As a top manager, the person possesses three distinct categories of self-efficacy beliefs (Yun, 2007). These are his individual participant's abilities, his team's capabilities, and the organization's capabilities. Team capabilities are not simply the sum of the abilities of the individual members. And organizational capabilities are different from team capabilities. These being distinct from one another, the top manager can build his efficacy beliefs on himself, the team and the organization. Organizational efficacy can then proceed from the top manager's belief in the organization's capabilities to create competitive advantage as well as attain high performance (Yun).
Self-Efficacy in the Work Environment
According to Newstrom and Davis, self-efficacy is the conviction that one can successfully perform a given task and make meaningful contributions (Edralin, 2004). Causes of powerlessness and low self-efficacy in the workplace are job-related, boss-related, and reward system-related. Unclear roles and expectations, lack of opportunity to use discretion at work, and the lack of job variety and depth are job-related factors. A highly authoritarian or task-directing towards capable and willing subordinates is a boss-related factor. And a reward system-related cause is when the wage, incentives and other benefits and rewards fall short of recognizing, rewarding and reinforcing employee competence, commitment and innovativeness. The problem of low self-efficacy level among employees can be solved by empowering them (Edralin).
Newstrom and Davis (as qtd in Edralin, 2004), is the process of identifying and then removing or resolving the conditions, which cause powerlessness. At the same time, it enhances feelings of self-efficacy. Empowerment also allows employees to make decisions at all levels of the organization without need for approval from superiors. Employees should be helped, guided, socially reinforced and emotionally sustained. These are done through training, mentoring, and job coaching to help them prevent job output rejects. They can be guided by identifying fellow employees who can serve as role models. Social reinforcement includes sincere praise, expressions of gratitude, encouragement, concrete feedbacks and other forms of public recognition. And provision of emotional support includes reduction of stress and anxiety. This can be made through counseling, job clarification, job restructuring, an appropriate leadership style to the employee's level of competence, and a mature and genuine concern for his welfare and rights. When appropriately and legitimately empowered, the employee is very likely to turn out a performance satisfactory to the organization (Edralin).
Succeeding at the Workplace
Self-efficacy does not predict specific or concrete outcomes of one's actions or skills (Holmes, 2010). It is a belief or perception of one's own capability and intents. It is confidence in one's ability to coordinate and use his social, physical, mental and behavioral skills and talents in accomplishing a bigger goal than he thought possible before. Obstacles do not daunt him if his sense of self-efficacy is strong. He sees these as temporary and waiting to be overcome (Holmes).
The four factors, which build strong self-efficacy, are successful experience, modeling, positive feedback and physical condition (Holmes, 2010). Accomplishments send the message that one can perform. Repeated handling of difficult situations makes him feel that he can do it again. Observing others who excel in a similar task inspires self-efficacy. It is a strong encouragement that he can excel like those others. When others sincerely compliment one's capability or potential, he feels encouraged into using this potential or testing this capability. And a person who has strong sense of efficacy is calm even when inspired or motivated. In contrast, someone with low self-efficacy will feel nervous or defeated at the thought of a formidable task (Holmes).
Counseling for Career Options
As earlier stated, the stronger the level of self-efficacy, the greater one's career options. Self-efficacy theory and theory-based counseling can help increase one's perceived career options and the probability of success in those options (Betz, 2004). Counselors usually begin intervention by identifying the client's perceived inadequacies, which limit his career options and achievements. The counselor may name local resources, which can provide career opportunities for the client. These may be community colleges or technical schools, adult education programs and particular programmed learning systems. In developing social confidence, he may join assertiveness training, communication and interpersonal skills and public speaking groups with the same need. Vicarious learning, modeling and anxiety management techniques will be most helpful for him and the rest in the group (Betz).
Laughter and Self-Efficacy
Work is not meant to be boring or a drudgery. It can and should be an enjoyable time, even for laughter. A recent study found a place and connection between purposeful
laughter and self-efficacy in the workplace (Beckman et al., 2007). It served the Capabilities Awareness Profile questionnaire to 33 employees of a behavioral health center for 15-minute sessions on 15 consecutive workdays. The questionnaire focused on the value of purposeful laughter in the workplace. Purposeful laughter is described as a realistic, sustainable, and generalizable intervention. It accentuates employee morale, resilience and personal efficacy beliefs (Beckman et al.).
Other researches linked the benefits of laughter with health (Martin, 2001 & Salovey et al., 2000 as qtd in Beckman et al., 2007). Laughter can change one's physiological systems to one that benefits health. It can produce positive emotional states, which also enhance health. Laughter may conjure more effective strategies to cope with stress and decrease it. And it may increase one's social support in the workplace, again contributing to overall health. Employees who do not feel aversion in the workplace are more inclined to construct positive self-efficacy beliefs. Vigorous laughter energizes the mind and body as aerobic exercise does. It raises heart and respiration rates and activates the muscles. It releases tensions. After a hearty laughter, the body experiences a relaxing effect. Employees who engage in purposeful laughter are likely to perceive and experience less anxiety while laughing. They are better led to positive self-efficacy judgments than are those who do not engage in the purposeful laughter episode (Beckman et al.).
The study concluded that a workplace laughter group appeals to a wide range of employees (Beckman et al., 2007). It could be effective with the least investment of time but yield sustain positive results in the form of raised self-beliefs. These self-beliefs of efficacy have already been connected to the formation of positive behaviors in the workplace (Beckman et al.).
Self-efficacy is a person's inherent estimate of his capabilities and the chances of achieving a given goal, based on this estimate. Bandura's self-efficacy theory argues that such inherent estimate strongly determines how the person will go about in achieving the goal, performing tasks in the pursuit and respond to challenges. If his self-efficacy is strong, he will be confident in his capabilities in achieving the goal. He will view obstacles and failures as mere challenges. He will find it easy to bounce back after failing. Belief in one's efficacy develops through four major processes.
Self-efficacy starts developing from infancy and continues throughout life. It grows out of a subjective self-system, which forms from individual experiences and the person's perception of those experiences. He brings this self-system and self-concept into groups he joins in later life when self-efficacy comes into grips with collective efficacy. When he joins the workforce, he learns that a strong self-efficacy contributes to the goals of the workforce and the organization itself. And if he becomes part of top management, he needs the highest level of self-efficacy in transmitting tacit knowledge to the organization. His tasks become much more complex. He must respond by further strengthening his belief in himself for continued optimum performance. #
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