I also wrote a blog entitled “What is well-being?” The answer I gave was:
Well-being is the feeling you get when you are able to meet the needs of the stage of psychological development you are at.
I now want to explore how the organizational culture you work in can support or prevent you from experiencing well-being.
The following table indicates the four stages of psychological development that adults pass through during their working lives and what they require from their organizations to feel a sense of well-being at work.
At the individuating stage of psychological development we are looking for opportunities to take charge of projects or processes that give us a sense of freedom and autonomy. We don’t want to be micro-managed, but we do want a more experienced senior person we can turn to for advice. Someone we know we can rely on on who has our best interests at heart.
At the self-actualizing stage of psychological development we are looking for opportunities to discover our purpose in life and align our work with that purpose. We are looking for meaning—work that sparks our creativity and unleashes our passion.
At the integrating stage of psychological development we want to actualize our purpose by making a difference in the world. To do this we need to exercise our emotional and social intelligence skills so we can connect with others in unconditional loving relationships. If you cannot connect, you cannot make a difference.
At the serving stage of psychological development we want to lead a life of self-less service for the good of humanity, future generations and the planet. We want to leave the world a better place than we found it—we want to leave a lasting legacy.
As long as the culture you work in allows you to satisfy these needs you will feel a sense of well-being and a high level of engagement. If the culture you work in prevents you from satisfying these needs you will not experience a sense of well-being and you will not feel engaged. You are likely to become depressed.
This article is authored by Richard Barrett. Mr. Barrett is an author, speaker and internationally recognised thought leader on the evolution of human values in business and society. He is the founder and chairman of the Barrett Values Centre, a Fellow of the World Business Academy and Former Values Coordinator at the World Bank.
This article has already been read 484 times!