Wellbeing is more than just a buzzword or a one-size-fits-all program. It’s individual to each employee and a key determinant of a healthy work life in the workplace. And contrary to popular belief — wellbeing can be measured!
Cassandra Rose, SPHR, SHRM-SCP joins Jason again this week to discuss how to measure wellbeing and how HR teams can implement wellbeing programs that are mutually beneficial to the employee and employer.
Key ideas and highlights
- The youngest generation demands a purpose-driven career. How can we keep up?
- There are 3 main work determinants of health: leadership, organizational design, and ways of working across the organization.
- Wellbeing now must be a part of the benefits equity conversation.
- Contrary to popular belief, wellbeing is measurable.
Word of the day
- We haven’t forgotten about the word of the day! We’ll pick this back up when Jordan returns next week.
- 0:00 Intro
- 2:39 Wellbeing as one of the most important metrics in HR
- 4:18 The definition of wellbeing
- 6:17 Wellbeing isn’t just a nice to have; it’s a need to have
- 7:24 Younger workers demand a purpose-driven work life
- 9:04 The difference between happiness and purposefulness
- 12:15 Adoption of responsibility and fulfillment
- 13:48 The difference between being a cog and a spoke in the wheel
- 17:14 Deloitte study on Wellbeing and the social determinants of health
- 18:17 The three work determinants of wellbeing
- 23:07 Business bottom line and human flourishing aren’t at odds
- 25:34 Why your people need to have agency in their wellbeing ]
- 30:21 How to measure wellbeing and implement programs
- 37:45 3 steps to designing the work experience
How many hours and years of our lives do we spend on work for nearly all of us, we spend 30 plus years and one third of our days in our vocation, more time perhaps than we spend at rest or at play. But this isn’t a problem. Why? Because work is good. Work needs to be integrated deeply into our lives and must be in line with our most important goals and values. And if it is, we have a far more complete and fulfilling life experience. Welcome to the How People Work podcast, where we explore the intersection of how humans think and act and how they apply themselves to their work. When you understand both of these things, you’ll be equipped to be insightful, compassionate, and compelling leaders.
Welcome back to How People Work. Everyone. Thanks for joining us today. We have Cassandra Rose joining us again as a guest on the podcast. So I am hosting. Jordan is not here today, but we are very excited to have Cassandra back with us to continue the conversation that we started last week around people, and particularly the idea of wellbeing, which we touched on just a tad last time. We got onto some other interesting topics. But there’s some really interesting research that’s come out of this Deloitte study that we mentioned, and we’ll post it in the show notes for those who are interested. But that’s something that I think will be really interesting to delve into today, especially given Cassandra’s experience in the benefits space wellbeing, working at both small and large organizations. And so I’m really excited to jump into this today.
Yeah. Well, thank you again for having me on the show. For the people who didn’t hear it the first time around, I am the head of people here at Fringe and have about 20 years of HR experience. And I’ve worked in not just the benefits space, but also in corporate immigration, in recruiting and learning development and HR systems. And I’m really proud to be a practitioner of the HR discipline. And what I think is so fascinating about the wellbeing study is that in the organizations that I worked at that were Fortune 100 and were well resourced, wellbeing was always a top item to be discussed. And I think that we are now realizing it’s not just companies who have the privilege of having dedicated people like wellbeing has to be the way that you think about work, whether you’re the CEO or a first time employee.
And that’s a big change that’s taken place. More recently, and I don’t know if I’ve shared this yet, but my role within Fringe more recently has been within our Innovation team. And so I’ve been conducting some research recently with HR individuals. We did a big survey where we gathered some data and then myself, some other folks on my team have been interviewing HR executives and talking about some of these topics. And I was actually really surprised. One of the things that came out of this research that we did was one of the questions that we asked was what are the metrics that are most important within the HR function? And so we had all sorts of people from all sorts of different HR roles that we asked them to rank order out of about 10 different metrics, what were the top five for them? And the metric that was most consistently numerically kind of rated in the top five was wellbeing.
