Symposium 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

The Strategic Use of Wellbeing Measurement to Promote Thriving: Insights from the PERMAH Workplace Survey (#32)

Peggy L Kern 1
  1. The University of Melbourne, Parkvlle, VIC, Australia

Measurement plays an important role in understanding employee wellbeing, monitoring changes over time, and determining the effectiveness of programs and practices. A growing range of tools are available. The PERMAH Workplace Survey is one such tool, which helps individuals and organisations understand and take actions to improve their wellbeing.

Variants of the measure have been developed and tested with hundreds of thousands of people from around the world. Putting the research into practice, the workplace version is freely available online; individuals can take the measure, learn about their wellbeing, access a database of evidence-informed activities to build PERMAH, and be guided through a process to proactively manage their own mental health. Using the practice to inform research, we have trialed additional questions, providing fascinating insights for wellbeing theory, such as what happens when you take a collective approach to defining wellbeing.

Yet any single measure is limited in numerous ways. Wellbeing measurement must be approached with care, or risk doing more harm than good. This talk offers the latest results and insights from measuring PERMAH in workplaces, illustrating how nuanced approaches to measurement can lead to more targeted ways of helping individuals, teams, and organisations thrive.