What is career wellbeing?



Read time
3 mins

So you’ve got to grips with physical and mental wellbeing – but what about the health of your employees’ careers? Abintegro’s David Heard explains why ‘career wellbeing’ is the missing link between your L&D initiatives

The physical and emotional wellbeing of workers have been front-of-mind for responsible employers for years. But far fewer are looking at employees’ ‘career wellbeing’, said David Heard, commercial director at Abintegro, during a Ciphr webinar.

“Career wellbeing is one of the five elements of wellbeing identified by Gallup and Healthways alongside community, physical, social and financial wellbeing,” said Heard. “But it’s often overlooked. Employers are struggling to understand the concept and are therefore struggling to address it.”

It’s possible to gauge an employee’s career wellbeing by asking one simple question, he said: ‘do I like what I do?’. Yet it’s a question that many employers don’t actually ask of their staff.

So why is understanding and cultivating career wellbeing so crucial? “It’s a concept that cuts across all L&D components – such as leadership programmes, coaching and mentoring, skills training and psychometric assessments – and connects it all from an employee perspective,” said Heard. “Most people only understand that connection if they have the support of a personal coach – but obviously it’s not feasible for all employees in an organisation to have that support.”

Workers with low career wellbeing are less productive, less satisfied at work, and, ultimately, are more likely to leave your organisation, said Heard. He cited examples of common HR and L&D strategies that can inadvertently contribute to low career wellbeing: “Say, for example, you do an annual employee survey. You’ll find out some useful information but there will be a time lag in your ability to act. That can add to a declining sense of wellbeing, and, when you do intervene, it’s too little, too late.”

Similarly, Heard said, “you might offer coaching to new line managers, but the speed at which they are given that support depends on how proactive their own line managers are. Those that have to wait longer for support will become dissatisfied.”

According to Heard, there are seven key drivers of career wellbeing: work and life; personal resilience; self-awareness; career advancement; career conversations; relationships; and day-to-day performance. “Using these categories, we can develop a holistic approach to career wellbeing, and offer employees resources, activities and interventions that fit into each of these areas.”

Abintegro is a career-development platform that enables workers to discover their career motivations, and offers appropriate resources and activities to support individuals’ self-development. Abintegro is just one of a growing number of Ciphr Connect partners, whose software integrates seamlessly with Ciphr’s HR and recruitment solutions.