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128: Career Wellbeing with Jim Harter, Chief Scientist for Gallup’s Workplace Management and Well-Being Practice

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Because Career Wellbeing often relies on partnership with others in your organization or different conversations with your clients it can be seen as outside of the scope of wellness. So, what can you do to impact this foundational element of wellbeing?

That what today’s guest, Dr. Jim Harter, Chief Scientist for Gallup’s Workplace Management and Well-being Practice, answers for us today. Dr. Harter is co-author of the New York Times bestseller 12: The Elements of Great Managing, Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, and his research is featured in First, Break All the Rules. His 5 Strengths are: Achiever, Focus, Learner, Relator and Futuristic.

According to Gallup, people with high Career Wellbeing are more than twice as likely to be thriving in their lives overall. But only 20% of people strongly agree that they like what they do each day. That means 4 out of 5 people don’t like what they do each day, impacting their overall employee wellbeing.

In this interview, Jim and I discuss the research behind the 5 Elements of Wellbeing and he answers my burning question – where does emotional health fall into the dimensions? We then dig into Career Wellbeing – what it is, the research behind it and why they are moving towards term Purpose. We discuss why so many people seem to live for the weekends, the link between poor career wellbeing and health and how we (and our organizations) can positively impact career or purpose wellbeing.

Interview Highlights:
  • [5:15] The research behind the 5 Elements of Wellbeing (Career, Financial, Physical, Community and Social Wellbeing).
  • [7:55] How emotional wellbeing fits into the Gallup model.
  • [11:35] The reason Gallup is changing their terminology to Purpose Wellbeing.
  • [13:55] Why Career Wellbeing is the most foundational element.
  • [20:57] The link between health and engagement/Career Wellbeing.
  • [23:50] The four actionable factors Gallup found for organizations to improve Career Wellbeing.
  • [30:55] What to do when you’re in a role that doesn’t play to your strengths.
  • [33:33] The role of managers in Career Wellbeing.
  • [44:30] Tangible ways wellness pros can impact Career Wellbeing (even when it’s not seen as our responsibility).
Mentioned:

Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Jim’s new book (due out in May): It’s the Manager

Full Bio:

Jim Harter, Ph.D., is Chief Scientist for Gallup’s workplace management practice. He is coauthor of the New York Times bestseller 12: The Elements of Great Managing, an exploration of the 12 crucial elements for creating and harnessing employee engagement. Dr. Harter’s book, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, is based on a global study of what differentiates people who are thriving from those who are not.

His research is featured in First, Break All the Rules, and he contributed the foreword to Gallup’s new edition of this groundbreaking bestseller.

Dr. Harter is the primary researcher and author of the first large-scale, multi-organization study to investigate the relationships between work-unit employee engagement and business results. Updated periodically, this study currently covers 82,000 business units and includes 1.8 million employees in 230 organizations, across 49 industries and in 73 countries.

His work has appeared in many publications, including Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company and TIME Magazine, and in academic articles and book chapters.

Dr. Harter received his doctorate in psychological and cultural studies in quantitative and qualitative methods from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL).

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