Book Summary: Wellbeing at Work by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter

Wellbeing at Work by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter Book Cover

Wellbeing at Work is a book written by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter that explores the importance of employee wellbeing in the workplace. The book is based on a comprehensive study conducted by Gallup, one of the world’s leading research and consulting firms. The study involved over 1 million employees from various industries and organizations, and it aimed to understand the key factors that contribute to employee wellbeing and engagement.

Chapter 1: The State of Wellbeing at Work

The first chapter of Wellbeing at Work provides an overview of the current state of employee wellbeing in the workplace. The authors highlight that while many organizations have implemented wellness programs, the overall wellbeing of employees has not significantly improved. They argue that a focus on physical health alone is not enough and that organizations must prioritize the emotional, social, and financial wellbeing of their employees as well.

Chapter 2: The Five Essentials of Wellbeing

In chapter two, Clifton and Harter introduce the five essential elements of wellbeing: career wellbeing, social wellbeing, financial wellbeing, community wellbeing, and physical wellbeing. They explain that these elements are interconnected and that a lack of wellbeing in one area can negatively impact an employee’s overall wellbeing. The authors provide practical advice on how organizations can support employees in each of these areas.

Chapter 3: The Business Case for Wellbeing

Chapter three explores the benefits of prioritizing employee wellbeing in the workplace. The authors present compelling evidence that organizations with high levels of employee engagement and wellbeing outperform their competitors in key areas such as productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction. They also discuss the costs of neglecting employee wellbeing, including high turnover rates, absenteeism, and presenteeism.

Chapter 4: Creating a Culture of Wellbeing

In chapter four, Clifton and Harter provide practical guidance on how organizations can create a culture of wellbeing. They emphasize the importance of leadership buy-in and suggest that senior leaders should model healthy behaviors and prioritize wellbeing initiatives. The authors also discuss the role of managers in promoting employee wellbeing and provide tips for building a strong wellbeing program.

Chapter 5: Measuring Wellbeing

Chapter five focuses on the importance of measuring employee wellbeing. The authors explain that while many organizations track employee engagement, they often overlook wellbeing. They provide guidance on how to measure wellbeing and suggest that organizations should use a combination of surveys, focus groups, and other data sources to gain a comprehensive understanding of employee wellbeing.

Chapter 6: The Role of Technology

In chapter six, Clifton and Harter discuss the role of technology in promoting employee wellbeing. They acknowledge that technology can be a source of stress and distraction, but they also highlight the potential benefits of using technology to support employee wellbeing. The authors provide examples of digital tools that can help employees manage their time, track their progress, and connect with others.

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Chapter 7: The Future of Wellbeing at Work

The final chapter of Wellbeing at Work looks towards the future and explores the emerging trends in employee wellbeing. The authors discuss the potential impact of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and other technologies on employee wellbeing. They also highlight the importance of continuous improvement and suggest that organizations should regularly review and update their wellbeing programs to ensure they remain relevant and effective.


Wellbeing at Work is a thought-provoking book that challenges organizations to prioritize employee wellbeing in the workplace. Through compelling research and practical advice, Clifton and Harter make a strong case for why organizations should invest in employee wellbeing and provide guidance on how to create a culture of wellbeing. Overall, this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to improve their organization’s culture and performance.

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