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Episode 12: We have to get on the same page about what we mean by wellbeing

In today’s high­ly com­pet­i­tive work envi­ron­ment, employ­ers are increas­ing­ly rec­og­niz­ing the impor­tance of employ­ee well­be­ing. How­ev­er, there is still a lack of clar­i­ty on what exact­ly we mean by well­be­ing in the work­place. This ambi­gu­i­ty can have seri­ous con­se­quences. For instance, employ­ers may imple­ment work­place well­ness pro­grams that don’t take into account all aspects of employ­ee well­be­ing, result­ing in low­er engage­ment, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, and ulti­mate­ly, reten­tion. Sim­i­lar­ly, employ­ees may have dif­fer­ent per­cep­tions of what well­be­ing means to them, lead­ing to con­fu­sion and dis­sat­is­fac­tion. To avoid such prob­lems, we need to get on the same page about what we mean by well­be­ing in the workplace.

On this episode of How Peo­ple Work, Jor­dan and Jason dis­cuss the impor­tance of get­ting on the same page about well­be­ing in the work­place and how this shared under­stand­ing will allow employ­ers to devel­op work­place well­ness pro­grams that pro­mote employ­ee well­be­ing in a holis­tic and effec­tive man­ner. It will also help employ­ees make informed deci­sions about their own well­be­ing goals and enable them to com­mu­ni­cate their needs effec­tive­ly. Ulti­mate­ly, achiev­ing a shared under­stand­ing of well­be­ing in the work­place will con­tribute to a health­i­er, hap­pi­er, and more engaged workforce.

Now avail­able on: YouTube | Apple Pod­casts | Spo­ti­fy

Key ideas and highlights

  • The con­ver­sa­tion around well­ness and employ­ee engage­ment has been ever-grow­ing since the pan­dem­ic. But, mea­sur­ing well­ness by engage­ment alone isn’t enough.
  • You must imple­ment well­be­ing strate­gies that work in order to get the employ­ee engage­ment you want.
  • Employ­ment is des­ig­nat­ed by the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion as a crit­i­cal social deter­mi­nant of health. How can employ­ers max­i­mize their employ­ees’ well­be­ing in the workplace?
  • Deloitte Work­force Well­be­ing Imperative

Word of the day

  • Immac­u­late — said @28:55 ✅


  • 0:00 Intro
  • 3:31 Why has this con­ver­sa­tion around well­ness become so important?
  • 5:03 Mea­sur­ing engage­ment alone isn’t enough
  • 7:00 Why engage­ment doesn’t accu­rate­ly mea­sure wellness
  • 8:33 How to get the kind of employ­ee engage­ment you want
  • 12:03 Why employ­ees need to have a mis­sion state­ment of their own
  • 16:10 Employ­ment as a crit­i­cal social deter­mi­nant of health
  • 21:26 What actu­al­ly improves our situation?
  • 23:36 The deep­er mean­ing of the word shalom
  • 25:10 Well­ness is not out of reach for anyone


Jor­dan (00:05):

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 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. This is your co-host, Jor­dan Peace. I’m back. The real Jor­dan Peace. Hash­tag. I should have that. I guess so. Yeah. Yeah, that’d be kind of fun. What’s the thing called on Twit­ter? Han­dle? I should have that. Twit­ter, @therealJordanPiece. Some­body prob­a­bly already does. Sit­ting here with Jason Mur­ray as usu­al. Jason has not left you for two weeks like I did. I apol­o­gize, but I am back excit­ed to pick up where we left off. And thank you to Cas­san­dra Rose for fill­ing in for me. She did a fan­tas­tic job and made the job look a lot bet­ter than I do, which is always appre­ci­at­ed for those that see our video clip. But yeah, you guys talked a lot about well­be­ing, a lot about, I was just lis­ten­ing to this clip around, she’s talk­ing about how you can kind of do every­thing right, but if you have poor man­agers, it all falls apart. Which is a very frus­trat­ing thing to hear.


