As organizations face uncertainty and rapid change, encouraging a proactive workforce that takes initiative, anticipates changes, contributes to innovation and competitive advantage is critical. But attempting to bring about change in an organisation requires effort, cognitive skills, and commitment. It comes at a cost for employees in terms of stress and strain that can sap their personal resources as outcomes of their efforts are uncertain, because of potential resistance and conflict with others, because of the need to manage one’s emotions while trying to stay on course, or because difficult decisions have to be made.
So how can companies and organisations encourage proactivity while effectively ensuring the wellbeing and performance of their employees?
Professor Karoline Strauss, ESSEC Business School, draws on her research with Sharon Parker and Deirdre O’Shea to determine if and when showing initiative might drain employees’ resources and lead to stress, and how companies can manage it.
How to manage proactivity to avoid employee stress and strain The latest in an ongoing series of Council on Business & Society Research Pods – condensed learning capsules inspired from internationally published research in the fields of CSR, management & leadership, HR, sustainable finance & reporting, social enterprise, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and sustainable business practices.
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How to manage proactivity to avoid employee stress and strain. Download the Research Pod
- Related research: When does proactivity have a cost? Motivation at work moderates the effects of proactive work behavior on employee job strain, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Elsevier.
- Go further and read the full article on how firms can limit the stress linked to proactivity.
- Study an ESSEC GMBA or EMBA.
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