The Prouty Team

Creating a Culture of Well-Being in the Workplace

by Kristin Jonason

*Article also appears in The 2021 Q3 Prouty Pulse.
Now more than ever, organizations are prioritizing the positive health and well-being of their employees in the workplace (like longtime Prouty client, MEI). Buzzwords like happiness, flourishing, or well-being have been around for a while, and they are even more common since the beginning of the global pandemic. These words usually stem from or relate to the field of positive psychology.
According to the late researcher and psychologist, Chris Peterson, positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living. I
am grateful to be studying under positive psychology’s founder, Dr. Martin Seligman, in the University of Pennsylvania’s Master’s program.
According to Dr. Seligman, there are five elements to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. These are Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment. Together, they create the acronym PERMA. By incorporating more PERMA in your workplace, you may help your employees become happier and healthier, ultimately creating a flourishing organization.

Here’s more information and what you can do to create a flourishing culture:

P-E-R-M-A: Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment

Positive Emotions:

Experiencing positive emotions such as hope, joy, amusement, or gratitude can improve well-being. Find ways to boost the mood in the office (or virtually), such as sharing funny stories with each
other, incorporating music into your team meetings, or expressing gratitude to one another.


The concept of “flow,” or complete engagement, is when you are absorbed in an activity, living in the present moment, and are focused entirely on the task at hand. Increase engagement at work by matching skillsets and projects to the right people or participating in team building activities.


Humans are inherently social creatures. Having positive relationships in life is one of the strongest predictors of positive well-being and flourishing. Strengthen your relationships at work by incorporating quick and fun “get to know you” questions during team meetings, having more informal one-on-one check-ins, or sharing a meal together over Zoom.


As Viktor Frankl famously stated, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear almost any ‘how.’” Finding a sense of purpose in your work and life can bring inspiration and resilience in the face of challenge or adversity. Help your employees understand the mission, purpose, or “why” of your organization, and how they fit into it in order to increase their sense of meaning. Or, try giving back as a team by volunteering in the community. Helping others, in any form or capacity, can create a deep sense of meaning and purpose.


A sense of achievement or accomplishing goals can be motivating and can create a sense of pride. Reaching goals, mastering an endeavor, or finishing what you started contributes to your sense of accomplishment and ultimately your well-being. Create to-do lists, set SMART goals, reflect on past successes, and celebrate the achievements of yourself and teammates along the way.
These ideas may seem simple or even obvious, but the research on PERMA shows that if you incorporate these small habits into your daily life, you will be changed for the better.
Like MEI, if you are looking for more ways to increase well-being in your workplace or to learn how to create a flourishing culture in a post-pandemic society, please reach out to Kristin.
Source: Seligman, M. E. P. (2011). Flourish. Free Press.
Happiness Venn Diagram



Get in Touch with The Prouty Team