Cause you’re like, wait, you’re say­ing if we do every­thing else right? But this one thing. But at the same time, I think in a strong cul­ture with hap­py peo­ple where well­be­ing reigns, you would­n’t end up hav­ing an ugly expe­ri­ence with your man­ag­er because your man­ag­er would be healthy them­selves. They would be well, they would there­fore be kind and have rec­i­p­ro­cal rela­tion­ships with their peers and employ­ees and friends, et cetera. So we want to talk a lit­tle bit more today, and I’ll let you frame it up, Jason, since I’ve been gone a lit­tle bit. But about where this top­ic of well­be­ing has not come into play as if it was­n’t before, but real­ly resur­faced in a very strong way recent­ly. And kind of what that’s about. What’s going on in soci­ety that would lead to that? What’s going on from a research stand­point that would lead to this resur­gence? And we’re going to talk a lit­tle bit about that, hav­ing that pos­i­tive vision of work and that pos­i­tive vision of life and hav­ing some­thing to anchor on and all about how that plays into well­be­ing. But how did it go with Cas­san­dra? How did — I mean, was it nice to be rid of me for a cou­ple of weeks?

Jason (03:00):

Oh, it’s great hav­ing you. Yeah. But Cas­san­dra’s awe­some. It was great chat­ting with her about,

Jor­dan (03:06):

Did you give her a word of the day that she had — .

Jason (03:08):

I did­n’t do that to her.

Jor­dan (03:09):

You were Kind.

Jason (03:11):

Yeah, I was a lit­tle afraid of what she would’ve done to me if I tried to give her that.

Jor­dan (03:15):

It is a dis­tract­ing thing some­times. You’re sit­ting there, the whole episode going, when am I going to squeeze this word in there?

Jason (03:21):

And she’s very pro­fes­sion­al in the best of ways. And I’m so casu­al. I felt a lit­tle intim­i­dat­ed, hon­est­ly. So I was like, I’m not going to do that to her.

Jor­dan (03:30):

Mom came to the pod­cast. Yes. It made you behave.

Jason (03:31):

Yep. Yeah. So we got into well­be­ing a lit­tle bit. We touched on, in one of the episodes that we did on this Deloitte Work­force Well­be­ing Imper­a­tive, which is a report that they put out recent­ly that I actu­al­ly want to dig back into a lit­tle bit. Cause we kind of scratched the sur­face, but we did­n’t real­ly dive into it. But this ques­tion of why well­be­ing is sur­fac­ing more as a con­ver­sa­tion. I think there’s a whole bunch of fac­tors going into this, and I’m inter­est­ed in your thoughts on it too. But I think one of ​‘em is this sort of his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive of, well, there used to be well­ness. That was kind of the way peo­ple talked about it. And well­ness orig­i­nat­ed as a way to man­age pop­u­la­tion health with­in orga­ni­za­tions. So it was first and fore­most an effort to try and improve health, to reduce claims costs.


And so it was pure­ly dri­ven by cost sav­ings with­in the orga­ni­za­tion. So we might infer maybe there were some good intents that if peo­ple were health­i­er, they live bet­ter lives, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But at the end of the day, your med­ical plan is the biggest, one of the biggest costs that you have out­side of pay­roll for an orga­ni­za­tion. So if you could reduce that cost, hey, that prob­a­bly sounds pret­ty good. And so this effort kind of orig­i­nat­ed decades ago, and over time, the evi­dence for improved out­comes around well­ness in that way are sus­pect to say the least. And so that began to shift into more of this engage­ment. Well, let’s mea­sure engage­ment. Maybe that’s a bet­ter way to look at this. Well, what hap­pened most recent­ly is the pan­dem­ic. And so all this time, we’ve been think­ing prob­a­bly since ear­ly two thou­sands, that engage­ment is the thing. We need to mea­sure employ­ee engage­ment and improve employ­ee engagement.


And there’s aspects to that to unpack more than like­ly. But what hap­pened is the assump­tion was always made that engage­ment was a good proxy for well­be­ing. And so if engage­ment looked good or if it was trend­ing in the right direc­tion, that was a sig­nal that, Hey, your peo­ple are in a pret­ty good place. Right? Well, what hap­pened in the pan­dem­ic was all of a sud­den you got this diver­gence between engage­ment and well­be­ing. And so what hap­pened was every­one was work­ing at home as they were actu­al­ly far more engaged in their work than they ever were before because of tech­nol­o­gy, because of prox­im­i­ty. You’re not leav­ing an office any longer. It’s just there all the time. And so engage­ment rates actu­al­ly went up ear­ly in the pan­dem­ic. But what plum­met­ed — cap­tive audi­ence. Yeah, cap­tive audi­ence, all sorts of rea­sons — but kind of mea­sures of health and well­be­ing tanked. So stress lev­els through the roof, right? I mean, we’re all at home with our kids. If you have kids, what do you do? It’s pret­ty stress­ful. And so

Jor­dan (06:31):

Because, you can be engaged from a stand­point of you respond to emails quickly.

