- Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
- Season 8, Episode 75
- Learn how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted people's social and community wellbeing, and how individuals and teams can thrive even in these circumstances.
- Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.
Dr. Jim Harter, Chief Scientist for Gallup's Workplace Management and Wellbeing Practices, was our guest on a recent Called to Coach. Jim continued our discussion on Resiliency Through CliftonStrengths, this time covering the social and community elements of wellbeing. He discussed ways that individuals, teams and organizations -- even during the disruptions we are currently experiencing -- can thrive in these two elements, including:
- What social wellbeing is, and the importance of the time you allot to it
- How organizations and teams can foster social and community wellbeing, even during a pandemic
- The role that giving and thinking of others can play in community wellbeing and your overall health
The one thing that I think that for everybody to keep in mind with the social component is the total amount of time does matter. And most forms of social time count, even technological forms.Dr. Jim Harter, 19:41
I think every meeting should have laughter. ... If you can laugh with somebody, you're going to build up some trust.Dr. Jim Harter, 23:58
The parts of our brain that light up when we get something light up even more when we give something.Dr. Jim Harter, 29:34
Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including time stamps. Full audio and video are posted above.
Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and live from our virtual studios around the world -- or at least here in the state of Nebraska -- this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on October 30, 2020.
Jim Collison 0:21
Called to Coach is a resource for those who want to help others discover and use their strengths. We have Gallup experts and independent strengths coaches share tactics, insights and strategies to help coaches maximize the talent of individuals, teams and organizations around the world. If you're listening live, love to have you in our chat room. There's actually a link right above me that will take you over to YouTube, and our chat room is available there. Log in with your Google account; ask us questions live. We'll be taking those. You can also check in where you're listening from, while you're at it. If you have questions after the fact, and many of you send us these emails now, which is great, send us an email: email@example.com. We'll get that routed to the right person. If you want to listen to us as a podcast on any podcast player, just search "Gallup Webcasts." That'll get you -- actually all of them that we listen to, or that we provide for you. And if you're on YouTube, hit the Like button and Subscribe. We appreciate that as well. Dr. Jim Harter is our guest today. He is the Chief Scientist for Gallup's Workplace Management and Wellbeing Practices. He's also the coauthor of the No. 1 Wall Street Journal and Washington Post bestseller, It's the Manager. Jim, we've talked a lot about this book over the last year or two and, and congratulations on that. That was released in 2019. His work has appeared in the Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Time magazine, in addition to many academic publications, and I like to say he's just an all-around Gallup rock star. Jim, welcome to Called to Coach!
Jim Harter 1:41
Thanks, Jim. Thanks for having me on again. Good to be with everybody!
Jim Collison 1:44
Good to have you back. I think the coaches -- this is always a special treat when we get you. You're a busy guy, not only the author of It's the Manager; you spent some time on the Wellbeing book, which, Jim, has picked up some, you know, during, during this pandemic time, I think there's a lot of folks thinking about wellbeing. It's Wellbeing Week at Gallup. I didn't plan it that way. It's just -- we'd had this planned for, for a month or two. And they decided to do Wellbeing Week. Jim, let's, let's kick this off by saying how, Why, why wellbeing and why now? What's the importance of this? A lot of folks are tuning in to hear that, just an overarching view. Give me a couple sentences on why it's important right now. And what are we thinking?
Jim Harter 2:29
Well, anytime that -- and we've been tracking wellbeing for a long time, I think, as many people know, but anytime we see changes in wellbeing it tends to be due to compounding factors in our lives. And, you know, human beings are very resilient to one thing going wrong. But we've had so many things coming at us that we've seen some historic drops in the percentage of thriving Americans, for example. We'll be updating our World Poll numbers toward the end of the year. But in the U.S., we saw some of the most rapid drops in percent thriving, and some of the biggest spikes in percentage of people who say they have daily worry and stress. And so I think we've all heard a lot about the mental health risks right now. We've seen some increase in the percentage of people diagnosed with depression. But, but also, if I reference some of the Census Bureau data, they saw, they reported on some pretty big spikes in symptoms of anxiety and depression. So I think, you know, the times are very serious for everybody. And I think we've got to figure out ways that we can activate to increase the energy we have every day, and to, to do the right kinds of things purposefully to improve our own wellbeing, since we can't control everything right now.
Jim Collison 3:44
I think you mentioned in an internal webcast that we did yesterday at Gallup that the numbers are moving faster than you've ever seen them move before. Is that true? That, that we're seeing some, some big movement?
Jim Harter 3:56
Yeah, particularly on those things I just referenced: the percent of thriving Americans, a full 10 points when it dropped initially. It's come back some but not all the way. And the movement on the percentage of worry and stress was pretty rapid as well. We also saw some big ticks up in the percentage of people with anger and sadness, just following the George Floyd events and all the surrounding societal unrest. And so we have seen data get old faster than I've ever seen it get old. We've even seen changes in the percentage of engaged workers, which has always been kind of a rock in terms of its stability. It's back to the level it was prepandemic, at about 36% in the U.S. engaged, but we saw it fluctuate quite a bit over the summer. And so we're keeping an eye on that and updating that regularly as well.
Jim Collison 4:49
So, so much new data, we -- we're going to write a new book about this, coming out later in the spring of 2021, a March time frame; the book called, Wellbeing at Work: How to Build Resilient and Thriving Teams. Jim, can you talk a little bit about just kind of the book, what's the -- How is it intended? And maybe how is it different than our 2010 Wellbeing book that we published, you know, 10 years ago?