And I was really surprised by that because, and normally you hear attract and retain, right? Recruiting metrics, retention metrics, obviously those are very important to how the business operates and the efficiency of the business. But wellbeing, I was a little surprised, honestly to see that surface so high as a metric because one of the things to me that I think is interesting is I’m not sure that there’s a really consistent definition of what wellbeing means and how companies or HR practitioners think about that. So I’m curious even your reaction to wellbeing having been elevated so high in that research that we did.
Yeah, I love what you said about having a shared understanding, a definition around it, because wellbeing can be the soft and squishy thing at one organization where it could be hard facts and heavy investment at another organization. And so when I think about the spectrum of wellbeing, it goes from something as basic as we provide benefits to our employees and the major things, the core things, the medical benefits, dental, vision, all the way to how can I provide for you from a mental health standpoint, from a financial health standpoint, even sometimes from a community health standpoint. And meaning how do we create engaging spaces for you to be able to collaborate with your coworkers, be mentored, be sponsored at the organization. So I think when we say, well, what is a definition of wellbeing? It really should be more comprehensive than just physical health. And as long as we’re having a conversation that includes that, but then goes past that, I feel like we’re in the right space.
Yeah. Well, and I think what’s really interesting is I’ve delved into this myself in recent months. It’s really fascinating that in the work setting or the business setting, there really doesn’t seem to be a consistent definition. I mean, I’ve talked to literally thousands of HR leaders and HR executives, and if you ask any one person, what basically happens is wellbeing means different things to different people. But when you get into the space of psychology, which I think is important because we’re talking about how people work, which is the name of the podcast here, it’s actually much more scientific. And so sometimes what happens is when we’re in the business setting, we say, well, these qualitative, these soft things, they’re nice to haves. They’re not need to haves. That’s the kind of a common language that’s used. And what’s really meant by that is, well, nice to haves don’t really actually matter when it comes down to it, right?
Because nice to haves are just fluffy stuff. It doesn’t actually impact the business outcomes in a material way. And I think what’s actually really fascinating by that is I’ve delved into this research that it couldn’t be further from the truth. That actually, the ways in which we think about these qualitative measures are actually highly scientific from a psychological standpoint, these self-evaluated, qualitative measures of satisfaction and happiness and a sense of wellbeing are actually very material when it comes to an employee’s self-reported sense of these things. How that directly impacts their productivity, their happiness, their ability to be creative in their work, all of these things that have very important significant business outcomes that I think you can begin to connect. And so I think that’s a really fascinating thing as we talk about the idea of wellbeing and what is a good definition, how do we bring maybe some of these things into the business context that haven’t been part of the conversation before?
And if you think about the way that a lot of younger workers, and I don’t mean necessarily just in age, but the amount of time that they spent in the workforce think about purpose. They want to be purpose-driven at work. That is essential to their wellbeing and the way that we spend time in our work, whether it’s the hours that you think about the weeks, the years of it, that’s a way that you’re contributing to society more significantly than almost any other thing that you do in this life. And so if we’re thinking about what gives people purpose and how does that show up for them, I think that’s an aspect of wellbeing as well. Because if you feel purpose-driven, that can actually help you reframe how you think about how you’re contributing, how you’re taking care of yourself, how you’re investing in the things that you’re doing at work and in your personal life, which I love what you say is that’s a blunt. Work isn’t this thing that I just turn off, I go home and I completely forget the address of where I’ve just come from for those who still go into an office, but it’s the ability for me to contribute to society, contribute to something that makes me passionate and excited, and use skills that I just naturally have and want to further condition and then go take those opportunities to go do other things for myself.
So I think for me, what wellbeing could be showing up for me as well as the employees that I attend to is really just making sure that I’m, again, giving a breath of resources that allows each person to feel what they need to get their purpose.
So Jordan and I have talked about this in previous episodes and I’m curious what you think about it. How can employees or just people in general go about thinking about this question of purpose? Because I do think it’s something that comes up and I think sometimes we kind of gloss over it really quickly and we’re like, oh yeah, totally. Everyone should have a sense of purpose. But I think we really have to kind of peel back the layers on that. And so maybe in your own personal experience or with people that you’ve worked with, how do you see the sense of purpose coming to life and what people do day-to-day?
