Wellbeing has become another somewhat overused word. I wanted to write this article because I believe in defining words for clarity of communication so there is no mistaking what the word wellbeing means to us. You may not agree, accept, or adopt this definition and analysis. That being the case, the goal is to help you understand what my point of view is on the term.
In growing uprelief I want to track and prove through concrete data that we are improving wellbeing over time and not just esoterically saying this our mission without actually showing proof that we are making progress towards the intended goal. I also want to be able to show when we’ve hit a goal, this will keep the team on track and moving forward, and also allow us to set a new audacious goal once we do hit our goal of improving the wellbeing of 100,000 people’s lives. So the following, in parallel with defining wellbeing, will deliver a brief concept of how I plan to track the wellbeing of employees and clients. I know this will change and adapt over the course of the company, but this is my current general theory until I have more manpower to put behind the concept.
Wellbeing is an all-encompassing word to describe one’s relationship with day to day living which can be more positive, neutral, or negative.
A person being more positive would likely resemble having a more upbeat attitude towards people and events when they occur, as well as having their health in good condition both mentally and physically. Along with that, having an overall sense of joy on a more regular basis.
A person who is likely more neutral would be someone that coasts through life, they have a lot more ups and downs and have significant room to improve in each of the below-mentioned areas, yet are not struggling tremendously in any one area.
A negative disposition may resemble constantly being unwell, living in states of perpetual anger, anxiety, and sadness with very little support network while working in a job they despise.
Factors of wellbeing are:
Emotions - An individual’s emotional awareness and ability to cope
Finances - An individual’s financial stability
Community - An individuals connection to their community and how lonely they feel
Relationships - The quality of an individuals friendships
Purpose - The sense of purpose an individual feels they serve
Physical Health - How physically healthy an individual is on a normal day
Environment - How well an individuals environment is constructed
All of these factors play into an individual’s overall wellbeing. The goal should be to have each consistently be between an 8 and a 10 on a 1 to 10 scale. Using a scale like this can be difficult due to its qualitative nature and how not all of these areas are easy to track quantitatively, however, we plan to do our best to come up with the most ideal ways to track these metrics for our clients and employees to view growth/change over time.
Some are easier than others to track, such as financial stability. We can easily view a person’s financial stability by viewing their debt to income ratio as well as aggregating their total financial assets. Doing this, with their permission, or having them do it themselves using a secure piece of software, we can easily see if they are financially struggling and in the 1- 5 range or are comfortable with a solid savings and are thriving in the 8-10 are range.
A more difficult area to rack is emotional awareness and health. Since we can’t go into a person’s head to see what’s going on in there we have to trust what they tell us. Certain tests can be created to identify how well a person is able to understand their current emotional state, however, to get the most effective data, the diligence and work to track items like that may be too extensive. Tracking their emotional health may be slightly easier using a simple app where they select daily how they felt over the course of the day, however getting people to consistently commit to that action will be very challenging. This isn’t impossible but will be one of the more difficult areas to really prove an increase in wellbeing has occurred, especially when our objective is to get a wellbeing score that is as authentic as possible.
The ultimate goal is to take a person life as it is, mostly positive, mostly negative, or neutral from their point of view and increase it. So, we would want to improve each individual’s life in at least two of the areas mentioned above by at least two points, ideally more. In doing this we will concretely have a lasting impact, especially if we are able to ensure that the individual maintains the two-point increase. This will require us to continue tracking after we see an initial increase to prove our products and services have created lasting positive change.
We plan to succeed at making wellbeing a more concrete trackable concept, by not only helping people increase their wellbeing but also by showing them how much they have improved.