Jim Harter 5:13
Yeah. So in our 2010 book, our focus was mainly on providing information to individuals and how they can improve their own wellbeing. This, this one, the main focus is on organizational culture, and how do we build a thriving culture, we're calling a "net thriving culture." Part of that starts with getting some standardized metrics, a metrics in place, it's a 2-part question. Many of you have probably heard of the "ladder of life," where you can rate your life, 0 worst possible life to 10 best possible life in the present. And then in the next 5 years, the same scale. And that combined gives us an index of net thriving. But the same 5 wellbeing elements, they're timeless, but how an organization can approach those 5. You might think of it as a build from It's the Manager to go to the next level, in terms of impacting workplace culture. And impact, as the subtitle says, Thriving and Resilient Teams.
Jim Harter 6:08
So we've included a lot of not only Gallup data, but also a big review of the literature, a lot of meta-analyses are referenced to give people an idea about what can you really count on? If you work on something, what can you count on to get some results? So really, based in large-scale studies, studies of studies that have very stable kinds of outcomes with them, and trying to apply it to the present times and the issues we're facing, the mental health potential issues that we're dealing with now. And then also, you know, how do we help managers get to the next level, build enough trust through some of those foundational engagement elements to take people to the next level and open the door for improving their overall lives?
Jim Collison 6:53
Jim, if you could go back and change anything about the 2010 book, the, the Wellbeing book, I think you mentioned, kind of focused on individuals, would you change anything? Is it still applicable today as it was 10 years ago?
Jim Harter 7:03
Yeah, it's still, still applicable for individuals. We've included a lot of the same, a lot of information, but geared more toward how a manager or leader or organizations can apply it. So you can still take the 2010 book and use it.
Jim Collison 7:18
Yeah, so it's still applicable today. So kind of a good 1, 2, 3 punch, as we think of coaches working with individuals, working with managers, that Wellbeing book for everyone they coach; It's the Manager to kind of work -- we've realized the managers are very, very important to both engagement and now wellbeing and so It's the Manager could be, would fit right in there. And then the new book, the new wellbeing book, that's coming out, as we think about what's coming out March, great opportunity there. So Jim, I like that. I like that progression of Wellbeing, It's the Manager and then into the organizational spot in wellbeing. Any -- would you add anything to that?
Jim Harter 7:53
You might just think of it as an extension of the Journey From Boss to Coach. It's, it's taking that, that journey to the next level.
Jim Collison 8:01
Yeah, and I think adds a, when we think of that idea of moving someone from boss to coach in the coaching in organizations, and then the ability to not just work on production pieces or not just work on outcomes at -- in the workplace, but all those pieces. Today, we're going to focus a little bit on social and community wellbeing. We've spent some time already talking about financial and physical wellbeing here in this Resiliency Series. But Jim a great opportunity, right, for managers to also focus, because we know, and boy, the pandemic sure has proved this out, right? When our wellbeing gets off, it really begins to affect our productivity as well. Would you agree?
Jim Harter 8:39
Oh, yeah. It's a, it's additive to engagement. We know that engagement links to wellbeing; we've got plenty of data, we've just updated our meta-analysis and included wellbeing in our updated study of 112,000 business units. And the finding was that business units or work units that are in the top quartile in comparison to those in the bottom quartile on engagement had rates that were 66% higher on, on thriving, overall. So those thriving people are -- those are people who rate their current life 7 or above on that 10-point scale and their future life an 8 or above. You know, one of the, I think, natural states as a human is to think the future will be better than the present. And one kind of positive to take away from everything that's been happening to us right now is we haven't seen drops in the percent of people who think the future will be positive in the next 5 years. It's more of a present kind of situation that people are, are dealing with.
Jim Collison 9:37
Jim, how do we measure that idea of hope? How does that work? Like how do we know for sure people aren't thinking that way just yet?
Jim Harter 9:44
Well, we did the second part of that question, that ladder question, asks people about the next 5 years. And so we can see whether that's changing or not, and we haven't seen declines. If we started seeing declines in that, I think it would be a big problem for us. So knowing both present and future and how people think about both is really important.
Jim Collison 10:02
Yeah, it's for me that was eye-opening, when I realized that question and 5 years from now, really ties back to how people are feeling about the future and are feeling about hope. And of course, we're tracking that as well. So it's great, great to have that available to us. If I were to do this series over again, I would have kicked it off with you. Because we got that kind of general overview of wellbeing and how it works and how it's important in -- to the individual and to managers and to organizations. We spent some time with Ryan Wolf talking about physical wellbeing, again, based on the individual. We spent some time with Ronny and Maria, talking about financial wellbeing, again, focused kind of the individual has that. We get to social wellbeing, and all of a sudden, now it depends on other people, because, right, that the elements of this is, Hey, what's going on around me, and, and how am I doing? You know, we all came -- not we all -- many of us came home or our social situations changed. And this is now dependent on another individual. Jim, what have we seen in this area of social wellbeing? And when we think about what leads to a thriving, thriving organizations and thriving people, what have we seen in this area of social? And then I'm going to ask you a little bit about what can we do on this? But what have we seen so far?
Jim Harter 11:14
Well, we've known for some time that in a remote environment, the social component is the most at risk. And so, as a, as organizations and managers, leaders, we have to be very, very intentional about how we manage that. And now we're not only, it's not only a remote environment, but people have a lot of other things they're dealing with as well. So it's, we've, during the pandemic, about 1 in 4 people reported that they had a lot of loneliness during the day, during any given day. So that's a pretty, pretty big chunk of people. And that that tends to double when people say that they don't have friends and family that give them positive energy. So I think that's one outcome to be thinking about is how do we leverage our relationships to have positive energy?