Jason (06:35):


Jor­dan (06:36):

Or you attend meet­ings or you show up on time. If those are the mea­sur­ing sticks of engage­ment, then you can pro­gram peo­ple, you could pro­gram apes to be engaged from that mea­sur­ing sticks stand­point. But from a rela­tion­al engage­ment stand­point, that actu­al­ly was a huge chal­lenge ear­ly in the pan­dem­ic to feel real­ly con­nect­ed at all.

Jason (07:00):

Well, and what it revealed is engage­ment does­n’t tell the full sto­ry. So engage­ment, we’re not sug­gest­ing engage­ment is a bad met­ric to use, but it’s cer­tain­ly not the only met­ric we should use.

Jor­dan (07:12):

Sure. I mean I could think of times in my own per­son­al life where I was prob­a­bly hyper engaged at work, be specif­i­cal­ly because I was not doing well per­son­al­ly. Right? Whether I was insane­ly stressed about some­thing going on, a health thing hap­pen­ing in my fam­i­ly, or mar­i­tal stress or what­ev­er the case may be.

Jason (07:34):

Work’s a distraction.

Jor­dan (07:34):

Sor­ry, hon­ey, we do fight, but this is, every­thing’s good. But yeah, work is a dis­trac­tion, work’s s a place to hide some­times from the things going on in life. So the thought that engage­ment would just cov­er you in terms of mea­sur­ing well­ness or well­be­ing. When you take a step back and think about your own life. Yeah. It’s like that’s kind of ridicu­lous. Yeah.

Jason (07:55):

Well, it seems self-evi­dent when you step back and think about it in that way. But I guess nobody real­ly stopped to think about it in that way. And so what the pan­dem­ic did is it ele­vat­ed this aware­ness of, oh, the way we’ve been think­ing about this and run­ning engage­ment sur­veys and see­ing improve­ments, and then just kind of check­ing that box, Hey, every­thing’s good. All of a sud­den we real­ized, well, that’s not ade­quate to what’s actu­al­ly going on. Peo­ple are more com­plex than that. The rela­tion­ship between engage­ment and actu­al health, stress, well­be­ing is much more com­plex than maybe presumed.

Jor­dan (08:33):

I think part of the prob­lem is employ­ers are try­ing to ben­e­fit employ­ers as a pri­ma­ry. And I think that if you focus on ben­e­fit­ing your employ­ees as a pri­ma­ry means, the ben­e­fit will come back around to the employ­er as a sec­ondary means. So if you were to say, okay, well let’s mea­sure engage­ment and let’s call it a proxy for well­be­ing. And so as long as peo­ple are log­ging in, attend­ing meet­ings, respond­ing to emails, doing all of the work things that ben­e­fit the employ­er, then we’re just going to check that well­be­ing box because it’s good enough to get the work done. But of course, what’s hap­pen­ing is this slow drift right there, there’s this slow kind of slow work death, if you will, of just like, yeah, I’m here, but I hate you. I respond­ed to that email. But with a lot of cyn­i­cism. And over the course of time, if the well-being itself is not pri­or­i­tized, then all the engage­ment in the world is not going to mean a whole lot. Where­as I think if you focus on the actu­al well­be­ing, the health, the hap­pi­ness, the pur­pose­ful­ness of your employ­ees, you’re going to, as a side effect, you’re going to get all the engage­ment you want. I think it’s just a focus on the wrong thing. And that all goes back to this pop­u­la­tion health idea of in the very begin­ning, why were we mea­sur­ing well­ness to begin with, to save claims cost, right? It was all kind of direct­ly about the employ­ers’ benefit.

Jason (10:10):

First and fore­most, bot­tom line-dri­ven ver­sus what you were say­ing is, well, hey, can we start with a dif­fer­ent end in mind? And maybe that end is, as we’ve sug­gest­ed on this pod­cast, human flour­ish­ing. Ver­sus the -

Jor­dan (10:22):

The bot­tom line will boom, will fol­low. Absolute­ly. Yes. How could it not?

