). In light of the increasing interest in positive psychology the study aimed to focus on happiness and psychological capital (PsyCap) to find ways to enhance employees’ positive psychological states to achieve positive organisational outcomes such as OCB. The study therefore aimed to determine whether a relationship exists between happiness, PsyCap and OCB amongst employees in financial institutions. The study also sought to determine the predictive value of happiness and PsyCap in predicting OCB. Furthermore the moderating effect of PsyCap was assessed to determine the extent to which PsyCap moderated the relationship between happiness and OCB. A cross-sectional research design was used in the study. The researcher used a sample of 185 (N = 185) employees from a financial institution in Durban, South Africa. The researcher used five questionnaires in the study. A biographical questionnaire created by the researcher, the Orientations to Happiness Scale (OHS) used as the first measure of happiness, the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) used as the second measure of happiness, the Psychological Capital Questionnaire (PCQ), and the Organisational Citizenship Behaviour Questionnaire (OCBQ). The main findings of the study indicated that there were practically and statistically significant relationships between happiness (measured by the OHS), PsyCap and OCB. More specifically relationships were found to exist between happiness, the two PsyCap factors (hopeful-confidence and positive outlook) and the OCB factors (altruism, courtesy, sportsmanship and civic virtue). A significant finding was that happiness measured by SWL showed no significant relationships with OCB or the OCB factors thus indicating that happiness measured by orientations to happiness was a better measure of happiness for the employees in the financial institution. Happiness and the PsyCap factors were found to hold predictive value for some of the OCB factors. In determining the moderating effect of PsyCap it was found that only positive outlook significantly moderated the relationship between happiness and one of the OCB factors, civic virtue. The study has focused on happiness in the workplace and its relationship to organisational constructs such as PsyCap and OCB. The results of the study can therefore be deemed to be beneficial to managers in financial institutions and employees themselves. The study has made a significant contribution by highlighting that employees in a financial institution consider orientations to happiness (pleasure, meaning, and engagement) to be a more compelling measure of happiness in determining the likelihood to performing OCBs at work as opposed to satisfaction with life as a measure of happiness. Thus the orientations to happiness were concluded as being a more appropriate measure of happiness for employees in a financial institution in relation to OCBs. By focussing on employee’s level of happiness, how employees conceptualise happiness and the benefits of happy employees to the organisation, this information can provide organisations with a better understanding of employees and suggest to organisations to consider finding means to enhance happiness in the workplace. Happiness and PsyCap have shown to be related to positive organisational outcomes such as OCB which lead to organisational effectiveness and success. Therefore of specific relevance is enhancing the PsyCap of employees to achieve desired outcomes such as OCB. The findings can be used to prompt and encourage organisations to develop interventions that increase employee’s PsyCap and to focus on employee well-being and happiness.
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