Jim Harter 11:55
And also to know that the social component is one that integrates really highly with a lot of the other elements; it's, you know, it's one we can leverage to impact other wellbeing outcomes that we're trying to achieve. Because we tend to respond to other people. That's how we're made. And some of us will, I think, also, your strengths coaches know this inherently is that, that different, people with different strengths are going to respond differently to being, to being in a, in a more of a remote environment. And I shouldn't suggest that all people are in a remote environment, either. There are a lot of people that are out there working in, you know, that aren't working remotely, but are working on site as well right now.
Jim Collison 12:35
Yeah, what, well, let's talk about them really quick. Because it's easy, the at home, everybody who came home and is kind of working out of their home office, I think has got -- has taken the majority of the media. But we have lots of people still out every day, my kids included, who have to face the public every day. What has that meant? How has this changed? Or how are we seeing the scales change, or people respond who are still out working in the public? And yet that's got us, you know, we got masks on, we got new 6-foot rules, or 1-meter or 2-meter rules. How -- have we seen any changes in that?
Jim Harter 13:08
Well, the, just to kind of look at it from the other angle, the percent of people, prepandemic, who worked from home close to full, full-time, or close to full-time, was about 4% or 5%. That jumped up suddenly to a peak of about 70% in, in March and April. And so, it's now dropped down because we have more and more people going on site now. We have fewer people that are working full-time remote; it's a little under half. But it's still a big chunk. And that means there's, there's also a big chunk of people -- and depending on who you talk to, you know, which economist you talk to, it's probably between, somewhere between two-thirds and half of all jobs can't be done remote. So the, the necessity is there for people to be on site. The advantage is they can see people, they can get some face-to-face. And we know that the face-to-face social time matters. Fortunately, you know, when this pandemic first hit, my first reaction was, thank God we have we have Zoom and some of these other kinds of things.
Jim Harter 14:10
But, you know, we all know, and depending on your strengths individually, the, Zoom may or may not work well for you. I know a number of people with high Woo who said it just isn't enough. It works pretty well for me. But I think it really depends on the individual. So I think the more that -- this is where I think strengths, particularly now, fits into wellbeing so nicely, and I think it does anyway and is probably our best opportunity for culture change is through strengths and directing strengths at each of those wellbeing elements. And so how, how people respond to being on site or not, or in a remote environment, I think is going to depend on them individually and how they're made up.
Jim Collison 14:53
Jim, just because they're gonna ask, Can you can you tell me your Top 5?
Jim Collison 15:03
You and I, yesterday in a precall, had a conversation about that Focus-Relator for you, and, and so how this has kind of played into favor in for you? I admitted that I thought, and I had a lot of folks calling me -- very high Woo, right, for me. Early on in the pandemic, I had people calling me like, "Are you OK?" You know, "You gonna be OK through this?" And what I discovered -- I have Relator, you know, down at [No.] 8. And, and, what I found is I just kind of leaned, I began to lean more into that. And I had been doing webcasting for a long time, so this medium was not new to me. Is that what you mean, when we think about leaning, strengths-based leaning into this is kind of looking at our whole selves and begin to say, "OK, things are different; how am I going to lean into this differently to, to, make a difference in what I'm doing?" Is that what you're saying?
Jim Harter 15:51
Yeah, I think there's, so that Focus for me, I have to manage it. Because I can get so absorbed in what I'm doing that I don't take care of some of the wellbeing elements I need to, like making sure that I get outside, making sure that I, that I just attend everything that I need to, you know. And so, but, but the Relator part makes it comfortable for me that I can still have really good relationships with, with people having periodic Zoom meetings, and then going off and getting absorbed in what I'm working on. But yeah, I think it's never easy, but it's, but I think it, you can get some cues from your strengths that tell you what you need to watch out for and what you need to kind of lean into as well.
Jim Collison 16:33
This on the, from a social wellbeing perspective, we used to talk about things like going out for a happy hour, social events, whether it's a church or a synagogue or, or some type of social group that may be out there. These things that gather us together, those have all been disrupted, in many ways. We can't -- even when we're together, social distancing has kicked in. So that's made that harder. When we are, when we're thinking about eating together or out, you know, Don always believed when you meet, you'd eat, and so that, what eating together has gotten more difficult. Those -- that has put stress on that, Jim, just from, and maybe I want to talk to the Jim Harter the person and maybe not Dr. Jim Harter, the scientist at Gallup. But when you're thinking and what you know, as we have to change here, what are some things? Or have we seen any strategies to help in this area of social wellbeing under the new rules?
Jim Harter 17:29
I think, you know, one thing to always remember is that you can't take the social part out of the individual when they go to work. And we've, you've -- many people have seen that with their best friend item, what we've learned there. But I think we have to create the great conditions where people can be informal. I think you've mentioned some happy hour kinds of things. I've done some of those as well. But times with coworkers where you don't -- not even talking about work, just, just to be able to talk about what's going on. And this does give us an opportunity to get to know each other a little differently than we did before, too. So that's, that's been, that's been good.
Jim Harter 18:04
But I think just to recognize that, you know, what happens socially does not, doesn't only benefit us, it benefits everybody else. And different people that we work with, or that we know, have different needs than us. And so I think just to be aware of that, too, and to know that most of what happens and what changes in our lives has some kind of social contagion effect, or a lot of it does. And so we can, we can not only influence ourselves by having the right kinds of purposeful social connections, but also that can, that will impact other people and the people that they know as well.
