Sharing inspiration, insight and interesting ideas

Wellbeing - 22-05-2023 - - 0 comments
Wellbeing & Resilience at Work

As you know, I'm very interested in mental health, wellbeing, resilience, and career development. I thought I'd share some insight into why.

In 2020 Gallup carried out a worldwide wellbeing survey. The results showed that roughly 7 in 10 people globally are struggling or suffering in their lives. That means only 3 in 10 people are thriving! I don’t know about you, but these figures are alarming to me.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) informs us that mental health conditions are increasing worldwide. Burnout is now an officially recognised occupational syndrome. Data collected over a decade (to 2017) revealed a 13% rise in mental health conditions and substance use disorders. I suspect the figure is much higher now. Around 20% of the world’s children and adolescents have a mental health condition, with suicide the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.

In England, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year. 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week (

Mental health conditions can have a substantial effect on all areas of life, such as school or work performance, relationships with family and friends, and the ability to participate in the community. Two of the most common mental health conditions, depression, and anxiety cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year (WHO).

It has never been more important for leaders and managers to support mental health and cultivate resilience in employees and teams. The focus can’t simply be on increasing engagement and performance. It’s time to look deeper than that and consider how people are feeling within themselves and about their lives and careers.

While it’s true that engaged employees produce better outcomes, it’s a little more complicated than that. Comparing employees who are engaged but not thriving in life, with those who are engaged and thriving in life, the former group report the following risks:

  • 61% higher likelihood of burnout often or always
  • 48% higher likelihood of daily stress
  • 66% higher likelihood of daily worry
  • Double the rate of daily sadness and anger

The Gallup study based on 100 million global interviews, reveals the five key elements of wellbeing are as follows, and in this order:

  1. Career
  2. Social
  3. Financial
  4. Physical
  5. Community

In a world where work and life are more blended than ever, maximising employee wellbeing takes greater urgency.

The state of uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, grinds the life out of people, a little every day. Covid has been the ultimate fun sponge. The mood music across the globe is off-key. What Gallup has discovered is that stress and anxiety are most likely linked to “my job” (or not having a job) and “my manager”.

Out of the 5 wellbeing elements, career wellbeing is first because Gallup has found that this element is the very foundation of “the best possible life”. Everything starts there.

Currently, 78% of the worlds working population are not engaged in their work. They don’t feel satisfied, and they are not having fun.


Keeping Well starts with a good job.

Findings from longitudinal research on aging and mortality, and Dr. Gallup’s 1950 studies about living a thriving life all point to the same conclusion. The key to a thriving life is not dependent on easy to measure factors like how many days holiday a person takes each year or set activities that everyone must do. How people EXPERIENCE their lives is what explains and impacts thriving.

The breakthrough is not organisations getting the holiday policy right.


So, with that in mind...


Where do you start? Where will you get the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time?

Whilst breaks and rest are of course important, research tells us that engagement trumps holiday time when it comes to experiencing life in a way that results in thriving over struggling and suffering.

The answer. Generally speaking, is career wellbeing. Thriving in what you do every day makes for stronger relationships, a more secure financial life, good health, and greater community involvement.


What can you do to support career wellbeing and resilience at work?


Here are a few suggestions, but I would love to hear your ideas, and what is/isn’t working for you or within your organisation:

  • Ask people if they are enjoying themselves at work and what they need to feel fulfilled.
  • Make wellbeing part of career development conversations and provide coaching for your managers and leaders who are not sure how to go about that.
  • Help people to understand their strengths and play to them.
  • Work with your teams to build trust, relationships, and positive ways of working together.
  • Encourage people to grow and take risks. Providing coaching, training, support, and patience when someone is stretching outside of their comfort zone.
  • Celebrate the wins (yours and others). Acknowledging success, appreciating effort, and recognising what went well is important if you want people to feel satisfied and motivated.
  • Make sure you have the right people in the right jobs and keep an eye on that as objectives, individuals, and teams change over time.


People who rate their organisation high when it comes to managing wellbeing, also rate their organisation higher for encouraging creativity and innovation.

"Spending time with my manager" is often reported to be the worst part of the day for people! But it doesn’t have to be this way. This is the perfect opportunity to increase wellbeing and resilience at work and in life.

I challenge you to create a thriving and resilient culture in your corner of the world. If you, your managers, and leaders don’t change the world, who will?


If you’d like to read more about the Gallup research, I recommend reading Wellbeing at Work by Jim Clifton and Jim Carter where a lot of this information was sourced.


If you'd like to find out about 1-to-1 career change & development programmes, or coaching for your team/organisation get in touch or click here to book a call. 

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