Most of us spend a majority of our waking hours working. We should like what we’re doing, and find meaning and purpose in it, right? We should be looking forward to it when we wake up, don’t you think?
Sadly, though, this isn’t the case for many people. In their book Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, Tom Rath and Jim Harter write that only 20% of people give a strong “yes” when asked, “Do you like what you do each day?”
Enjoying what you do daily is known as your career well-being. Your level of enjoyment is your level of career well-being. According to many workplace-culture and organizational-development gurus, career is the most important of the five essential elements of well-being. If you don’t have high career well-being, then the odds of having high levels in the other well-being areas (social, financial, physical and community) likely will “diminish rapidly,” write Rath and Harter.
Employers who care about their employees overall well-being, knowing it contributes to the organization’s well-being, make conscious efforts to focus on career well-being.
- Encourage creativity and meaningful work.
- Make sure everyone understands how he or she fits into the organization.
- Provide feedback.
- Foster open, honest, respectful communication.
- Give access to the necessary tools and resources for job enhancement.
- Allow employees to use their strengths and be themselves.
- Establish programs, policies and procedures that are clear and fair to everyone.
Looking over this list you can begin to see how organizations that create this type of culture likely have employees with high levels of career well-being, and as a result, high levels of overall well-being. Be sure to check back next week, when we take a look at another aspect of well-being: social.