Well, first I want to clarify what I believe it’s not. Purpose doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness. And for some reason we’ve connected those two things. And if I’m not happy at work, then I’m not purpose-filled at work. And I’m not saying that you should be unhappy with that either. If bad things are happening in your work environment, call them out. Make it better, not just for yourself, but for people around you. But when I think about purpose, I think about what does it even mean to work? And a good example of that is if you go to the gym and work out for an hour, but you never break a sweat scientifically, it’s as though you didn’t work out, you’re not having the activity to produce sweat that can actually result in a change in your body. You’ve done things but you haven’t actually done work, you haven’t worked out. And so when I think about purpose, purpose means that I have a vision of something that I want to achieve. I want to change the world. I want to sell this widget. I want to bring something to the world that does not yet exist. And so there are going to be hard days in that there are going to be great days in that there are going to be middling days where I’m like, I did a bunch of stuff, but I don’t know if it actually -
Was it in line with -
Meaningful to my OKRs if you do that thing. And so I think when you can actually channel people into believing that your purpose can be here every day, and let’s find a way in the work that you apply for and the job description that you have, let’s see how your purpose can be fulfilled. That to me is the magic versus going, how can I make sure you’re always happy in every day of what you do? Yeah, I don’t think there’s any point in life, whether you’re high school or someone who’s in retirement where they’re like, I feel happiness through and through every day. But I think you can get satisfaction from the challenge and that your happiness is the end result of always focusing on your purpose.
And so you probably don’t know this, but Jordan and I, and maybe two or three episodes prior to this one talked about these different kinds of happiness and fulfillment. And so what you’re describing is what we would consider to be hedonism essentially is not really happiness that fulfills or sustains. And so there is a kind of happiness that is actually rooted in this sense of purpose and meaning. And I think the analogy of exercise is a good one, because exercise at its best is uncomfortable.
Right, even painful. Because literally what’s happening when you get stronger is you exercise to the point of exertion that your muscles tear and then they rebuild themselves and they’re stronger as a result. And so that’s what’s happening. And I think another analogy that’s kind of fitting in the sense of purpose is where it’s not always comfortable is I like to think of it as a sense of adopting responsibility. When we adopt responsibility for something that can actually be really central to giving us a sense of meaning and purpose. So a really great example that I think you’ll resonate with is with children, children can be one of the things that drive you the most insane and mad that you’ll ever be, and at the same time give you the greatest sense of fulfillment and meaning and purpose for another human being that you’re charged with raising. And so it’s the responsibility of having this human being that you hopefully bring into the world to be another human being that can contribute positively to what’s going on out there. That I think gives us this sense of, Hey, it’s not just about me. It’s not just about being happy and like, oh, I feel good all the time, but that actually there’s some difficulty that comes with what that looks like.
And weathering it together. And I think that’s what is also an important aspect to that of collaboration. And maybe in prior decades, because I’m pretty young, we’ve gone into work environments where it was need to know information. Your manager was just giving you just enough information for you to complete your job. So in some ways it was job security, but also it limited people from expanding and being able to contribute in the best way possible because they could only make decisions based on the information that they knew. And what I love about how the tech world, especially in the last decade has democratized the way that we work, is that the more people that know information and how your contributions are actually helping hit the bottom line of something really resonates with people saying, Hey, I can actually make an impact. I can have influence in what I’m doing.
What I’m doing is not just a cog in the wheel, it actually is a spoke in the wheel, and I want to do that more. Whether that’s selling something or being in the people team or being an engineer, all of these different parts have to come together and no one is more important than the other. That’s the thing that I think has shifted a lot. And so when we think about wellbeing, we have to think about the diversity of that ecosystem of how do I support so many people who are doing so many different things, who are in different points of their career. We’re talking about five, almost six generations in a workplace. We’re talking about people who are parents, we’re talking about people who may have disabilities that need accommodations. There’s so many different visions and aspects to what it means to be a human being showing up to work. And so that’s the challenge, but it’s a good challenge to have. That means that we’re becoming more inclusive, we’re being more thoughtful. And so I think the hard work that’s ahead of us really is to figure out how can we continue to find solutions and innovate. And human beings have always been resilient in finding different ways of working and getting better at it. If anything, we’re at a tipping point where we could be at the best that we’ve ever been. Period. Why not pursue that?