Jim Collison 18:43
I mentioned to you this "virtual happy hour" idea that we, that we instituted Week One as we went home. A couple guys that I know, I said Hey, can can we still get together via Zoom, enjoy a beverage together? Almost just pretend like we were together, except we're, we're doing virtually. And at first that was a little hokey; it just didn't feel right. But as, the more we did it -- and I've done it every Friday and Saturday since the pandemic started -- you kind of slip in and you kind of forget, you know, you also kind of come up with some new ways of doing it that, where you're like, OK, this is where it is today. One of them happens to be halfway across the country for me. So it's not even, it's actually, I've developed a relationship I didn't have before that I never would have had if the pandemic hadn't come. And so it was a great, for me a great opportunity to do that. I've asked the chat room for some ideas. Go ahead, Jim.
Jim Harter 19:34
I've seen that too, Jim, that you just, you get to know different people you hadn't worked with before in a different kind of way. But, you know, the one thing that I think that for everybody to keep, keep in mind with the social component is the total amount of time does matter. And most forms of, of social time count, even techno, technological forms. We did a big study and asked people how they spent their time and what they're doing and how that related to their mood during the day, and the technology forms matter, just like the in-person matter. The in-person matters a little bit more, but the total amount of time in-person reaches a threshold.
Jim Harter 20:09
So it isn't, it isn't like the total amount of time in person has to be, you know, they have to just go, go nuts over that, because we have to be healthy, right? So if there's a way to manage some in-person time and still be healthy, do it in a healthy way, I think that's always going to be the best for people. But the technology time does count too. But it, but the technology time can reach a threshold as well, where it's too much.
Jim Collison 20:33
One of my good friends at Gallup works in the Credit Union, and they have a, you know, we go into the credit union, now we have a shield up, which is great. But I've actually found it really helpful when I'm in the office to stop in and spend some time talking across the shield. Again, that's, it's we're together, we're not, you know, we're obeying the rules, so to speak. The shield's gone away for me, like I, again, weird at first, but we've done it so many times. I think the reps are important. You said time's important; I think the reps are important, too, that we're doing it on some kind of, you know, some kind of regular basis, not letting those shields get in the way. Heather says, We posted coffee break under online under 30 minutes. Early in the day, it's great to connect and have no other agenda, Jim, which I think is what you're referring to, right?
Jim Harter 21:21
Yep. That's what I was referring to.
Jim Collison 21:23
Yeah. Nate, Nate says, I'm working with a team that holds office hours virtually. They're all in the same virtual environment, not muted on camera, and working on their own thing gives them a sense of being together. And then, I think Lisa says something important: \Iit's important not to have waiting rooms in Zoom, where the host meters arrival. In other words, you wouldn't do that in person where someone would be like, OK, you can enter the room now, right? That doesn't, that doesn't feel natural. I think a Zoom call where it's just open and people can kind of come and go, and, so it feels like a natural -- we'd have that around the water cooler, so to speak, right, at work, where we might have groups that meet informally from time to time and talk out in the hallway, and then they separate. It's not like someone is metering that conversation, right? Jim, any other thoughts, when we think social, that you could help coaches with?
Jim Harter 22:14
Well, think about, just as kind of a goal, and it's gonna vary by person. But when we see mood maximized, it's -- this might seem like a big number -- 6 hours of social time a day. That can be in any form. But that's where we see mood reach its, reach its peak overall. The other point I'd make is that, think of it, like social time builds resources and resiliency. So as human beings, we need it to be resilient, to have energy. But it also builds resources in terms of what we can get done, and how efficient we can be. And so we're not just in it by ourselves. The thing, one of the elements that we saw predicted, predicted performance, even during past recessions -- and we'd go into the past and try to pull some of the things out of there -- One was that, was whether people could see how their work connected to a bigger purpose or mission. And when people can see the bigger picture of what they're doing and how it impacts other people and how they're in it together with other people, that's a big factor in resiliency. So that's another one to consider. And that's not separate from the social component.
Jim Collison 23:19
Yeah. You alluded to this a second ago, Julia kind of says it. She says she saw a middle school principal who hosted fun, theme-based happy hours during the quarantine. He was fun and engaging and brought about a lot of laughter. And I think in the social area, Jim, I think this is maybe an area we don't talk a lot about, but humor and laughing. Like when we're together, I know about a lot organizations, but at Gallup, we laugh a lot when we're together. We're goofing around and having a good time with each other. How do you think the, how do you think this current situation, because we're getting on, we're doing virtually, do you think it's changed that? And it's important to continue to find ways to laugh with people?
Jim Harter 23:58
I think every meeting should have laughter. So I just think it's, it's important. I thought, I thought that when we were in the office and I, when I get on our team calls now, I get on it, I might get on a little bit late, because I'm coming from something else. And I just hear a bunch of people laughing. So that's, that's kind of what you want. And, you know, it builds, builds just, it, it kind of stretches beyond that meeting, you know, because you've got people you trust more if you can laugh with somebody, you're going to build up some trust. And some, you know, that you're a part of a team really, and that's what's important.
Jim Collison 24:31
I started watching Jim Gaffigan stand-up. He, during the pandemic, he's released a new video every day, different ways of kind of putting his stuff together. And I've just laughed. And I, I was amazed at how much better that just made me feel of that social element. We have a group in Chicago, a meetup group of coaches, who are watching us together. So they're watching you and I do this together. So they're on Zoom watching this through, through Zoom and interacting. There are also different ways, I think, to get groups together and different things to do. We're seeing like Netflix and Amazon Prime have these "watch together" things. We can do that at work, too, right? We could get together for a common purpose, watch something together. And then actually, after the call, I'm going to join that group in Chicago, and we're going to do a little after-action kind of discussion with them. Does that, will that work as well?
Jim Harter 25:20
Oh, yeah. The, in fact, we've done some of that as well. We, we share what we're watching on Netflix or whatever. And in that generates a lot of discussion and also a lot of laughter, but yeah.
