What is wellbeing and why should I care?


The word ‘wellbeing’ gets thrown around a lot these days.  In fact, from Buddha to the explosion of the self-help movement, history is paved with hundreds of suggestions on how to create and cling to this concept.
But just what is wellbeing and why might it matter to you, your team and your workplace?
In its simplest form, wellbeing is your ability to feel good and function effectively.  It gives you the resources to navigate the highs and lows we all experience in our work and in our lives, whilst enabling you to intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically ‘flourish’.
As a result studies are finding people who have higher levels of wellbeing reap all sorts of benefits. They are more:


It turns out that wellbeing is what makes it possible for you to ‘be well and do well’.
Of course it sounds simple enough.  And yet the reality is that perhaps like most of us, you’ve discovered that maintaining your wellbeing is a lot harder than it looks. In fact, a recent study shows that when it comes to our wellbeing, 70% of us report that we actually spend most of our time somewhere between ‘functioning’ and ‘flailing’.
In other words, instead of flourishing, most of us are just getting by.  Surely that’s just life right?
After all, by now we all know that we should move regularly, eat wisely and sleep deeply, but the daily demands of life, unrealistic expectations at work and even our own beliefs about our sense of worth, mean that most of us wind up making choices that undermine our wellbeing.  We get it.  Despite your best intentions, finding the time and energy to look after yourself is challenging.
But what if it didn’t have to be?
You see a growing body of evidence is now finding that there are small, practical, excuse-proof steps you can take to improve your chances of consistently flourishing.  And yes, while looking after your physical wellbeing definitely helps, did you know that even just a few minutes each day genuinely connecting with people you value, finding heart-felt reasons to laugh, and doing more of what you do best can also have a significant impact?  That’s right, maintaining your wellbeing doesn’t have to be tedious or boring.
So how can you consistently and practically improve your wellbeing, no matter how busy you are?


What is the PERMAH Workplace Survey?

The PERMAH Workplace Survey was created for people just like you who want tested, practical ways to improve their wellbeing.  The psychological equivalent of a ‘Fitbit’; it’s been designed to help you set, measure and celebrate your wellbeing goals all at the touch of a button.
Taking just a couple of minutes to complete, the tool is designed to walk you step-by-step through:



With over 200 positive interventions to choose from, The PERMAH Workplace Survey allows you to create a wellbeing plan that is personalized, enjoyable and supported by leading scientific research. It gives you the lessons and resources to become your own personal wellbeing coach, so you can consistently feel good and function effectively.
You’ll have all the support you need to get out into the world and start flourishing.
Best of all, we’ll help you see what impact your efforts are really having.  We’ll remind you when it’s time to measure again, show you the progress you’re making against your goal, help you make any necessary adjustments and continue putting the latest research at your fingertips to help you consistently be well and do well.
And it’s 100% confidential.  And 100% free.
Why?  Because we believe that the future of our planet depends on people being able to consistently flourish.


What is PERMAH?


Professor Martin Seligman, one of the world’s leading researchers in positive psychology and human flourishing, suggests that wellbeing is cultivated by the presence in our lives of positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment.

This framework is often referred to as ‘PERMA’.
Other researchers – ourselves included – also believe that the cultivation of your Health by eating well, moving regularly, and sleeping deeply is one of the hygiene factors of wellbeing.  Everything just gets easier when this is present.
So in this tool we’ve added Health to Martin’s framework, making it ‘PERMAH’.

POSITIVE EMOTION the right balance of heartfelt positivity to boost our resilience
ENGAGEMENT the regular development of our strengths – those things we’re good at and enjoy doing
RELATIONSHIPS the creation of authentic, energizing connections
MEANING a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves
ACCOMPLISHMENT the belief and ability to do the things that matter most to us
HEALTH eating well, moving regularly, sleeping deeply


Just like muscle groups, or areas of fitness, these areas of wellbeing can be tested, targeted and developed through the practice of ongoing ‘Positive Interventions’.  Created by wellbeing practitioners and researchers around the globe, these include exercises like keeping a gratitude journal, breaking the grip on rumination, developing your strengths, finding meaning in small tasks and overcoming self-doubt.  There are more than 200 (and growing) positive interventions you can try.
As we began teaching thousands of leaders and employees in every kind of workplace you can imagine, how to improve their wellbeing and saw the professional and personal shifts people were achieving, we asked Martin: “What would be the best way to improve wellbeing in workplaces? ”He said, “Measure it.”
It’s our hope is that the PERMAH Workplace Survey makes it easier for each of us to consistently flourish.
(This test is based on the PERMA Workplace Profiler which was developed by Margaret L. Kern at the University of Pennsylvania and is copyrighted to the University of Pennsylvania.)