Yeah. And I think that’s a great well said because I do believe that if one thing’s true is over the course of human history, we found a way to innovate and overcome obstacles and these things that have been put before us. And so I think it’s actually a really great segue into this research from this Deloitte study that we’ve been trying to get to.
We’re getting there, we’re getting there.
Around wellbeing. And I think what’s really fascinating about it is that they were providing a framework, unlike any that I’ve really seen before. It’s something that we’ve talked a lot about around here at Fringe. And so it was really exciting when I came across it cause it was like, Hey, maybe this is something that’s becoming a little bit more widespread. Maybe it catches on a little bit more in terms of how we think about it. And one of the things I thought was really fascinating is they refer to these aspects of wellbeing in a way that they describe these work determinants of wellbeing. And so for those listening, they might be familiar with social determinants of health. So the World Health Organization for some time has had a number of metrics, if you will, or kind of aspects of what they consider to be the social determinants of health.
So for you as an individual with physical health outcomes, what are the things that impact that from a standpoint of environment, socioeconomic status? There’s a number of different factors. And so what Deloitte’s done here is they’ve said, well, work is a really important aspect of the human experience. And so they’re not dismissing sort of work out hand outright as this work-life balance work is just a bad thing. Inherently. They’re actually acknowledging the fact that work is actually a really valuable part of the human experience. And then they go on to describe what are these work determinants? What are these things that they believe to be really core to what drives a positive work experience or drives wellbeing within work? And so there’s three things that they lay out in this research, which again, we’ll post in the show notes here, but they describe them as one leadership behavior at all levels of the organization.
So from the C‑suite all the way down to the lowest people managers, anyone who’s responsible for leading or managing people, what do those leadership behaviors look like? And so we actually talked about that a little bit last episode, right around how do leaders impact what that work experience looks like for their people? How the organization and jobs are designed is the second aspect of that. And so I think there’s some interesting things there to talk about. And then ways of working across organizational levels. And so essentially, how’s the organization set up in and of itself? And so again, I think we talked about that a little bit in the last episode, but that could play into some of these aspects around how are people enabled to work in different projects perhaps that might be cross-functional, right? Yep. Is there that kind of flexibility across the way the organization’s set up that allows for people to experience these things in a different kind of way?
And I think the organizations that are going to rise to the top that are going to be the leaders within the next five to 10 years are the ones that are focusing on that right now. They’re investing in that financially and they’re investing in their people beyond sometimes what the research will even show. And I think the research is almost not an afterthought, but backing up what people are actually seeing. Yes. When we think about quiet quitting, which I just think is the way that people have always resisted work. I’m going to do less or I’m going to just do the amount that I’m paid to do. I’m not going to go above and beyond my job description. I don’t see that as necessarily someone being lazy or someone just checking out. I see that also as a failure on the company that I haven’t inspired you to find a different way to go about it.
That might be, and you said something really important in our last conversation, that sometimes certain jobs just have an arc. That’s it. Like either you’re going to love doing the exact same thing for the next 40 years, which there are certain jobs that have to be there. I’ll even say something as typical as payroll. You need people who are excited about making sure everyone gets paid on time. I get excited when I get paid on time. So you want someone who is comfortable being in a very stable position but has growth opportunities. Maybe it’s, hey, you might take on payroll in a different country, or maybe you might learn about something else, but your true function in what you do for the company is being able to make sure that other people can meet their bills and meet their financial commitments. And so when we’re thinking about how we structure work, I think wellbeing has to now be a component. That wasn’t even a thought process. It was just, let me take 12 or 13 tasks, throw them all together, slap a title on this and go get someone to come do this work.
Yeah. Well, and I think one of the things that is spot on about what you’re saying is the notion that wellbeing isn’t simply about cost saving measures. And so I think there’s been a sense maybe over the last two decades or so, that wellbeing has been really just about cost saving measures. Can we reduce claims costs? Can we do things that maybe are at worst manipulative for employees to try and save money. At best, maybe in their interests, but still kind of driven by a profit motive that aren’t really about the sense of what the article describes as human sustainability. And I think what we would describe here at Fringe is human flourishing, what are we aiming for? Are we aiming for a bottom line business outcome or are we aiming for a good human outcome for the individual? For communities? For society? And that’s a big difference.
