APA Center for Organizational Excellence: Good Company

Resources for Employers

Good Company Blog

Gallup’s Five Well-Being Indicators: Seems Like Something’s Missing

puzzle_piece_small.jpgGallup recently came out with the revelation that there are five types of well-being: (1) Career, (2) Social, (3) Financial, (4) Physical, and (5) Community. I have not seen any of the behind the scenes empirical work validating these five types of well-being, but the five do seem to make conceptual sense. They are clearly not completely separate types of well-being, as poor career well-being might result in poor financial well-being or social well-being. But, the general premise seems to make sense.

Having read several different pieces on the topic, though, something seemed to be missing. As I was reviewing the most recent Gallup Management Journal article, it finally dawned on me. There seems to be an important element of well-being missing from Gallup’s conceptual framework: Mental Well-Being.

You could make the argument that Gallup’s five types of well-being will likely have some effect on mental well-being. If someone lacks career well-being, for example, then that person may experience greater stress which reduces mental well-being. However, you could also argue that poor mental well-being, perhaps resulting from depression or anxiety, could be the precursor to reduced career well-being. Hence, mental well-being could have implications for most, if not all, of the other five types of well-being.

Though it is unlikely that Gallup will re-consider its “five” types of well-being (after all the books and articles have already been printed), I would encourage practitioners to consider that there might be something missing from the list.

For years and years, our healthcare insurance focused primarily on physical health and well-being coverage, with little attention paid to mental health and well-being coverage. It seems to me that Gallup has done the same thing.

Failing to consider the extremely important mental well-being element means that, at least for some employees, no matter what you do to improve the other five types of well-being, you will not optimize your results.

Photo Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannconz / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Gallup’s Five Well-Being Indicators: Seems Like Something’s Missing.

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.apaexcellence.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/87


I agree. Mental health should be a major component of the indicator. It is flawed without it.

annonymous (06/ 5/11) said:

I have actually taken the Gallup well-being assessment more than once. Although I was experiencing anxiety and depression, once I identified 3 of the five areas where I was suffering and made improvements in those areas based on the suggestions offered, my mental well-being improved significantly.

Leave a comment



  • Bookmark and Share

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dr. Matt Grawitch published on June 22, 2010 10:15 AM.

A Healthy Workplace Based on Trust was the previous entry in this blog.

A Video Overview of the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.