Daily strengths use and employee well-being: The moderating role of personality

Arnold B. Bakker, Jørn Hetland, Olav Kjellevold Olsen, Roar Espevik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


This study combines strengths use and personality theories to develop a multilevel model of employee well-being. We hypothesized that individuals would experience higher well-being on the days they use their strengths. In addition, we predicted that Neuroticism, Extraversion, and their blend would bolster this main effect. A total of 87 Norwegian naval cadets filled out a general survey and then completed a diary questionnaire for 30 consecutive days (total N = 2610). Results of multilevel modelling showed that daily strengths use was positively related to daily positive affect and work engagement, after controlling for previous levels of the dependent variables. In addition, we found evidence for the predicted three-way interaction effects. These findings contribute to character strengths and personality theories by showing how blends of personality traits modify the effects of daily strengths use behaviours. Practitioner points: Employees who use their strengths at work build their own positive affect and work engagement. Personality influences how successful employees are in using strengths; strengths use works best for those high in Extraversion and low in Neuroticism. Organizations and managers should facilitate employee strengths use, because when employees use their strong points, they are more dedicated and energized during work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-168
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • personality blends
  • positive affect
  • strengths use
  • work engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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