If we’re thinking about promoting the wellbeing of workers of the organization of society, then it doesn’t just come down to, Hey, can we reduce medical claims by helping people have better heart health? It’s a good thing. Of course, everyone, we would want people to have better health in that way. But at the same time, is that solely the aim or do we just desire for people to flourish? And can those things be oriented in such a way that humans desire for themselves to flourish, that we’re not forcing these things upon people, but that meaning and purpose actually comes from the adoption of responsibility, both at the individual level, the community level, the societal level.
You tie that together so beautifully. I want to take a minute to say that, but also I think multiple things can be true at the same time. So just expounding on what you’re saying, there is nothing wrong in saving money because people are catching cancer at stage one and not stage four. Right? That is super important because it, let’s be honest, it saves money on a claims basis, but also we’re saving lives. And so one of the things that I’ve always been an advocate of is benefits equity. And equity to me doesn’t mean just having the ability to have equal outcomes. It’s really making sure that there are facets that we’re making sure we address. So that way there’s people who are having better lives, truly just better lives. Because if we have the resources, if we’re A) in the most educated society globally we’ve ever been as a human race, why aren’t we doing better for more people? And so when I think about what an employer owes to an employee, what the value proposition is of you working for company A versus company B, I want the conversation to center around, I want your life to be better after working for me.
That can be in so many different ways, but wellbeing has to now be part of the conversation.
Yeah, I agree. Totally. And I think what’s interesting, and even a challenge in that is it’s a two-way street, right? Because I think companies do have a responsibility if they are aiming for human flourishing. And that’s why we talk about this so much is if they’re aiming for the good of human beings in society to do good by their employees, it can’t be simply profit driven motives. And at the same time, individuals have a responsibility as well. So when we talk about meaning and purpose, well, one of the things that’s really central to the notion of meaning and purpose is, well, I, as a manager, let’s say, I can’t define that for you. I can’t tell you what your meaning and purpose should be. And so it actually takes some work on your part as an individual to sit down and actually think about what are the things that are most important in my life?
How’s the work that I’m doing connected to that? But what’s actually really fascinating about that is the research shows that when people actually take time to lay out these value hierarchies as we might call them, and really say like, Hey, what are the things I care most about? What are the values that are most important to me as an individual that it actually brings into their work setting those things that are most important to them? And so all of a sudden work that maybe seemed really trivial before can actually take on a different kind of purpose and meaning, because all of a sudden it’s like, Hey, well, I know why I’m going about doing this work, or maybe this work is a means to an end. Maybe I don’t actually love this work in and of itself. It’s not always just total fun and happiness, but there’s something more meaningful about the reason that I’m applying myself to this. And because I’ve taken some time to articulate for myself individually what those values are, what those things are that I’m motivated by, now all of a sudden I can bring that into my work setting. And as an employer, I can’t do that for you. That takes some work on your part as well.
Jason, every job I’ve ever had has been so fulfilling. I’m always shocked that I get a new one. If that were true, we wouldn’t even need leadership books because all managers were just being natural born leaders who could not only be a coach, but also just get work done through other people. That is the ideal stage. Now let’s look at reality and see how we can meet somewhere in the middle. I think it’s also being able to say, as a leader, you need to do more for yourself. You need to be full self-care, do the things that you need to do to be able to pour out to other people. And sometimes we forget that. And so I think managing other people while trying to also manage up while also trying to contribute is a trifecta of work that sometimes we just ignore and just expect people to go from, I was an employee, now I’m managing people, but I have expectations that are way above what it took to be able to be a good employee and good individual contributor. So I think a wellbeing program that’s really well-tuned will include something that is a focus and maybe even something different for people who manage other people within the organization. And I think that’s a really important piece.
Yeah. Yeah, I agree. So I want to talk a little bit about what this article kind of puts forward, because I think there’s some helpful things, and I think there’s actually some things that in my mind fall a little bit short of what might be useful to us as we think about maybe a more consistent framework of wellbeing, let’s say. And so they talk about what they call a wellbeing direction. How do we start to put this into action in a more meaningful way? And so one of the ways they say we should be doing this is talking about shifting from legacy mindsets of wellbeing. And so I think that’s really helpful. The paradigm that they use I think is extremely valuable. And so work is a determinant of wellbeing. It’s sort of dispelling the sense of work-life balance with, we’ve talked about a bunch into work-life integration perhaps, but work being an actual meaningful part of our life experience.
