Updated: Feb 24
Gone are the days when companies only focused on employee performance. With the rise of mental health issues as well as the Great Resignation happening in the world, companies should start looking into the wellbeing of the employees more than ever.
Gallup conducted over 100 million interviews globally and their researched revealed five states of wellbeing that they believe will change the world and human development forever. The five key elements of wellbeing are career, social, financial, physical and community - in that order (Gallup, Wellbeing At Work). Moreover, Gallup have found a metric to track suffering, struggling and thriving - the Gallup Net Thriving. Combining this metric and the five key elements of wellbeing will help companies assess and create a culture of net thriving. For more details, you can refer to the Gallup's Wellbeing At Work book.
As an individual, it is important for us to be aware as well of these five key elements of wellbeing to provide us key insights into whether we find daily life and work experiences fulfilling, have strong and supporting relationships, are financially secure, are proud of and actively involved in our community and are physically healthy and making smart choices about our health (Gallup). These wellbeing elements are interrelated and interdependent.
CAREER WELLBEING: YOU LIKE WHAT YOU DO EVERYDAY
Gallup finds that Career wellbeing is the very foundation of the "best possible life".
They defines a thriving Career wellbeing as follows:
You like what you do and looking forward to it.
Your "live for the weekend" mindset fades or disappears altogether.
You are more productive, creative and innovative.
Imagine waking up looking forward on the tasks you need to accomplish in that day and you are not conscious of how long you work or do these tasks because you are fully into them!
Here are some guide questions that you can use to reflect about your career wellbeing:
How much do you look forward to your vocation - at work or in the home or at school?
How much do you use your strengths everyday?
How satisfied are you in your current role and responsibilities?
SOCIAL WELLBEING: YOU HAVE MEANINGFUL FRIENDSHIPS IN YOUR LIFE
Gallup found out that employees are much more productive and deliver far better results if they have a best friend at work. It illustrates the importance of social wellbeing for thriving employees.
People who have at least three or four very close relationships are healthier, have higher wellbeing and are more engaged in their jobs. In contrast, the absence of close friendships can lead to loneliness and depression. (Gallup, Wellbeing At Work)
Social wellbeing is woven into all other aspects of our life (Gallup). Integrating social wellbeing to other elements of wellbeing will help pave the way for a thriving individual.
Here are some guide questions that you can use to reflect about your social wellbeing:
Do you have someone encouraging you to be healthy?
How much do your friends give you positive energy each day?
Do you have someone who you can call for help?
Do you have someone who supports your wellbeing?
FINANCIAL WELLBEING: YOU MANAGE YOUR MONEY WELL
Your thriving financial wellbeing doesn't mean that you should have lots of money, owning lots of luxury items, big houses or anything material. It is more leaning on how you manage your money or resources well.
Money is not an end itself but if directed at the right outcomes and managed well, it provides people with more choices and more freedom. And those choices determine the quality of their lives (Gallup, Wellbeing At Work).
Financial wellbeing is about financial security. You have enough money to meet your daily needs and rarely worried about your financial obligations. There are some people who are making lots of money but still feel financial insecurities - they are spending outside their means.
The perception that you have more than enough money to do what you want to do has three times the impact of your income on your overall wellbeing (Gallup, Wellbeing At Work).
Here are some guide questions that you can use to reflect about your financial wellbeing:
Do you have enough money to do everything you want to do?
How much are you at peace with your financial situation?
PHYSICAL WELLBEING: YOU HAVE ENERGY TO GET THINGS DONE
Physical wellbeing is about managing your health so that you have the energy that you need to get things done. Here are some findings that Gallup has about this wellbeing element:
Sleep is a reset button for mood and immunity.
Exercise improves mood, immunity and learning.
Diet practices and "metaflammation" affects immunity.
Here are some guide questions that you can use to reflect about your physical wellbeing:
How many days have you felt active and productive in the past week?
How would you rate the quality of your diet, sleep and exercise?
COMMUNITY WELLBEING: YOU LIKE WHERE YOU LIVE
The last element of wellbeing we will tackle is the community wellbeing. In Gallup's initial studies of the five wellbeing elements, community wellbeing stood out as a strong differentiator between a good life and a great life. People thriving in community wellbeing say that their life has exceeded their wildest expectations (Gallup, Wellbeing At Work).
People can get a great sense of fulfillment when they feel that they are part of something bigger than themselves. As the saying goes "No man is an island", we need community or group to belong to.
Gallup defines a thriving community wellbeing as follows:
There's a feeling of safety and security in the place you live.
The community you live fits the lifestyle that you want.
You take pride in your community and believes it is heading the right direction.
You give back to the community and make meaningful contribution.
Here are some guide questions that you can use to reflect about your community wellbeing:
How much is your local area the right fit for your social activities and past times?
How often do you contribute to your community?
Do you feel safe and secure in the place you live in?
SUFFERING, STRUGGLING AND THRIVING
Based on Gallup's analysis from over a million respondents across 160 countries, they determined the Suffering, Struggling and Thriving categories of your wellbeing.
Wellbeing that is very low and at high risk in a particular element.
Wellbeing that is moderate or inconsistent in a particular element.
Wellbeing that is strong, consistent and progressing in a particular element.
Using the Your Wellbeing Wheel worksheet in the Your Wellbeing Toolkit and the guide questions provided above, rate each of the element of wellbeing. Then, get the average to have a view of your overall wellbeing score. If your rating/score falls 4 and below, your wellbeing might Suffering; between 5 and 7 (inclusive), your wellbeing might be Struggling; and between 8 and 10 (inclusive), your wellbeing might be Thriving.
Knowing your current state of wellbeing gives you an insight whether you might be suffering, struggling or thriving.
Next is to define what "thriving" means and looks like to you for each of the elements of wellbeing. Then, identify the gaps between your current state and your "thriving" wellbeing - these includes barriers for you to move from your current state to thriving, the help you need and the action you will take. You can use the Your Wellbeing Circle worksheet in the Your Wellbeing Toolkit for this activity.
You can also download the Your Wellbeing Toolkit