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How Can Flourishing Help Worker Wellbeing?

How Can Flourishing Help Worker Well-Being?

Oct. 4, 2023
This concept can help employees better navigate the workplace by connecting to a sense of purpose, having positive emotions and building relationships.

I have to admit that I have never heard of the term flourishing, with respect to employee well-being..

In an article in the Harvard Business Review, this concept is explained.

Flourishing — a holistic framework for well-being — was first developed by Martin Seligman, one of the leading researchers in the field of positive psychology. The concept of flourishing doesn’t mean that we will be happy at every moment of our lives or that everything in our lives needs to be going well for us to be doing well. Flourishing means that we can connect to a sense of purpose in our lives, experience positive emotions, build relationships with people and communities that matter to us, and recognize and appreciate our accomplishments even in challenging moments and chapters of our lives.

In an article in Psychology Today, Amy M. Young, Ph.D. explains that this means. " What we know is that positive relationships, positive meaning, and positive emotions are the nutrients we need to flourish." 

She offers three action steps to take:

Tell your employees how they matter: Do your employees know how their work contributes to the overall goals of the team or the organization? If you have hired an employee, they play some role in contributing to the overall success of the company.

All too often leaders assume that employees know how their work makes a difference. More often than not, employees don’t know if or how their day-to-day activities make a difference. Even if they do, hearing it directly from their leader or supervisor is a way of letting them know others appreciate what they do. This strategy directly promotes positive meaning, relationships, and emotions in both the employee and the leader.

Allow moments of play or lightheartedness at work: At the beginning of a meeting, make it a habit to add a few minutes of fun. If it is a virtual meeting, consider playing an uplifting tune as you are waiting for members to join or a quick home office scavenger hunt. We have the assumption that joy or happiness doesn’t belong in the workplace because it reduces productivity. This is an assumption that needs to be debunked. Bringing joy to the workplace not only promotes flourishing by increasing positive emotions, but it also strengthens workplace relationships.

Celebrate accomplishments: All too often we move onto the next challenge without ever taking the time to savor our wins. Taking the time to recognize the small wins by dedicating five minutes at the end of meetings devoted to calling out the small victories of your team. Not only does this directly promote flourishing by fulfilling our need for achievement, but it also builds positive relationships, meaning and emotions if done as a group.

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