Several studies demonstrated the relevance of character strengths at the workplace. For example, it has been shown that they positively relate to performance and are strong predictors of job satisfaction (e.g., Harzer & Ruch, 2014, 2015). Further, it was suggested (e.g., Heintz & Ruch, in press) that occupational types differ in their character strengths. However, little is known about the effects of the congruence between a person’s strengths profile with the average profile within an occupational type (environmental congruence) on well-being.
We studied a nationally representative sample (N = 870) of employed adults living in Switzerland that completed measures of character strengths, job and life satisfaction. We examined (1) whether occupational types (e.g., managers, technicians, or clerical workers) differed with regard to their strength profile, and (2) whether higher congruence between strengths of a person and the environment goes along with increased job and life satisfaction.
Results confirmed previous findings that small, but meaningful differences in character strengths between occupational types can be found. Further, congruence between the person and the environment goes along with higher well-being. These results suggest character strengths could be used in career counseling and placement decisions in order to increase the well-being of employees.