Academic journal article SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

Correlating Nurses' Levels of Psychological Capital with Their Reward Preferences and Reward Satisfaction

Academic journal article SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

Correlating Nurses' Levels of Psychological Capital with Their Reward Preferences and Reward Satisfaction

Article excerpt

Introduction

Nursing is an incredibly important profession to study as nurses' performance will have a great impact on the care provided to patients (Othman, Ghazali & Ahmad, 2013). Be?evi? - ?omi?, Bosanki? and Draganovi? (2014) state that nurses may experience high levels of job exhaustion and work overload and this provides an explanation as to why there is currently a global problem with nurses experiencing burnout. These authors provide evidence that nurses are experiencing low to moderate levels of burnout and high levels of depersonalisation in the service they provide to their patients. However, Peng et al. (2013) state that nurses who are hopeful, optimistic, resilient and have high levels of self-efficacy (that is, exhibit high levels of Psychological Capital - PsyCap) are more likely to excel at work and have positive work attitudes, and are less likely to depersonalise their service and experience burnout. Wang, Chang, Fu and Wang (2012) also provide evidence that PsyCap may drastically decrease levels of burnout experienced by nurses.

Avey, Luthans and Jensen (2009) explain that PsyCap largely involves organisations concentrating on employees' strengths and developing their weaknesses, rather than focusing on their vulnerabilities. Luthans, Youssef and Avolio (2007), as cited by Luthans, Norman, Avolio and Avey (2008), describe PsyCap as an individual's positive mental state of development, which is characterised by having the confidence to take on challenging tasks (self-efficacy) and making a positive attribution about succeeding now and in the future (optimism). PsyCap also includes persevering towards goals and specifying paths to goals in order to succeed (hope) as well as sustaining and 'bouncing back' from problems or adversity in order to attain success (resiliency). Self-efficacy is defined as an individual's belief about their abilities to mobilise the motivation, cognitive resources and courses of action required to successfully execute a specific task within a given context (Stajkovic & Luthans, 1998), whereas hope is defined by Snyder (2002, p. 249) as 'the perceived capability to derive pathways to desired goals, and motivate oneself via agency thinking to use those pathways'. Moreover, Luthans (2012) defines optimism as a process in which internal attributions for success are triggered and a sense of positive expectations for the future develops. Finally, resilience is defined as 'the positive psychological capacity to rebound, to "bounce back" from adversity, uncertainty, conflict, failure, or even positive change, progress, and increased responsibility' (Luthans, 2002a, p. 702).

As employees are individuals, they will have different demands and needs, and thus their reward preferences differ. Rewards are described by Chen and Hsieh (2006) as everything that employees perceive to be valuable as a result of the employment relationship. It typically includes cash compensation and benefits, as well as other non-cash rewards and the work experience (Chen & Hsieh, 2006). According to Linkow (2006) one way in which organisations can respond to the demands of employees is to begin to understand their reward preferences. Moore and Bussin (2009) highlight the importance of having remuneration packages that are tailored to the needs of the organisation's employees by stating that this is likely to result in high levels of performance and overall job satisfaction.

Chiang and Birtch (2012) state that reward preferences stem from a combination of motivations, preferences and values, and this may account for why reward preferences may be so varied from person to person. As stated by Thumbran (2010), organisations have developed an approach towards rewards that involves the use of a total rewards package that includes both financial and non-financial rewards. Examples of financial rewards include base pay, contingency pay and benefits, whereas examples of non-financial rewards include recognition, flexible work schedules and training and development opportunities (Chiang & Birtch, 2012). …

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