Why Does Using Personal Strengths at Work Increase Employee Engagement, Who Makes the Most Out of It, and How? By: Ilies, Remus; Liu, Yukun; Aw, Sherry; Las Heras, Mireia and Rofcanin, Yasin. 2024. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. Vol. 29 Issue 2, p113-129.

Engaging in behaviors that take advantage of one’s personal strengths at work can promote employee flourishing in the workplace and mental health. Personal strengths use has thus gained increasing attention within occupational psychology and positive organizational scholarship. In this article, we first integrate work on personal strengths use with the latest developments in the job demands-resources theory (and its extensions) to develop a conceptual model explaining how and why personal strengths use on
the job increases work engagement. Specifically, we propose that feelings of inspiration and meaningfulness explain the relationship between personal strengths use and work engagement. Second, we identify two mechanisms through which employees can amplify the benefits associated with personal strengths use at work; that is, we propose that the increased engagement associated with strengths use makes employees more likely to capitalize on the positive aspects of their work by engaging in work–family interpersonal capitalization and positive work reflection. Further, our model predicts that employees’ psychological capital moderates the effects of personal strengths use. We tested our theoretical predictions in a sample of 160 full-time employees who provided ratings that comprise a three-level data set (person, week, and day) comprising 943 matched weekly ratings and 2,787 daily ratings. Our hypotheses were largely supported by these data. Implications for theory, practice, and future research are discussed.