Every day there are many factors that affect work productivity. Stress and exhaustion, for example, have understandably negative effects, however what type of effect does self-esteem have? Farah Kuster and Ulrich Orth at the University of Basel, with Laurenz L. Meier at the University of South Florida explore the correlation between employees possessing healthy levels of self-esteem and attaining greater satisfaction and success in their work lives. Their results can be found in the article “High Self-Esteem Prospectively Predicts Better Work Conditions and Outcomes” in the most recent issue of Social Psychological & Personality Science.
We examined the reciprocal prospective relations between self-esteem and work conditions and outcomes, including justice at work, support at work, work stressors, job satisfaction, job success, and counterproductive work behavior. Data came from two independent longitudinal studies, including five assessments over an 8-month period (N = 663, age 16–62 years) and three assessments over a 2-year period (N = 600, age 22–51 years), respectively. Across both studies, high self-esteem prospectively predicted better work conditions and outcomes, whereas nearly all of the reverse effects (i.e., work conditions and outcomes predicting self-esteem) were non-significant. The results held for both male and female participants. If future research supports the causality of the self-esteem effects, interventions aimed at improving self-esteem might be useful in increasing an individual’s well-being and success at work, which consequently might be beneficial for employers.
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