Wellbeing Elements

16 Nov

Wellbeing is a big topic–very big.

But thanks to the work of Dr. Jerry Wagner, the idea of wellbeing is much easier to understand. Jerry is currently the Director of the Institute of Wellbeing Management at Bellevue University in Omaha, Nebraska. He is also the designer of a unique software program that helps organizations uncover and evaluate employees’ ideas about how the organization can improve wellbeing.

Dr. Wagner has identified ten elements of wellbeing:

Employee Benefits  Physical Health and Nutrition  
  Job and Career Growth  Recognition and Rewards  
  Communication  Social and Recreational  
  Environment and Place  Community Service  
  Financial  Work Policies

A few thoughts about the elements:

  • Some of these elements overlap and also work in concert with each other.
  • Some of these elements might be extremely important to you or your organization, others less so.
  • There is a growing body of evidence about the importance of these elements.

Dr. Wagner has consulted with a number of organizations that have seen the benefit of working together to improve wellbeing. They’ve engaged in a process using the idea management software specifically tailored to wellbeing to identify and rate ideas their organizations could implement. Here are comments from employees who participated in the wellbeing process and how they felt about the experience:

“It was exciting to learn some new things, and also be reminded about wellbeing and how we could be more proactive in wellbeing activities. The process brought excitement to the organization and also brought some cohesiveness. It’s planting seeds of change for us as a community in trying to help us focus not only on our physical wellbeing but our emotional and mental wellbeing.”

“What I thought was exciting was brainstorming and coming up with ideas that would improve our work environment. What especially got my attention was the physical piece… one’s physical wellbeing has an impact on how they do in the workplace.”

“It was wonderful being able to create ideas with co-workers from other departments. I’m excited about the future and what we’ll be doing with the wellbeing ideas.”

“That feeling that you know you are part of something, part of a movement where you change people’s lives for the better, is very exciting.”

“I’ve heard from employees who want to take a financial planning class. Others want to take advantage of our tuition reimbursement benefit. Others want to get more involved in the community—they feel like they want to give back. You get the conversation started, and you’re helping to create a culture where everyone is expected to be always improving.”

You see, when it comes to wellbeing, we don’t have to go it alone. We can work together. We can make a difference for ourselves and folks we care about.

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