Let Them Shine: Associations of Schools’ Support for Strengths Use with Teachers’ Sense of Meaning, Engagement, and Satisfaction

Shiri Lavy, Marian Abu Ahmad, Eman Naama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present research builds on the psychology of sustainability and sustainable development and on research demonstrating the contribution of perceived organizational support for strengths use (POSSU) to the quality of employees’ work life. Specifically, we focus on teachers, whose training and development in schools often aim to narrow competence gaps and correct deficits. We propose that focusing on the development of their strengths may more positively impact their engagement, satisfaction, and sense of meaning at work. A total of 47 school principals (30 women; Mage = 48.37, SD = 7.31) and 235 of their teachers (197 women; Mage = 40.73, SD = 7.78) reported perceptions of their schools’ organizational support for strengths use (POSSU), and of their school support for deficit correction (POSDC). In addition, teachers completed measures of their strengths use, sense of meaning at work, work engagement, and job satisfaction. Teachers’ POSSU was associated (more strongly than POSDC) with teachers’ strength use and positive work-related well-being. Teachers’ strengths use mediated the associations of POSSU with the other variables. Principals’ POSSU was not associated with teachers’ POSSU or with teachers’ strengths use, but was associated with teachers’ sense of meaning and satisfaction at work. The findings highlight the potential benefits of a strengths-supporting school culture to teachers’ work-life quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3832
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 by the authors.


  • engagement
  • job satisfaction
  • principals
  • school support for strengths use
  • schools
  • sense of meaning at work
  • strengths
  • strengths use
  • teachers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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