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7 Person Centred Ways to Improve Wellbeing at Work

wellbeing

As a result of Martin Seligman’s research into positive psychology (Flourish, 2013) he describes wellbeing as being made up of 5 elements, referred to by the acronym PERMA:

  • Experiencing Positive Emotions
  • Engagement
  • Positive Relationships
  • Meaning (belonging, serving)
  • Accomplishment (personally achieving things)

The 5 Elements of wellbeing described by Gallup (Rath and Hartner, 2010, Robison, 2010) build on this and link wellbeing to work: As you can see there is some cross over here with Seligman’s list above:

  • Career Wellbeing (liking what you do)
  • Social Wellbeing (having strong relationships)
  • Financial Wellbeing
  • Physical Wellbeing
  • Community Wellbeing

That it is important for each of us to consistently experience a sense of wellbeing is well known and information about it can be found in books, academia, government publications and the media. Less clear, is the level of responsibility employers have to improve the wellbeing of their employees.

When we consider our workplace and the work that we do however, it is clear that experiencing a sense of wellbeing is not something we can or should save for when we get home. Every one of the elements listed is relevant to the workplace as well. Especially when you consider how much time each of us spends there and that the workplace is predominantly a social context (a significant aspect of wellbeing).

Given that wellbeing at work is important, it follows that one of the key roles of a leader has to be the creation of an environment in which people can experience wellbeing. Person Centredness, being relationship based (with its roots going back to Carl Rogers), provides a useful foundation upon which we can influence our own and others wellbeing at work as we:

  • See people as partners
  • Value others
  • Are empathetic, genuine and respectful and
  • Seek to understand where others are coming from and what is important to them

Below are a few ideas of things you can do to build upon this foundation and begin to foster a sense of wellbeing in your workplace:

  1. Have a chat with your team about your collective purpose. Why do you as a team do what you do? How does each individual in the team contribute to this? This will help people to feel valued and also fosters appreciation across the team.
  2. Determine a team legacy that you would all like to leave and help each person see how they can contribute to that.
  3. Help people set long term and short term personal goals that are measurable and achievable and that are related to this purpose and legacy.
  4. Regularly acknowledge good work and at the same time connect people to the impact that their good work has on both the team objectives and also on the wider organisational objectives.
  5. Make sure that people have autonomy. If they have no control over what they have to do, give them control over how they get it done. Link what they are doing back to purpose.
  6. Stop and look back often – help people see and celebrate how far they have come, what they have achieved and how it has contributed to the team and organisations goals.
  7. Recognise the social aspect of work and it’s importance. Connect with people and help them to connect with each other.

I would really be interested to hear your views about wellbeing in the workplace, things you are doing and any initiatives that are working or not working.

If you would like to chat about wellbeing generally or at work please give me a call on 0421 775 924 or email debra.pittam@personcentredleadership.com

You can also download the 3 Keys to Health and Wellbeing    here

 

 

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