Interventions to improve wellbeing at work: the FAMILY approach

Organizations are increasingly promoting employees’ health and wellbeing, given that happy workers are more productive and cope better with the high demands of the work environment than their dissatisfied counterparts. A promising approach to promote wellbeing at work is the focus on enhancing and supporting employees’ strengths use at work and personal resources. 

 Against this background, this project aims at investigating the effects of a newly developed positive psychology intervention designed to improve employees’ wellbeing, i.e. the FAMILY intervention. Such an intervention program centers around six dimensions, which content is designed to develop and channel employees’ strengths and resources by supporting employees’ positive reframe of emotional work situations, the identification of possible challenging work situations, and structuring reflection and meaning-making processes to support employees’ awareness of work identity beliefs. 

 Specifically, the six dimensions refer to Framing (F), i.e. helping participants focusing on the positive rather than on the negative aspects of work by using their strengths; Attitudes (A), i.e. supporting employees in the adoption of a positive perspective when facing challenging work tasks by leveraging on self-identified strengths and personal resources; Meaningfulness (M), i.e. supporting employees’ awareness about the meaning attributed to their work; Identity (I), i.e. facilitating reflection on career aspirations; Leading-self (L), i.e. supporting employees planning on how to translate personal aspiration into concrete plans; and Yoked-together (Y), i.e. raising awareness and reflecting on the social processes defining one’s work role. 

 By providing empirical evidence on the role of such an intervention to improve employees’ wellbeing, personal resources, and strengths use, this project contributes to advance knowledge on how positive experiences (contexts, strengths, and virtues, personal resources) can be used to protect against occupational risks. 

The project is characterized by the desire to develop an organizational intervention model (ie, FAMILY) with a specific focus on human resources that integrates the principles of positive psychology (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000), job crafting (Wrzesniewski & Dutton, 2001 ), personal and team coaching (Seligman, 2007, Parks & Biswas-Diener, 2013) to develop strengths, talents and civic virtues (Peterson & Seligman, 2004) of each worker in the organization to optimize the person-organization relationship (PO fit), commitment, engagement, ethical leadership and other dimensions involved in aligning with the corporate ethical mission and respecting social responsibility. Starting from a climate analysis and a mapping of the current situation of each member of the organization, the project aims to bring about an improvement in the dimensions mentioned above thanks to interventions aimed at developing the skills necessary to optimize alignment, to the development of talents, strengths and civic virtues. Therefore, after the first phase of analysis, we will proceed with the structuring and delivery of interventions at multiple levels of the organization (Executive, Management, Sales Consultants, etc.). In this sense, the research will follow two distinct strands that together will contribute to the achievement of the development of the company’s resources and human potential. The first strand will be that of coaching (team and personal), in which the constructs of flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 2000), mindfulness (Jordan et al., 2009), and aptitude for crafting (Wrzesniewski & Dutton, 2001) will be measured. The second will be based on Job Crafting interventions (Demerouti, 2014). The measurement and verification of the results of the promoted interventions will constitute the subsequent phases of the project, which will end with the development of an intervention model based on an approach which brings together the principles of positive psychology, ethics and social responsibility, conscious capitalism, to propose a method that can represent an advancement in the context of corporate and managerial training.

Bibliographic references:

Parsloe, E, (1999). The Manager as Coach and Mentor. 
Clutterbuck, D & Megginson, D, (1999). Mentoring Executives and Directors 
Gibb Dyer, W. (2015). Team Building, Volume 11, Organizational Behaviour. 
Costantini, A., De Paola, F., Ceschi, A., Sartori, R., Meneghini, A. M., Di Fabio, A., (2017). Work engagement and psychological capital in the Italian public administration: A new resource-based intervention programme.