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Development of the work-related well-being questionnaire based on Seligman's PERMA model

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Drawing on recent research on determinants of subjective well-being, we developed and conducted a pilot study of an employee well-being questionnaire using M. Seligman's (2011) multidimensional PERMA model (Positive emotion, Engagement, positive Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment) model. Employees (N = 397) from postgraduate courses at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) completed a survey including 56 items which were theoretically relevant to the PERMA theory. Factor analyses recovered the expected five PERMA components and a negative emotion factor. Based on factor and reliability analyses, we reduced the 56 PERMA items to 35 items. Our results support the multidimensional approach to defining and measuring multidimensional well-being. A multidimensional well-being assessment may be useful for understanding employees' well-being, which can then be applied when developing policy and practice to increase well-being for all employees at work.
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1
Development of the Work-Related Well-Being Questionnaire
Development of the Work-Related
Well-Being Questionnaire Based on
Seligman’s PERMA Model
Ágota Kun1*, Péter Balogh2, Katalin Gerákné Krasz3
Received 12 April 2016; accepted 27 June 2016
Abstract
Drawing on recent research on determinants of subjective
well-being, we developed and conducted a pilot study of an
employee well-being questionnaire using M. Seligman’s (2011)
multidimensional PERMA model (Positive emotion, Engage-
ment, positive Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment)
model. Employees (N = 397) from postgraduate courses at
the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME)
completed a survey including 56 items which were theoretically
relevant to the PERMA theory. Factor analyses recovered the
expected ve PERMA components and a negative emotion fac-
tor. Based on factor and reliability analyses, we reduced the
56 PERMA items to 35 items. Our results support the multi-
dimensional approach to dening and measuring multidimen-
sional well-being. A multidimensional well-being assessment
may be useful for understanding employees’ well-being, which
can then be applied when developing policy and practice to
increase well-being for all employees at work.
Keywords
positive psychology, well-being, PERMA model, PERMA at
work, measurement
1 Introduction
1.1 Positive psychology
Positive psychology is a quite new branch of psychology the
roots of which can be traced back to Martin E. P. Seligman’s
1998 Presidential Address to the American Psychological
Association (Seligman, 1998). As APA president, Seligman
initiated a shift in psychology’s focus toward more positive
psychological topics, such as well-being, contentment, hope,
optimism, ow, happiness, savouring, human strengths and
resilience. In contrast with the classical focus of psychology on
curing mental illness, positive psychology emphasizes under-
standing the factors that build strengths, help to people ourish
and contribute to mental health, as well as on subjective well-
being and happiness. All of these factors and processes may
underlie optimal human functioning.
The message of the positive psychology movement is to
remind our eld that it has been deformed. Psychology is not
just the study of disease, weakness, and damage; it also is the
study of strength and virtue. Treatment is not just xing what
is wrong; it also is building what is right. Psychology is not
just about illness or health; it also is about work, education,
insight, love, growth, and play. And in this quest for what is
best, positive psychology does not rely on wishful thinking, self-
deception, or hand waving; instead, it tries to adapt what is
best in the scientic method to the unique problems that human
behavior presents in all its complexity (Seligman, 2002, p. 4).
Considering the basic statement Seligman proposed, how can
we dene positive psychology? There are as many denitions as
there are positive psychologists, for example: “Positive psychol-
ogy is a scientic eld that studies the optimal functioning of
individuals, groups, and institutions” (Gable and Haidt, 2005).
“Positive psychology is about scientically informed perspec-
tives on what makes life worth living. It focuses on aspects of
the human condition that lead to happiness, fullment, and our-
ishing” (The Journal of Positive Psychology, 2005). “It is noth-
ing more than the scientic study of ordinary human strengths
and virtues. Positive psychology revisits ‘the average person,’
with an interest in nding out what works, what is right, and
what is improving ... positive psychology is simply psychology”
1 Department of Ergonomics and Psychology, Faculty of Economics and Social
Sciences, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary
2 iCons-Hungary Humánfejlesztő és Tanácsadó Kft.
6723 Szeged, 13 Sándor u., Hungary
3Department of Ergonomics and Psychology, Faculty of Economics and Social
Sciences, Budapest University of Technology and Economics
* Corresponding author, e-mail: agotak@erg.bme.hu
OnlineFirst (2017) paper 9326
DOI: 10.3311/PPso.9326
Creative Commons Attribution b
research article
P
P
Periodica Polytechnica
Social and Management
Sciences
2Period. Polytech. Soc. Man. Sci. Á. Kun, P. Balogh, K. Gerákné Krasz
(Sheldon and King, 2001, p. 216). “Positive Psychology is an
umbrella term for theories and research about what makes life
most worth living” (Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).
Positive psychology does not, however, imply that other
applied elds of psychology (e.g. clinical, social or health psy-
chology) are negative, although the science of psychology has
made great efforts to understand what goes wrong in individu-
als, groups, and institutions while paying much less attention to
understanding what is ‘right’ with people. Psychologists need
to recognize the importance and practical utility of focusing
on positive emotions, positive relationships, positive traits, and
positive human functioning.
