What are the five areas for employee wellbeing?
Imagine finding a workplace where wellbeing is priority. Where the person you started there as has had endless opportunities to develop their strengths and identify and work on development areas both inside and outside of work – all the while being supported and encouraged to Thrive.
When we think about workplace wellbeing programs, we get images of fruit in the lunchroom, a discount to the local gym and perhaps access to EAP. The more innovative companies might even put together a little gift hamper occasionally to inspire and encourage wellbeing across the company. Are these really hitting the mark or do we need to think about what wellbeing actually is for our employees and how a workplace can truly make a difference?
Wellbeing is a marker of our overall health and people who have a high quality of wellbeing are more resilient and are more likely to thrive in all aspects of their lives. In order to thrive in our lives, there are Five areas for wellbeing according to Gallup’s wellbeing study
Often when we look at what we can do as employers/leaders we consider the career wellbeing as the only area we can impact but what if we looked outside the box and really started to get engaged with helping people thrive. After all, a thriving employee is happy, engaged and productive. What more can you ask for!
“To change a wellbeing culture, it’s got to start at the CEO level … It’s got to be very purposeful and intentional — not just stated, but actually role-modeled at the executive level and all the way through as it cascades.” Dr Jim Harter
Career Wellbeing: According to Gallup, 85% of employees are not engaged or are actively disengaged at work. One way to counter this is to frame performance appraisals to be Career Development conversations. Let’s be honest, most employees are eager to know where their development opportunities lie. If the development opportunities aren’t within your company, they will be heading out the door and looking elsewhere. Ask questions of your employees that will get them to really think about their future. Do they even see their future with you? If not, what would need to change to make that happen?
Social Wellbeing: Individuals who have close friends at work are seven times more likely to be engaged and businesses who encourage positive work relationships have 36% fewer safety incidents, 7% more engaged customers and a 12% higher profit (Gallup). On a higher level, the next generation of employees coming through expect their job to be more than just about the money and instead they demand that their workplace and the culture it has is going to add value to their lives. Have a good look at your culture – are you actively encouraging friendships? Does your team really know each other and do they have opportunities to participate in social activities?
Financial Wellbeing: Having poor financial skills or feeling as though you have limited access to cash is stressful! It can be incredibly difficult and almost impossible to thrive at work if you have the added stress of financial matters hanging over your head. A pay rise can sometimes sort this out but often what is really beneficial to someone is to have access to financial education and specialist support. This sort of support can be costly to an individual but very manageable to a company as a whole. According to a the Core Data Workplace Financial Wellness Index Employers themselves noticed that employees who were financially stressed also had low engagement, low morale and absenteeism yet only 15% of employers surveyed had a Financial Wellness program in place for their employees.
Physical Wellbeing: This is the area where more companies have started making changes. Maybe you offer discounted gym memberships, have fancy end of trip facilities for those who like to cycle or run to work or perhaps you have regular fitness challenges. Great work because being physically active has been proven to lower the risk of onsite injury or lost time to illness. Not only that, but your employees physical health directly improves their mental health, improves sleep quality and leads to a more energetic work day. Judgment Index have tailored Health and wellbeing reports that can be used to support employees develop their resilience, stress management and overall focus on self-care.
Community Wellbeing: Community is all around us and having strong community wellbeing means that we are engaging within the area where we live. Gallup’s wellbeing survey indicates that people who help others get ‘an emotional boost’ from doing kind things for other people. Researchers for a long time have been finding that there is a clear link between altruistic behaviour and longevity as well as the building of resilience and supporting people during stressful times. Progressive companies around the world are recognising the benefits of supporting employees to build community well-being. This could be matching funds raised for a charity or providing paid time to volunteer. It could even be as simple as celebrating the people within the company who are ‘local champions’.
Something you may not know…. Is a long time before Gallup’s research and the word ‘Wellbeing’ became the latest hashtag for People and Culture, Robert Hartman examined life’s big questions around our beliefs and values, creating the Hartman Values Profile which Judgment Index is the modern interpretation of.
If this article has raised some questions for your organisation on how you measure and track an individual’s relationship to #wellbeing through the lens of their values, email us at for a free demonstration of our report which covers 70 different indicators of someone’s capacity to take ownership through self-awareness of their own Wellbeing.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.