Jim Collison 25:33
Yeah. I think getting some of that real-time, in other words, we're doing work in real time. We might have watched it together in a conference room before. And those conversations that go on behind the scenes, like we're watching that and having these, we would normally just chat about it. But now we got to kind of do it on Zoom, or whatever. I think that creates, those kinds of things also create, humor and are good for team, for team growth. OK, let's shift -- well, first of all, anything else you want to say on social [wellbeing] before we, we shift to community?
Jim Harter 26:02
Well, I think to just be very purposeful about how you use the technology as part of that, because, and even when you need to have a gaps, so you're not just Zoomed out by the end of the day, you know, and, or, or whatever medium you use, Teams or whatever. But having like back to back to back to back, you know, meetings like that, I think can start to drain. Even, even, like, you know, some people can get kind of irritable if you have too much of that. So I think, I think just to be very planned and purposeful and leave time for, you know, wellbeing breaks between meetings is really important.
Jim Collison 26:34
Yeah, well, we just implemented that this week during our Wellbeing Week is trying to actually schedule meetings from the top of the hour till, if it's an hourlong meeting, just 50 minutes. Give 10 additional minutes, because at Gallup, when we schedule a 60-minute meeting, we go 65, because that's, we're that social in what we do, right. And so to be more meaningful. I think, and then one more thing I'll add from the chat room: George says working from home can be more personal, actually. Zoom calls in your home office, I'm at home, you're at home, right, kids, pets enter into the background. A minute before we started this call, my wife came in through the garage door, and I had to say, "Hey, I'm going live!" Doesn't happen at work, right? So some of those kinds of things -- business first, but personal sharing due to visual noise and distractions, and I found that during the pandemic early, the kids just wanted to be a part of every conversation, right? The kids were home for, for the first part of the pandemic.
Jim Collison 27:27
And I would say, "Put the head -- put the headphones on the kids." Like I would, you know, so they would put the headphones on. And I'd ask about their name and how old they are and what grade in school they are. And then I would say, "Tell me about your math homework." And they'd immediately take their headphones off. And I'd never see them again. And it was just a great way to interact with the kids; they just wanted to see my mom and dad were doing online, right. And, and I think we've learned some things through that as well.
Jim Collison 27:51
Jim, when we think about -- let's transition to community wellbeing, and this is -- these two are kind of related, which is why I asked you to bring it together. But what are we seeing? Kind of give us an overview of maybe what we're seeing in this area of community -- what, first of all, what does that mean? And then what are we seeing?
Jim Harter 28:06
Well, at a very foundational level, community wellbeing is living in a place that you consider to be safe. So I -- safety, in that you have your surroundings, your household surroundings, are ideal for you is another, another kind of basic. And then at the highest level of community wellbeing is, is where you're actually giving back, and getting recognized for giving back, to the community. So -- and that can take on a lot of forms inside organizations. I think those, those first two, I think, have been disrupted the most right now, because of the just the health safety concerns. So that's one of the compounding factors, I think, that's led to the drops in percentage of thriving folks. That plus a number of other things, right.
Jim Harter 28:54
Our households are a little bit different because we're -- many of us are working out of them. Many people have, have kids still in the household, as you mentioned, Jim, or, or they might be working right next to a spouse, you know, and they're competing for air space, so to speak. And so all that I think has disrupted -- that, those, that, those two components of community. So I think, you know, thriving and community, it's about kind of thinking about what we can activate on and kind of have some-self control about during all this to maximize what we can. And part of that is giving, you know, to find some ways to give that are meaningful to each person. You know, the parts of our brain that light up when we get something light up even more when we give something. So there's, there's that reinforcing mechanism. I think the more -- on any wellbeing element -- the more we can think about what gives us energy right now that aligns with a longer-term goal is a good practice.
Jim Collison 29:52
Some examples, Jim, just as we think about what we've seen best practices maybe happening or if you've heard. I know we've got some great examples from Gallup, but, but anything you'd see as we think about best practices?
Jim Harter 30:05
Well, not, you know, not everybody can get out in the community now the way that they used to. So I think that's one of the challenges. So I think it's think about what we can, what we can do and what we can do from a virtual setting, or even in our own neighborhood, to impact wellbeing of others around us.
Jim Collison 30:23
That's kind of big, the big change that I've seen, at least in my coworkers, and the folks that are coaches that I talk to. They've reconnected with their neighborhood. Like the neighborhood apps have been helpful. My cohost on Home Gadget Geeks said they're doing a neighborhood Halloween party, where they're, the, actually the cul de sac is getting out there to do that together. So maybe, I mean, we always used to complain, I didn't even know my neighbors. And now, neighbors have become more important than ever. Jim, is this an opportunity for us to kind of rediscover our neighborhoods in some regard or encourage those that we work with to rediscover their neighborhoods?
Jim Harter 31:04
I think so. I think, you know, because we need to get outside. And, you know, as long as I live in a, we both live in a state that's getting a little bit colder now. But if you live in a cold state, to figure out when -- you know, there's a lot, a lot more nice days in the fall and winter than people realize, even in the cold states, just to get outside as much as you possibly can, and utilize your neighborhood or any outdoor space that you have to get some natural sunlight and, and to get involved. If the neighborhood cleanup or, I mean, there's all kinds of ways to get involved if you just look around, I think.
Jim Collison 31:39
I think, I started during the pandemic, I started walking my neighborhood, and I saw houses literally change, you know, bought and sold. One was completely flipped during the summer. And, and I would have never actually known or seen that if I hadn't got outside to just kind of walk. The other thing we've seen is I've seen -- because I've been walking -- my neighbors have been walking too and some opportunities to, to get out. When, when, do we also measure, so safety and security is a big part of that, Jim. What if we don't feel safe and secure to even go outside and do those things?