And then wellbeing being a shared responsibility, which is sort of exactly what we were just talking about, that it’s one of those both-and scenarios. It’s both the individual’s responsibility and the employer’s responsibility to look at wellbeing and say, Hey, we own parts of this. It’s not one or the other. And then organizational structures, which I do think falls more on the company to help lay out how do we as an organization design the way in which people can go about the work that they do, and that being a really critical piece to how we do it. But one of the things that I thought was really interesting is they talked about the measurement of wellbeing, but really didn’t, in my view, offer anything substantive as it relates to how should we be measuring wellbeing. And I think you being in the space as long as you have and kind of worked on benefits and wellbeing initiatives. I’m curious to talk about this with you. How or how should we be thinking about the measurement of wellbeing in more effective ways, perhaps?
Yeah, I think there’s a couple of ways that you can find metrics that make sense for your organization, but this is a supermarket method that I would recommend. So take what you need, leave what don’t. One is just pure claims experience. So for those who may go, what are you talking about when it comes to claims, when you’re looking at your medical information, you get a summary very high level about what are the top things that people are going to the doctor for when they’re using your medical insurance. It may not be by name, but maybe for some reason there’s a lot of people at your organization who have back problems. They’re sitting around a lot, they’re not getting enough exercise, and maybe that’s something that you need to do an ergonomic program around. And this is where it goes back to the claims data of like, oh, you’re just trying to get me to be a better worker, so I show up in my seat every day.
Yeah, that’s one component of it, but also we want to alleviate your back pain, right? That’s helpful. One of the metrics that I actually discovered working in leave management was the ratio of people who were going out on leave and how many women were coming back to work and how many women were actually being promoted into leadership positions. So when you think about this dearth of diversity at the upper echelons of management, sometimes you can trace it back to those levels of wellbeing. So if I know that I’m going out and just isolating this to have a baby, but I don’t have programs that allow me to bond with my baby, I may need more time when I come back. I don’t have any support systems for what I may need when it comes to flexibility, there’s a higher chance that I may be leaving the organization.
So I think one metric of wellbeing could be following parents, it could be moms, dads, or however you may identify how many people are coming back from leave and how long are they saying are they staying for six months? Are they staying for a year? Are they staying for two years? Just a longevity thing. And then the second thing that you can measure is, are these people continuing to rise within the organization? And so when you think about wellbeing, that actually can lend itself to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging strategies that we’re thinking about. And to me, what’s beautiful about being able to go into that space is just showing that, like you said, life and work are all integrated. Anytime we try to segment them out, that’s where things start to break down because we’re trying to see things in a silo. But if we’re able to see that by increasing wellbeing, by making sure that we have programs that support parents or support women or support people who identify as LGBTQ, that not only helps that employee and the organization and wellbeing factors, but that also lends itself to increasing diversity and the feeling of inclusion and belonging in your workplace, which also helps your bottom line.
So it can be a win and a win and a win. And I’m not saying these things are all easy, but we have to continuously push ourselves to find ways to do that. One other thing in the study that I found was fascinating was factors that actually can be a detriment to your wellbeing, could be micromanagement, which is a very reasonable thing, but also undermanagement, that people are looking for more direction in how their careers evolve. And I agree with you completely that you have to also want to own your career. No one can tell you exactly what you’re going to do or what will fulfill you from a purpose standpoint. But if you’re owning your career and there’s no one to help guide you, you’re going to lose some footing there too. So I think that’s an important component to compound on what you’re saying about it’s this relationship of both employer and employee coming together to evolve the idea of wellbeing.
Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, I’ve talked to so many HR leaders and executives, and this question of wellbeing is one that just feels so nebulous, and it’s one that I’m really passionate and excited and kind of motivated to help bring maybe some more clarity to. And I think one of the disconnects is when I talk to HR people especially, there’s a lot of head nodding. It’s like, yeah, we totally get it. It all makes perfect sense. But I think there’s still a disconnect at the executive level with people running organizations oftentimes that say, well, these are still qualitative things. At the end of the day, they’re nice to haves, which we’ve talked about a little bit. And how much bearing do they really have on getting business done? Right? And I think what we want to put forth is, well, it couldn’t be more important.