Jason (10:26):

A hun­dred percent.

Jor­dan (10:27):

How could it not? Yeah.

Jason (10:29):

Well, and I think it’s worth talk­ing about, cause I think you said a cou­ple things when you were describ­ing well­be­ing. Yeah. That would prob­a­bly be easy to gloss over. And I sus­pect peo­ple might be nod­ding their heads say­ing, yeah, yeah, I total­ly agree. But there’s some nuance that’s worth unpack­ing because I think my expe­ri­ence in talk­ing with many, many, many hun­dreds of HR lead­ers in the time that we’ve been oper­at­ing Fringe, yeah. Maybe more, maybe thousands.

Jor­dan (10:55):

No exag­ger­a­tion there.

Jason (10:56):

No exag­ger­a­tion. Yeah. That I can’t say that I’ve come across a con­sis­tent, maybe con­sen­sus view­point on what exact­ly is meant when we talk about well­be­ing. And so what I observe is there’s still a lot of con­ven­tion­al think­ing around well­be­ing in that it has­n’t moved far from what well­ness was thought of orig­i­nal­ly, which is real­ly nar­row­ly focused on men­tal health, phys­i­cal health, and finan­cial health. So it was real­ly just tied to what, I’ve got a health plan, I’ve got a retire­ment plan, and I’ve got an EAP plan that gives me a cou­ple coun­sel­ing ses­sions as need­ed. Right? Right. Boom. Check those box­es. Yes. We got well being cov­ered. And what you described, I think was some­thing where you includ­ed words like pur­pose in it. And I don’t think you said holis­tic, but that’s what I was think­ing in my mind was a view­point that was more all encom­pass­ing than just those three kind of silos that I think are typ­i­cal­ly referred to.

Jor­dan (12:03):

Yeah. It’s fun­ny. When we sit down to start a busi­ness, we imme­di­ate­ly go, okay, what’s the mis­sion? What’s the vision? And what are the val­ues? Because it’s some trained busi­ness school thing and a very good thing I think that we do as a com­pa­ny. But how many peo­ple at 15, 16 years old, or 18 or 22 or what­ev­er, sit down and do the same thing for their life? Near­ly no one, unless you’ve got some incred­i­ble kind of men­tors and maybe a coun­selor or some­body in your life that’s incred­i­bly wise that sits down and goes, what’s your mis­sion state­ment? What are your val­ues as you could actu­al­ly write them down and speak them out loud and kind of speak them into exis­tence. You’re not doing that, right? Yeah. So you jump into a com­pa­ny and you’re inspired poten­tial, hope­ful­ly, right? You’re inspired by this idea of, oh man, this com­pa­ny has a mis­sion, and I’m on the mis­sion too, but it’s not deep enough.


It’s not good enough to sus­tain an indi­vid­ual for years and years and years to have a shared mis­sion with a group of peo­ple that is about ulti­mate­ly some, maybe at best, some social change, some world change, some aid of oth­er human beings in some way, and it’s good, but it’s not that indi­vid­u­al’s vision. They did­n’t sit down and cre­ate it. They’re just jump­ing in. And that is a degree of pur­pose. That is more than noth­ing. And that’s great, but oth­er, if you don’t have that in your life, then you are, your life is like you’re, I’m try­ing to think of some­thing light­weight, like a feath­er or some­thing. The wind blows and you’re just fly­ing around the wind of cir­cum­stances, right? Oh, I got a raise and peo­ple were nice to me and they com­pli­ment­ed my shoes today and stuff went well, and I had this new tequi­la. That’s real­ly good, right? Yeah. I’m happy.

Jason (14:02):

It’s a feeling.

Jor­dan (14:03):

It’s a feel­ing. But it hap­pened to you

Jason (14:06):

It’s not sustained.