Jim Harter 32:14
Well, I think the goal is to figure out a way to do it in a way that makes you feel safe and secure and healthy. And so that's going to be somewhat individual, we know individuals vary a lot in how, how worried they are about the health component going on right now with the virus. So it's about a matter of following the guidelines and, and keeping your, social distance, of course, and doing it in a way that, you know, trying to make it work in the context of what we're dealing with here.
Jim Harter 32:41
But we think about that we all have basic human needs. And we can't just let those needs wither away through this. There, there are things we can do to meet many of those needs. And one is try to get outside, get some exercise, and do it in a safe way. Same thing with the in-person we talked about earlier with social. We can still do it; we just need to do it in a safe way. And, and, you know, all of us are concerned about the elderly and the people at risk. And so we have to watch that as well. But I think if we, if we really think about each one of those wellbeing elements, each one of us can, we can activate on some things that will improve our lives and the people around us.
Jim Collison 33:22
I actually started taking some of my meetings outside when the, when the weather, of course, was appropriate, right? To be able to get that kind of get that sunlight, change of location, some of those things. Jim, how can, how can organizations and managers help their teams, as we think about this area of community? I was just, you know, we just had what we call R&R -- Recognition & Roundtable [at Gallup] -- that was today, right before this meeting. And I think it was Completely Kids -- that's one of the organizations that we work with -- they have, they have kind of COVID-proofed their facility so that organizations can show up and do what they used to do. We used to do that in person. Now, there's some, you know, some things that have to go into place to make sure that's safe. But how do you think organizations and managers can help in this area of community? What could they proactively be doing?
Jim Harter 34:13
Well, one is to, is to really learn what community issues are most important to the people on your team and to share those. So the first thing is just awareness on what people, what people are passionate about, about, and to create some awareness about what's possible. So I think the organization's job is to help people see, you know, not to limit it, but help people see the breadth of things that they could impact and to see where there's some of those natural connections.
Jim Harter 34:39
I think it's OK for people to know that they can be somewhat selfish about. And so people get involved in things that, that might fit their lifestyle now and that might change later. They might be passionate about, about, maybe it's breast cancer because they had a family member who had it. But you can, you can be very individually specific and, and passionate about something that's meaningful to you and, and the people in your life. The other thing is, is for employers to, to leverage the strengths and the personal histories of each person to, to start identifying some of those issues that fit them, and to align them with whatever wellbeing programs work.
Jim Harter 35:19
The other, the other thing is to provide opportunities for people to share what they've done. I think, Jim, you said, Recognition & Roundtable, that's a great avenue for us at Gallup to, to share what different people are doing in the community. And that then gets other people to say, Well, that seems like something I'd be interested in as well. And it also kind of reinforces the value of the organization beyond, you know, what we're getting done with, with other organizations, what we're actually doing in our community overall, as well. And I think that stimulates a lot of, a lot of involvement from within the organization. The other thing I'd say is that, in addition to recognizing the contributions that people have made, to let people know that you just need, you just need to start, if you're not doing anything now, just start small. You know, just do something. It could be as small as you want it to, but just start doing something. Because I think, I think when people identify something they're passionate about, they start doing it, even if it's a little thing, it'll build over time, because there's a reinforcement. Like I said, when you give, your brain lights up, and you get reinforcement from that.
Jim Collison 36:26
We know from our Q12 work that recognition in a 7-day period is super important. Our Recognition & Roundtable event kind of covers, kills two birds with one stone, so to speak. It, it gives us an opportunity to have community. When we first started doing that via Zoom, and we brought every single employee who wanted to be on, on the Zoom call with the camera and microphone on, I thought they were crazy, just to be honest. It's like I'm a webcast guy; I like to control. You know, this is why all Called to Coaches are not Zoom calls; they, you know, it's a one-way conversation. I thought they were crazy. Over the last 6 months, we as an organization have gotten better at it. Like the, the employees now understand kind of the rules and how to be good citizens in that kind of in that setting. Make sure your mic is muted, but leave your camera on. Today, folks were dressed up. It's Halloween here this weekend here in the United States. They -- people were dressed up in costumes, bringing in the humor element, which I thought super funny. And then of course, we had our recognition: All-Stars, Royal Stars, MVP. All those awards were given out as well to give that recognition. That really,that single event kind of lights up all those things, right, Jim?
Jim Harter 37:37
It really does. Do you notice people are also messing around their backgrounds a lot. So they use that as a way to kind of bring some some variety and humor into, into it.
Jim Collison 37:47
Yeah, for sure. A couple comments from the chat room: Kevin says, I work, I live and work in a highly agricultural-centric area. The opportunity to help build CSA boxes has been great. And many of those are going to food-insecure families. Very rewarding, right? The opportunity --
Jim Harter 38:03
Jim Collison 38:03
Yeah, to turn that kind of community, that kind of community. And it does, Jim, it does feel so good. Like I think if you're, you're feeling depressed, go do something for somebody. It seems so counterintuitive, right? But the more opportunities we get, I think that makes us feel better, right, gives us a kind of more positive light. How important is it that organizations -- I don't think people by themselves do it -- how important is it that organizations lead the way on this? That, and by the way, organizations are made up of managers, right? Ultimately, it comes down to managers. How important is that?