It literally could not be more important. These things that feel qualitative, the science itself is pointing to the fact that these self-reported measures of so-called qualitative data are actually really core and valid measures of an employee’s experience to the degree that it will impact their satisfaction, their happiness, yes, their productivity. I mean, all of these things that you were talking about around the sense of inclusion and belonging at an organization. And so I think one of the things that’s really missing is connecting the dots, right? Between the so-called qualitative measures and the actual business outcomes because they are connected. It just might be one or two degrees removed, and we’re not accustomed to talking about these things in a business setting. But I would say in the context of psychologists, for example, they’ve been talking about these things for over 30 years. I mean, I’ve been astounded by the papers I’ve read, which have been a number of them up to this point where these studies show one after another that, I mean, even the simplest things that increase somebody’s positive affect, which is a psychological term that just refers to somebody’s very basic sense of happiness at a really base level, we’re not talking about sense of meaning and purpose.
We’re just talking about like, oh man, I got a little positive lift from a gift that I received. The impact that alone has on productivity within the context of a day is so powerful that I can’t imagine. I don’t understand, I guess why we’re not talking about this more than we are currently. And I think someone else I think about a lot is Marcus Buckingham and some of the research that he’s done around we’re extremely poor evaluators of others, but we’re extremely good evaluators of our own experience, right? And so our own experience of what is happening in an organization is extremely valid, and we need to take that into consideration as people that work with people that run organizations, that what people are telling us is going on. We can’t just dismiss it outright that we need to take those things into account as we’re thinking about designing the work experience for people.
So let’s just give it to people in three steps, right? Yeah, I think everything that you’ve brought forward, especially from the study, is important for people to know and to think about. But I don’t want them to feel powerless as to like, okay, well, I’m a manager here. I may not be in HR. I may be a first time people leader. I don’t even know how to climb this mountain. So some of the things that I would recommend, and I’d love to hear your thoughts too around this would be to first, start with yourself. What is your purpose? How do you fulfilled at work? What is the thing that gets you up out of bed and makes you feel like not only am I excited about the work that I do here, but I’m excited about what that means and what my next step could look like?
Because if you can find that path for yourself at the organization that you’re at, then you can start to help other people find that too. And so I think starting with yourself is a great way to get into that. And then talking about, just like you said, wellbeing in the sense of how can I measure it for my people? If I’ve had someone who’s left the organization, do I have access to their exit interview? I actually think we have a lot of the data points already just sitting within disparate systems. And it’s time for someone to be able to bring that together, pull your exit interviews, even pull your newest people in. Why did you choose to apply to our organization? Why did you choose to accept an offer from our organization? Yeah, what did I promise you to get you here? And how can I make sure we make good on that promise?
I really don’t think people wake up and go, I just don’t want to be a good manager today. I don’t want to be a good employer today. I don’t think that happens. I think there’s things that fall through the gaps. I think there’s lack of communication, I think lack of collaboration that leads us to not fulfilling that. And so the wellbeing discussion is something that gets us back into that point of if we focus on flourishing people, then we can continue this honestly, wave of good goodness that actually improves profit. Yeah, I truly believe that.
Yeah, I agree. And I think something that you put forward is well said, which is for those of us that are responsible for helping to lead people in our organizations, there’s a responsibility to lead from the front and not just do, as I say, but as I’ve done. I mean, the easiest lessons to pass on are those that we’ve learned ourselves. And so I think as we adopt that responsibility and take on those things ourselves and take responsibility for helping define our own sense of purpose and meaning, it’s going to be a whole lot easier and more powerful and compelling to share that with the people that we work with and lead. So I think that’s very well said. And so this is a great place to wrap up this conversation.
Already. Yes, I know. And so we’re going to continue this theme, I think. Wellbeing and this sense of how that plays into our work experience is really important to us. And we’re thinking about that a lot here at Fringe. And so, Cassandra, thank you for joining us. Yeah, this is a joy. These podcast episodes have been great having you a part of the conversation here. And thank you everyone for listening. We’ll see you next time.