Jor­dan (14:08):

It’s not sus­tained. Because when the oppo­site things hap­pen, when you feel you did­n’t real­ly dig in your out­fit that day and your boss was a jerk, or maybe not even a jerk. They just weren’t over­whelm­ing­ly kind or what­ev­er the sit­u­a­tion may be. And now we’re down and out. And if those things hap­pen, those cir­cum­stances that are neg­a­tive hap­pen over and over again in sequence in a cer­tain con­text, whether that’s work or whether that’s in a rela­tion­ship or what­ev­er the case may be. Our ten­den­cy, it’s just to run away from the cir­cum­stances in which we expe­ri­ence the neg­a­tive emo­tions because we’re not anchored to any­thing that’s greater or high­er than the emo­tion of the moment to go, well, yeah, you know what? I real­ly did­n’t enjoy the last two weeks at, I don’t know, of col­lege as I’m study­ing to get my doc­tor­ate in X, Y, and Z, so I’m just going to quit ver­sus no, I, I’ve got a vision for this thing that I’m going



I can suf­fer through two weeks. Damn it. I’m going to do it. I’m gonna work hard. So I think that’s what I mean when I talk about pur­pose and when we talk about hap­pi­ness, and I wrote a blog, I don’t think we’ve pub­lished yet, but about degrees of hap­pi­ness, and there are a lot of mean­ings to that word. As you look back through the Latin or the Greek or how­ev­er far back you want to go, there’s lev­els of that, and none of those lev­els are sus­tain­able until you get to that place where there’s pur­pose. All of it is just sort of that windy feather…

Jason (15:40):

Yeah, we talked about that a few episodes ago. There’s those dif­fer­ent kind of lev­els of hap­pi­ness in the Greek.

Jor­dan (15:47):

Yeah. I think, was it? It was Aris­to­tle. Yeah. I can’t remem­ber who exactly.

Jason (15:49):

It was. Yeah, I think that’s an impor­tant point. So one thing I think is, I had­n’t actu­al­ly seen this until a cou­ple weeks ago, but the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion actu­al­ly uses a def­i­n­i­tion of well­be­ing that’s very much aligned with the way that we’ve been talk­ing about it, which was sur­pris­ing. I did­n’t expect to come across that, but actu­al­ly, but -

Jor­dan (16:07):

You think it’s some­thing pure­ly med­ical in nature.

Jason (16:10):

Well, and here’s the fas­ci­nat­ing thing. There’s kind of a cou­ple lay­ers to it, but one is they name employ­ment as a crit­i­cal social deter­mi­nant of health. So they have all these kind of deter­mi­nants of health or what they call social deter­mi­nants of health that are kind of fac­tors that play into what like­ly deter­mines health out­comes for an indi­vid­ual or com­mu­ni­ty. And so employ­ment is one they name explic­it­ly. So your degree of employ­ment or unem­ploy­ment, obvi­ous­ly, but then also the con­tent of the work that you’re doing has a real­ly pro­found impact on well­be­ing in the case of phys­i­cal, men­tal, social, finan­cial, et cetera. But they also name your sense of pur­pose and abil­i­ty to grow in that def­i­n­i­tion of well­be­ing. And I think it’s awe­some. And I mean, I’m just curi­ous your reac­tion to that description.

Jor­dan (17:05):

Yeah, I’m a lit­tle shocked about the source of that. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that’s pret­ty amaz­ing that an orga­ni­za­tion that I just would real­ly expect some­thing kind of very clin­i­cal, very med­ical. So that’s pret­ty neat actu­al­ly, to think about. Some­one’s think­ing more deeply about it. And obvi­ous­ly there’s a lot of data to sug­gest that you could have per­fect health and you could eat all the right foods, and you could all of that even work­out non­stop and get maybe the endor­phin endor­phins and every­thing from that. And that’s great. But even that is just that lev­el one kind of hap­pi­ness, that lev­el one. So I think that’s great. I think about what’s going on in our soci­ety that leads us to this place where well­be­ing is more of a con­ver­sa­tion. I think Covid is part of it. You’ve got a men­tal health cri­sis, you’ve got a lot of peo­ple focused on men­tal health. The focus on that expands the def­i­n­i­tion of health a lit­tle further.

Jason (18:07):

I think it just brought it to the fore­front. It’s not that peo­ple did­n’t have these no issues before, but we’re talk­ing about it now.

Jor­dan (18:13):

Noto­ri­ety, right? Yeah. It got more atten­tion. But I think too, just kind of cul­tur­al­ly in the West, at least, we’ve kind of made up our minds for or wrong, and I’m going to argue wrong, that what­ev­er we feel is kind of the truth and para­mount and most impor­tant, and as we just described around cir­cum­stances, feel­ings, they change like the weath­er, more often than the weather.


