Psychological capital is a very trait of the human capital. It refers to a person’s self-efficacy, hope, optimism, and resiliency. In other words, the positive psychological strengths and capacities of an individual enable him/her to function productively. In the past, people tend to focus on the negative side of the human behavior like failure, burnout and helplessness. But nowadays, there is a shift of focus; from the weakness of a person to his/her strengths.
Hope is one of the psychological capital which is a positive motivational state of an individual to become successful or a strong desire to meet his/her goals. It means that a person has the will to accomplish or achieve an intended output or result. Apparently, hope constitutes the gut to succeed and the competence to identify, clarify, and pursue the ladder to success despite the risks encountered in the process. It also indicates desirable work attitudes.
Then, the resiliency of a person enables him/her to have a positive coping mechanism and adaptation in the face of significant risk or adversity. At the workplace, resilience is the positive psychological capacity to rebound or bounce back from adversity, uncertainty, conflict, failure, or even positive change, progress and increased responsibility. It is how a person can face negative events in life without breaking. In fact, a person becomes more resilient when he/she can effectively rise back from a previous setback. Resilient people usually succeed after a series of many failures without giving up.
On the other hand, optimism is the ability of an individual to make internal, stable, and global attributions regarding positive events such as a task accomplishment and those who attribute external, unstable, and specific reasons for negative events like a failure to meet a deadline. It is associated with a positive outcome of events including positive emotions and motivation. In short, optimistic people are realistic because it involves of what he/she can and cannot accomplish in a particular situation and hence adds to one’s efficacy and hope. In other words, realistic optimism is very dynamic and changeable and is considered state-like. In fact, human accomplishments and positive well-being require an optimistic sense of personal adequacy to defeat the numerous roadblocks to success.
Although hope and optimism are synonymous in nature but the optimism of a person comes in whenever an outcome is perceived as having substantial value. When directly applied to the workplace, it was found out to have a positive significant relationship with job performance and job satisfaction.
Finally, in terms of self-efficacy, it represents a positive belief and refers to the employee’s confidence about his or her abilities to mobilize the motivation, cognitive resources or courses of action needed to successfully execute a specific task within a given context. Again, self-efficacy was found to have a strong positive relationship with work-related performance though not an acquired trait. It is inherent in a person but can be developed over time.
Therefore, self-efficacy, hope, optimism, and resilience are important facets of human psychological capital. The combined motivational effects is broader and more effective than any one of the constructs individually. Each of these facets has a unique and common cognitive and motivational processes that enable excellent job performance.
Employee’s excellent job performance and satisfaction is not only due to the salary and fringe benefits they received from a company or an organization but mainly because they possess positive psychological capacity which is considered as a strong predictor of job success.