Jim Harter 38:37
I think it's essential. I think most most culture change that we see starts at the top. It has to be owned at the top. And then it gets cascaded through the, the, the managers in the organization and gets deployed at a local level where, you know, when we're talking about community involvement, it can come, it can come from different channels than the manager, but the manager can have a big role in, in and communicating what the rest of the team is doing and pull team members together with common interests. And so, you know, the -- it starts with the organization and setting the tone about "This is what we're about. And we're not going to waver on that. We're about something bigger than just the, the money that we're making. We're about something bigger than, than just the work that we do every day." That -- we have a chance to impact, and again, it's that "mission or purpose" component, but we have a chance to impact something bigger than just our own organization.
Jim Collison 39:34
Yeah, I just had a cat show up here in the corner of the screen. I have never had that happen before. But great opportunity. Jennifer mentions she started a Facebook group called "Shop local" for local artists, small businesses to share their products. Great opportunity to bring -- it doesn't necessarily need to be workplace related. Right? It could be community related. And I think, Jim, what, what it says sometimes is when we feel things are completely out of our control, we do have control over these things, especially at the local level. Like I think, hopefully we don't miss this. We're going to create a bunch of these local community groups. Hopefully when this is all over, we don't miss that point. I think we had kind of, we'd kind of gotten away from that before. Everybody was so busy going to soccer practice and sports and events. And now we're really spending time together, instead of just driving all over the place. I think it's a great opportunity for us to keep that. Jim, would you add anything? As we think about community, anything we missed, or what else would you add?
Jim Harter 40:33
Well, I agree with that last point a lot. I mean, that's, that's very important. You know, one of the things I've been thinking about as we've been studying the data during this time period, is to contrast, again, speaking about what we can control, right? To, to contrast how burnout is made up -- and we have seen increases in burnout, particularly for the people who are. So pre-, pre-COVID, the people who are working from home, close to 100% had lower burnout than others. But now, during COVID, the people working from home almost all the time have, have, have spiked up in, in burnout, have higher levels of burnout. So there's that risk.
Jim Harter 41:19
But if we kind of break down what burnout is and contrast that with a positive state, which, which Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would call "flow," which is what all of us are really in the end striving for every day, to have a "flow" experience, where we're absorbed in what we're doing and have a lot of positive energy. Burnout and flow both have high challenge. The burnout stage has some compounding factors that bring you down and make, make that challenge of that experience not fun at all. It wears you down. A "flow" state has high interest and high energy. So the more we can think about, not just with community, but with all 5 of the elements, what we're going through right now and to keep track of what does give us high energy and that aligns with, you know, the longer-term goals we're trying to reach -- even though many of us don't know what the long term holds, we can be fairly confident it's gonna turn out OK, I think, down the road. But we can, we can have some control over those kinds of things. I guess one thing I'd --
Jim Collison 42:22
Yeah. Jim, you mentioned that to me yesterday, and I've been thinking a lot about that, just that flow versus burnout and how close they are together. And I have found during this time, I thought overnight, I was thinking kind of through what -- the questions I wanted to ask you today and such, and that just kind of kept coming back to mind. And that for me, the difference has been when I find myself diving a little bit, I think, What can I do that will, that I can do well, that will give me really high positive energy? Whether it's a project here at the house of putting something in or fixing something or walking out in the yard. I've had a little bit of a mole problem, you know, out in my ground, out of my yard. I love my yard. And so I've been working on that project, right. And it's given me something to kind of own and look forward to and get excited about them. (That's probably a bad example.) But I've done a bunch of home projects. Is that what we're talking about? In other words, as, because we can go down one or two paths. We can go down the burnout route, or we can go out the, the, you know, the, the thriving, go out, focus in that area. Is, is it just a matter of making a decision at some point in time and saying, I'm gonna choose to do something different that brings energy, that brings focus, that brings that to me -- flow to me. Is it, is it as easy as that? It can't be. I'm sure there's more to it than that.
Jim Harter 43:38
Well, we're living in, obviously, very tough times with a lot of things coming at us that we're having to adapt to. But I guess the point is that if we can just be very conscientious. I was on a session earlier in the week. And one of the gentlemen on it is an expert in mindfulness. And so he was talking about that. So how can, I guess I'd take from that, How can we be mindful about what we're going through each day, and what's giving us positive energy? Instead of, our natural state is to kind of go through each day, and we don't necessarily remember everything that happens during the day. And then we get to the end of the week, and we said, "Oh, what the heck happened? That was a long week" or "It wore on me." But to actually be mindful of what we're experiencing and what's giving us high interest. Those two things: high interest and high energy, so that we can be intentional about how we do that in this -- particularly as, you know, in these cold states, we're going to be inside probably more than we were before. And we lose another element of control, right? But then Ryan Wolf said the other day that there is no such thing as cold weather. There's just the wrong or the wrong weather. There's, there's just the wrong clothes. So I guess, so I guess we can get out in the cold too.
Jim Collison 44:53
When you start working out outside, you get warm pretty fast.
Jim Harter 44:55
Jim Collison 44:56
So, you know, Lisa, I think, in the chat room, was talking, and I can't find it right now at this point, but I want to summarize it. You know, this Called to Coach community has grown together during the pandemic as well and is maybe a part of some people's community wellbeing. This is a community -- an opportunity to listen to an event, have a conversation, get to know some people, and during this time, you know, our, our live numbers doubled at the very beginning of the pandemic. So we used to do 30; we now do 60. Yeah, I'm looking at 58 right now. So we're at 60 on it. We doubled, and it stayed, it has stayed there, which is great. This is a form of community wellbeing, right? Just getting together, I mentioned that, that group in Chicago, forming new groups around a common purpose with positive energy (I'm hoping this is positive energy!). This works for community wellbeing, right?
