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The 5 elements of wellbeing

January 15, 2024

Through decades-long global studies in partnership with leading economists, psychologists and other scientists, Gallup has discovered five universal elements of wellbeing, that is, distinct facets of life that separate a prosperous individual from one who is struggling or suffering. The authors have studied more than 98% of the world’s population, attempting to transcend culture and region.

According to the study, the 5 essential elements are:

  • Career Wellbeing

You like what you do every day

  • Social Wellbeing

You have meaningful friendships in your life

  • Financial Wellbeing

You manage your money well

  • Physical Wellbeing

You have energy to get things done

  • Community Wellbeing

You like where you live

But one of them stands out as the foundation for all the rest: career wellbeing. In other words, employers who are looking to make the biggest difference in wellbeing in the shortest amount of time should focus on career wellbeing.

According to the data released so far, there is $20 million additional lost opportunity for every 10,000 workers due to struggling or suffering employees; $322 billion of turnover and lost productivity cost globally due to employee burnout; and 15% to 20% of total payroll in voluntary turnover costs, on average, due to burnout.

Career wellbeing action items for leaders

Along with the awareness, the authors have compiled a series of suggestions for organizations to do something about it and take steps to improve employee wellbeing:

Help employees discover their strengths

Create a culture of high development by using a strengths-based strategy to design your employee experience, from attraction to performance.

Don’t tolerate abusive managers

Remove managers who make employees’ lives miserable. Such managers are a tremendous risk.

Develop managers to be coaches

Move the manager mindset from being a boss to being a coach who develops employee performance and has regular coaching conversations to provide meaningful feedback.

Include wellbeing in conversations about career development

Managers and teams that share a bond of trust can begin to have meaningful discussions about wellbeing at work.

Source: Gallup