And so I think we’ve come to a wrong con­clu­sion in West­ern soci­ety that we can trust our feel­ings to guide us, guide our deci­sions, guide how we see the world, inter­pret the world, teach oth­ers about the world. So I think that’s prob­lem­at­ic. And then I think also the polar­iza­tion polit­i­cal­ly and social­ly that we’ve seen over the past 10 years has also been real­ly harm­ful because I think there’s so much anx­i­ety induced by the idea that I might say the wrong thing, or I might say the wrong thing to the wrong per­son, or I might trig­ger some­body through some­thing that I’m just kind of try­ing to share, or I’m at my worldview -

Jason (19:22):

We’re los­ing our social moor­ings in all this. I mean, we’ve kind of gone to such an indi­vid­u­al­ized, the degree to which we inter­pret our expe­ri­ence of the world through an indi­vid­u­al­is­tic lens is so great that it’s just my hap­pi­ness is para­mount and hap­pi­ness not in the way that we’ve been talk­ing about it in terms of a sense of ful­fill­ment and pur­pose that involves local com­mu­ni­ty, your fam­i­ly, and so on and so forth. It’s lit­er­al­ly just how do I feel right now? But I think when we step back, it just does­n’t even make sense. So when I was dri­ving over here, that’s fun­ny, com­ing to record this with you. I was lis­ten­ing to a pod­cast and these folks were talk­ing about well­be­ing. I was kind of curi­ous to see what they were talk­ing about. And one of the peo­ple on the pod­cast ref­er­enced a sta­tis­tic that said, well, 44% of peo­ple when you poll ​‘em, say they expe­ri­enced stress at work the pre­vi­ous day. And 22% of peo­ple say they expe­ri­enced sad­ness or anger. And so they were using that to sup­port this sort of sense of, yeah, there’s a huge prob­lem. Peo­ple feel a cer­tain way, and those feel­ings real­ly need to acknowl­edge them, and so on and so forth. And it’s like, yeah, that’s true. We do need to acknowl­edge what we feel. But when I look at my own expe­ri­ence, and you allud­ed to this ear­li­er, it’s like


Some­times I’m doing things that I love at work and insane­ly stressed at the same time. Both things are true. And so how do you hold that togeth­er? And yeah, you can’t live under a con­stant state of stress, but in some respects, what do you do with the fact that a lot of peo­ple don’t have any con­trol over their cir­cum­stances, or a lot of us have kids that can stress us out of our minds at times? What are you sup­posed to do with that?

Jor­dan (21:13):

I mean, 100% of us have no con­trol over at least some of our cir­cum­stances, get­ting a dis­ease. There are things that, yeah, it does­n’t mat­ter what you do in life, you don’t have con­trol over everything.

Jason (21:26):

So, well, this thought just popped into my head is, so we often think in terms of what improves our sit­u­a­tion is the absence of the thing that we don’t like. And so I think the default sort of posi­tion that peo­ple come to is, oh, stress makes me feel bad. And so there­fore, the opti­mal posi­tion is get rid of stress. But when you think about these def­i­n­i­tions of pur­pose and hap­pi­ness, none of them are about the absence of some­thing. They’re actu­al­ly about the pres­ence of some­thing better.

Jor­dan (22:01):

Some­thing better.

Jason (22:02):


Jor­dan (22:03):

Some­thing more pure.

Jason (22:04):

Exact­ly. And so -

Jor­dan (22:05):

I saw an Insta­gram video, and this is about rais­ing chil­dren, but the point stands had this guy had a glass of water, and the water had leaves and grass and all this stuff, and you would­n’t nec­es­sar­i­ly want to drink it. And so basi­cal­ly what he was show­ing was, Hey, I can sit here with a spoon or tweez­ers, and I can try to pull all the dirt out of this water, or I could just take a glass, clean water and pour it right over the top, and all the crap just comes out of the top, and I’ve got this crisp cup of water. And he was using that as an anal­o­gy to say, Hey, just love your kids because the love poured in is actu­al­ly what’s going to kind of get the impu­ri­ty out, which is a beau­ti­ful con­cept. But here it is the same thing. It’s this idea of, yeah, you can sit there and go, man, anoth­er leaf, anoth­er piece of grass. And just with tweez­ers your whole life just try­ing to pick the unpleas­ant things out, right? Or you can pour in pur­pose, you can pour in the thing that you actu­al­ly want into your life, right? You won’t even notice the impu­ri­ties by com­par­i­son, at least, right? Yeah.

