The Five Essential Elements of Well-Being

14 Sep

The Five Essential Elements of Well-Being

For more than 50 years, Gallup scientists have been exploring the
demands of a life well-lived. More recently, in partnership with leading
economists, psychologists, and other acclaimed scientists, Gallup has
uncovered the common elements of well-being that transcend countries
and cultures. This research revealed the universal elements of well-being
that differentiate a thriving life from one spent suffering. They represent
five broad categories that are essential to most people:

Career Well-Being: how you occupy your time — or simply liking
what you do every day
Social Well-Being: having strong relationships and love in your life
Financial Well-Being: effectively managing your economic life
Physical Well-Being: having good health and enough energy to get
things done on a daily basis
Community Well-Being: the sense of engagement you have with
the area where you live

Of those five elements, Gallup finds that Career Well-Being is the most
important predictor of well-being across the board. Though not a guarantee,
it is likely that someone with high Career Well-Being also has high Social,
Financial, Physical, and Community Well-Being. Across every country Gallup
surveyed, people said that a good job trumps everything, including health and
happiness. People certainly still value these things, but they usually view
them as most achievable through a good job.

But what is a “good” job? In our research, we found that for people around the
world, Career Well-Being is not just about earning a higher salary. It is not
about the company you work for, the money you make, or the benefits you
receive. It is about liking what you do, doing what you are best at every day,
and having a good manager.

Using a workplace engagement study, Gallup
surveyed 22 million employees in all types of

job and

organizations worldwide and can now define
what a good job looks like and measure whether
someone has one. Someone who strongly agrees
(by answering 5 on a 5-point scale) with the
following statements has a good job: “I like what I
do each day”; “At work, I have the opportunity to
do what I do best every day”; “My supervisor, or
someone at work, seems to care about me as a
person”; and “There is someone at work who
encourages my development.” He or she may
also strongly agree with statements such as: “I learn or do something
interesting every day” and “In the last 12 months, I have reached most of my
goals.” Taken together, such statements describe a person who is highly
engaged at work and who has high Career Well-Being.


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