Wellbeing at Work: How to Transform the Worst Part of the Day

“Spending time with their manager is the worst part of the day for employees, according to an approach called National Time Accounting that asks people detailed questions about their time use throughout the day.” (Harter & Clifton in Wellbeing at Work)

It doesn’t have to be that way. But what are the five factors of wellbeing at work?


Bossy bosses lose high performers. Coaching managers develop high performers.

The five factors of wellbeing at work*:

  1. Career wellbeing: You like what you do every day.
  2. Social wellbeing: You have meaningful friendships in your life.
  3. Financial wellbeing: You manager your money well.
  4. Physical wellbeing: You have energy to get things done.
  5. Community wellbeing: You like where you live.

“Gallup finds that the most important element – and the foundation for the other four – is career wellbeing.”

Career wellbeing:

Lousy managers are likely to have employees who don’t like coming to work. Good managers have employees who are more likely to experience career wellbeing.

People don’t leave bad jobs. They leave bad bosses. (Gallup) Managers are the key factor in job satisfaction. How might managers improve career wellbeing?

“[Organizations] can dramatically improve their employees’ daily experience by upskilling managers to become highly effective coaches.” Clifton & Harter

Boss to coach:

Raise your hand if you love being bossed? No high performer wants a bossy boss. But a coaching manager is likely to bring out your best. Jim offered some suggestions for managers who want to move from boss to coach.

  1. Involve people in setting their own goals. Autonomy elevates engagement.
  2. Deliver frequent feedback. Let people know you see their strengths and help them improve their performance.
  3. Provide accountability so people can know when they shine.

A simple coaching pattern: The Simplest Coaching Pattern Imaginable | Leadership Freak

Jim Harter in his own words: https://youtu.be/J7mINQRNEWk

What does career wellbeing look like to you?

What do you look for in a manager who coaches rather than bosses?

(This post is based on my conversation with Jim Harter, Chief Scientist of Workplace Management and Wellbeing at Gallup.)

Follow Jim Harter on Linkedin.

*Purchase Wellbeing at Work on Amazon.