Jason (23:16):

Remem­ber one of the first con­ver­sa­tions I had with my coun­selor when I went and they were talk­ing to, they asked me, Hey, what are you try­ing to accom­plish here? And I was like, I have no idea. I dun­no, I don’t know what I’m here for.

Jor­dan (23:25):

If you told me I was sup­posed to show up, some bad stuff happened,

Jason (23:29):

Some stuff going on my life. And I don’t know, I think I’m just sup­posed to do this.

Jor­dan (23:33):

I hate that ini­tial ques­tion. Like, I don’t know.

Jason (23:36):

So there’s all kinds of good stuff and ancient kind of wis­dom tra­di­tions. And so in the Jew­ish tra­di­tion in par­tic­u­lar, there’s a word shalom that we often trans­late as peace, but in the Hebrew lan­guage, it actu­al­ly has a much deep­er and rich­er mean­ing. And one of the things that came out of my coun­selor ask­ing me about this was the fact that Shalom actu­al­ly rep­re­sents a view of well­be­ing, let’s say. Hmm. That’s actu­al­ly very aligned with the way the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion described it. So that was one of the things that was shock­ing to me. And then the oth­er thing that’s real­ly inter­est­ing about it is the word shalom in the Hebrew tra­di­tion actu­al­ly isn’t about the absence of any­thing either. It’s about the pres­ence of full­ness of life, full­ness of health, full­ness of pur­pose. It’s basi­cal­ly full­ness of fill in the blank. And so I think that’s real­ly rel­e­vant because I think about maybe a sin­gle work­ing mom, and the only job that she can get is this kind of shit­ty job. And what else is she — Prob­a­bly, she hates it. Yeah, prob­a­bly. It’s super stress­ful. And so is well­be­ing for that per­son sup­posed to be like, oh, you’re just in a dead end job. You got to get out of it. What options -

Jor­dan (24:58):

Change your cir­cum­stances right now? Go, right.

Jason (25:01):

Or Is there a bet­ter Right and deep­er way that every­one has the oppor­tu­ni­ty to expe­ri­ence wellbeing?

Jor­dan (25:10):

Clear­ly. Clear­ly there is, because stud­ies, time out of mind have all come back and shown that the hap­pi­est peo­ple on earth are the peo­ple just above the pover­ty line. So it is not about get­ting the best job, mak­ing the most mon­ey and hav­ing the most what­ev­er, free­dom over your time, pos­ses­sions, et cetera, et cetera, that clear­ly there’s some­thing else, right? That peo­ple can be plen­ty hap­py in a sit­u­a­tion that maybe you would, from the out­side-in say, well, that’s not an envi­able place to be.

Jason (25:40):

Those aren’t cir­cum­stances that I would will­ing­ly take on.

Jor­dan (25:44):

Yeah. Right. Yeah, exact­ly. So any­way, I think there’s a lot of rea­sons why this con­ver­sa­tion is more and more rel­e­vant than ever. And I think what I’m proud of about, cause I said some neg­a­tive things about our soci­ety, but what I’m proud of about our soci­ety is I think the courage that’s come in our gen­er­a­tion and the one that fol­lows us to actu­al­ly take a look at the deep­er things, at the more emo­tion­al things at the, to look at work and life inte­grat­ed and go. So we’re ask­ing the right ques­tions final­ly, as opposed to this tough guy, Hey, just stuff it and work. That’s not sus­tain­able. Right? And we don’t want a pen­du­lum swing to the oth­er side either, where it’s like, well, our employ­er is now our par­ent, and their respon­si­bil­i­ty is to kind of cod­dle us and make every­thing in our life okay.


That’s not it either. But I think good man­age­ment, good train­ing is tak­ing that mis­sion, vision, and val­ues kind of busi­ness school thing, and turn it and democ­ra­tiz­ing that into, Hey, employ­ee, let’s fig­ure this out for you. That’s what train­ing should look like ini­tial­ly. Help peo­ple be ful­ly inte­grat­ed adults, right? And then we’ll see what kind of stress­es they can han­dle at work, what kind of lead­er­ship they can take on, et cetera, et cetera. But no skillset in the world, plus a bunch of grit and deter­mi­na­tion is going to get you all the way where you want to be if you don’t have no idea where you want to be.