Jim Harter 45:44
You bet. Like very, and you mentioned the overlap, you know, between social and community. There is some, and that's one of the areas where, you know, the social time, and the amount, the sheer amount of social time in any form helps.
Jim Collison 46:01
Yeah, so good, Jim. Anything else we'd add before we kind of wrap it up?
Jim Harter 46:08
I think that's probably about it on, on community wellbeing,
Jim Collison 46:12
We have career wellbeing; that's the final one to finish. So we've done four now. Faith Gaines is coming to join us here, and I should know the date of that, but I don't, right off the top of my head. It's coming up here in a couple weeks. If you want to join us for that go to gallup.eventbrite -- B-R-I-T-E -- gallup.eventbrite.com. And you can get registered for that just like this, and we'll spend some time. Jim anything, since you won't be there, and we discussed the other. As we think about career wellbeing going forward, anything you just kind of highlight ahead of Faith, that you'd say the importance of that, of that, because it's just, it's never been bigger, had a bigger impact than it is right now.
Jim Harter 46:48
Yeah, it's just essential as a foundation for everything else that we study in wellbeing. It's the most important element because it touches so many different parts of our, our life, from the amount of, the sheer amount of time we spend in our careers to the financial aspects of it impact us, the relationships. I mean, it really crosses over into all the different domains. If you have a high career wellbeing, you have a better chance of contributing to the community.
Jim Harter 47:14
One other thing I'd point out to the group is just that, thank you for the work you're doing with strengths. Because I really think that strengths is going to be, is the is the best conduit to improving wellbeing. We need to understand -- we've been studying this quite a bit and we, we'll include this in our upcoming book -- is how each individual strength can be leveraged to impact each of the 5 wellbeing elements. So the more we can work through the person, think of it as a path of efficiency through that person to -- and many of you are probably doing this right now with the people you're working with -- but, but the more that we can leverage the individual strengths to, to achieve wellbeing.
Jim Harter 47:55
And not -- a lot of programs out there assume that people are kind of the same, you know, and expect, expect everybody to be a Type A personality and, and, and achieve the same kinds of things with, with these, with programs, whether it's a dietary program or a workout. We, we don't, people don't have to be athletes to have high physical wellbeing. They need to channel what's innate and direct it at those 5. And I think the work that you all are doing is going to be the, gonna lead organizations to creating what we call a "Net Thriving Culture" overall.
Jim Collison 48:30
Net Thriving Culture, I like that terminology. I'm pretty excited about it. Just a reminder on that book: Wellbeing at Work: How to Build Resilient and Thriving Teams, out in March. So that's at least the scheduled date at this point. So hopefully, you know, hey, it's a crazy world right now. But we're shooting for March to have that out. Great opportunity. Of course, we're gonna make a big deal about it here on Called to Coach. So if you just stay close to the community, you won't, you won't miss a beat on that.
Jim Collison 48:57
If you, someone had asked a question in the chat room about Chicago group, of any of the groups. If you haven't joined us in our social communities, that's kind of the best way to stay up to date on everything that's going on. And I should say, I'm super proud of the communities, by the way. Jim, everything you've said, they have done very, very well. In other words, they've organized kind of based on their strengths. So those folks who are good at doing public events and doing training and doing learning, they've gotten out there and made those groups available. For the folks who are good at doing the thinking and the, and the conversations, they're doing that as well. And they're doing it in a way -- they're gathering more often together on a regular basis.
Jim Collison 49:34
And then I just think about the, what the chat room means here. So it's happening; it's different than it ever was before -- is a big boon to the social communities that we have here. But, Jim, thanks for taking the time to do that as well. You mentioned the numbers. You know, when we think about our data and our research and all these things that you just talked about, what's really the best way for folks to stay up to date with everything we're publishing, and everything you're publishing around the this data that we're, and these insights we're discovering? What's the best way to do that?
Jim Harter 50:05
We get them out pretty quickly in our gallup.com articles. So if you stay tuned in to gallup.com, and check out our Workplace section for that, and we publish both from our Workplace findings, and then also from the more general societal issues, you'll get all the latest stuff. We've been turning out articles pretty quickly as -- throughout the pandemic, and have been tracking the wellbeing of folks regularly.
Jim Collison 50:31
Good. Sorry, keep going.
Jim Harter 50:34
No, I'm done.
Jim Collison 50:35
Sorry to interrupt you on that one. The, we do have a CliftonStrengths Insight Newsletter, too, and we highlight what you're doing in that as well. And so if you want to sign up for that, head out to gallup.com/cliftonstrengths. At the very bottom of the page is the newsletter signup. So you can click it. We have a couple insight newsletters; you can sign up for those and kind of stay up to date on all those things. Jim, I mentioned our Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/calledtocoach is a great place to go if you want to do that. And maybe you're not on Facebooker, you want to do it on LinkedIn. Head over to LinkedIn and search "CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches." And we have a group over there -- the, the engagement's a little bit different in that group, but it's still a group on LinkedIn, if you're not on Facebook and want to do that as well. I mentioned, if you want to follow us for all the webcasts that are coming up, maybe this is the first time or that you've listened to it, head over to gallup.eventbrite.com. And if you have any questions about anything, and many of you are doing this, I'm getting about 8 of these a day these days, which is great. You can send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Jim, Dr. Jim Harter, Chief Scientist, super smart guy, and, and listen, we're super lucky to have you here at Gallup. Thanks for coming on today. I appreciate it.
Jim Harter 51:44
Thanks for having me, Jim. It's a pleasure.
Jim Collison 51:46
And for those joining live, thanks for joining us today. We will not do any postshow today. So thanks for coming out. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.
Dr. Jim Harter's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Achiever, Focus, Learner, Relator and Futuristic.