Jason (27:20):

Right. Exact­ly.

Jor­dan (27:21):

It’s not going to just hap­pen to you. And if it did hap­pen to you, if some­how you willed your­self into some­one else’s def­i­n­i­tion of suc­cess, you just got to get there and be mis­er­able because you nev­er want­ed it in the first place, and you still don’t know who you are or what you want.

Jor­dan (27:37):

So it’s just such a core thing and such an impor­tant thing, I think, for employ­ers to focus on. And to not be scared of that, and to not go well, that’s none of my busi­ness. That’s too per­son­al. This is work.

Jason (27:50):


Jor­dan (27:51):

You can’t man­age that way.

Jason (27:52):


Jor­dan (27:53):

You know, you just can’t. You have to get into the heart of the mat­ter, into the heart of peo­ple, and real­ly reach ​‘em. Oth­er­wise, they’re just going to keep bounc­ing around and look­ing for some­body who will engage them fully.

Jason (28:06):

And there’s a top­ic there that I think is going to be excit­ing to talk about in our next episode, because some things that you just point­ed out are ref­er­enced in this arti­cle that I want us to dis­cuss. And one of them is, well, what’s the respon­si­bil­i­ty of the indi­vid­ual and the employ­er as it relates to well­be­ing? Because tra­di­tion­al­ly, it’s like, that’s your thing. You just do what you need to do to be well. Right? And I think what the acknowl­edge­ment is, well, if we’re going to say work and life are togeth­er, they’re not sep­a­rate, then there’s a more com­plex rela­tion­ship that involves both the respon­si­bil­i­ty of the indi­vid­ual and the employ­er in that relationship.

Jor­dan (28:49):

I real­ize I’ve failed ful­ly. Let me go back to my anal­o­gy where I was describ­ing water and puri­fied water, and immac­u­late water was right there. It was right there and avail­able to me, and I missed it.

Jason (29:03):

I was going to call you out on it, but I’ve got­ten burned on that before, and I was like, no, I actu­al­ly did. He prob­a­bly slipped it in somewhere.

Jor­dan (29:09):

I did­n’t miss it. And I’m shocked that we’ve been going some­thing 26, 27 min­utes already. So,

Jason (29:14):

Oh, and Jor­dan, your word of the day for the next episode is going to be auspicious.

Jor­dan (29:24):

Aus­pi­cious. Alright. How oppor­tune. So tee up the next episode for us so that way we can just kind of march right into it. So we’re going to go from here, which we cov­ered maybe one or two ques­tions that we had planned to dis­cuss out of my 10.

Jason (29:38):

So we’re going to stay on this top­ic of well­be­ing, but we’re going to ref­er­ence this Deloitte work­force well­be­ing imper­a­tive specif­i­cal­ly, which we’ll make sure we include in the show notes. And we’ll prob­a­bly unpack this over the next two episodes. Cause there’s a lot of con­tent here, and I think it’s stuff that’s real­ly inter­est­ing and excit­ing, but I know the way that we get going on these things. Yeah, we’re not going to do it all in one episode. So the plan is over the next two episodes, we’ll con­tin­ue this thread of well­be­ing and unpack some of the things that I think we agree with, maybe some things that we don’t agree with or have some cri­tiques on in this article.

Jor­dan (30:12):

Great. Well, it seems to be our style to plan, like I said, 6, 7, 8 ques­tions that we’re going to dis­cuss and dis­cuss exact­ly one, maybe two. So in that light, if you’re lis­ten­ing, you’ve been lis­ten­ing for a lit­tle while, you kind of under­stand the gist of the things we like to talk about from a philo­soph­i­cal stand­point and from a work and employ­ment stand­point, please do sub­mit a ques­tion. I would love if that was our world where we just got on and looked and said, oh, here, that’s a per­fect ques­tion. Let’s do an entire episode about that. So would love to do that. Thank you all for lis­ten­ing to how peo­ple work. We’ll catch you next week and look­ing for­ward to talk­ing to you again soon, Jason. Thanks.

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