According to Seligman (2002), positive psychology has
three primary concerns. The rst is to specify and measure pos-
itive traits ‘that transcend particular cultures and politics and
approach universality’ (Seligman, 1998, p. 1). Understanding
positive individual traits involves the study of strengths, such
as the capacity for love and work, courage, compassion, resil-
ience, creativity, curiosity, integrity, self-knowledge, modera-
tion, self-control, and wisdom. The second goal is to promote
positive experiences and emotions. Understanding positive
emotions entails the study of contentment with the past, hap-
piness in the present, and hope for the future. The third focus
is on understanding positive institutions that entails the study
of the strengths that foster better communities, such as jus-
tice, responsibility, civility, parenting, nurturance, the work
ethic, leadership, teamwork, purpose, and tolerance (Positive
Psychology Center). As a science it employs and develops
assessments and research designs to establish trustworthy nd-
ings which can be related to practical application.
1.2 Concept of well-being
Well-being has been a longstanding topic of research interest.
The central objective of positive psychology is to facilitate hap-
piness and subjective well-being (Seligman, 2002). Positive psy-
chologists attempt to measure well-being from a positive-based
standpoint (e.g. increasing subjective well-being, promoting
mental health and personal thriving). The positive psychology
movement characterizes well-being as “positive and sustain-
able characteristics which enable individuals and organizations
to thrive and ourish” (Well-being Institute, University of
Cambridge). Many theorists have suggested that well-being has
multiple domains, and is thus a multifaceted construct (Forgeard
et al., 2011; Stiglitz et al., 2009; Diener, 2009; Michaelson et al.,
2009). Ryff and Keyes (1995) suggest six domains and Huppert
and So (2013) identify 10 items associated with ourishing.
Well-being is a dynamic concept that includes not only subjec-
tive, social and psychological dimensions, but also health-related
behaviours and economic aspects (e.g. nancial success).
Diener and Seligman (2004) pointed out that a more sys-
tematic approach is needed, as the “current measurement of
well-being is haphazard, with different studies assessing
different concepts in different ways” (p. 2). The multiplicity
of approaches to the study of well-being has resulted in some-
what broad denitions of well-being, with researchers using
the construct of ‘well-being’ synonymously with ‘satisfaction’,
‘happiness’, or ‘quality of life’.
1.2.1 Seligman’s PERMA model
Seligman (2011) suggests ve components of well-being,
and developed a new model of well-being which he called
PERMA (PERMA is an acronym formed from the rst letters
of each domain dened by Seligman as a determinant of well-
being). Seligman’s new theory posits that well-being consists
of the nurturing of one or more of the ve following elements:
Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and
Accomplishment. The ve domains essential to well-being are:
Positive emotions Good feelings motivate many human
actions. Individuals read, travel or do whatever makes them
feel happy and joyful. Positive emotions enhance performance
at work, boost physical health, they strengthen relationships,
and create optimism and hope for the future.
Engagement This refers to attachment, involvement, con-
centration, and the level of inclination towards activities such
as recreation, hobbies, or work (Higgins, 2006; Schaufeli et al.,
2006). A key concept is ow, when time seems to stand still and
one loses one’s sense of self, and concentrates intensely on the
present. In positive psychology, ‚ow’ describes a state of utter,
blissful immersion in the present moment. When we focus on
doing the things we truly enjoy and care about, we can begin to
engage completely with the present moment and enter the state
of being known as ‚ow’ (Seligman, 2011).
Relationships We have a strong inner need for connection,
love, physical and emotional contact with others. We enhance
our own well-being by building strong networks of relation-
ships around us with all the other people in our lives. Positive
relationships, such as strong ties with family and friends
or weak ties with colleagues, lead to a sense of belonging
(Sandstrom and Dunn, 2014).
Meaning and purpose Meaning involves the use of strengths
not for one’s self, but to full goals which are perceived to be
important. We are at our best when we dedicate time to some-
thing greater than ourselves. This could be volunteer work,
belonging to a community or a civic or religious group, or learn-
ing for a specic goal. These activities have a sense of purpose,
a compelling reason why individuals do what they do.
Accomplishment This signies leading a productive, mean-
ingful life. This pathway is pursued for its own sake, even when
it brings no positive emotion, no meaning, and nothing in the
way of positive relationships (Seligman 2011, p. 18). To achieve
well-being, individuals must be able to look back on our lives
with a sense of accomplishment: ‚I did it, and I did it well’.
Using the PERMA framework as our conceptual basis, we aim
to demonstrate that a multidimensional assessment of employees’
3
Development of the Work-Related Well-Being Questionnaire
well-being can provide more specic information to build up a
picture of the essential aspects of workplace well-being.
1.2.2 Well-being in the workplace
Work represents an important context for studying the well-
being of individuals, especially because it provides different
sources that impact on mental health, optimal social function-
ing and performance, and because it demands a signicant
portion of an employees’ time and effort. Studying employee
well-being is a very popular topic of research interest and, as a
result, researchers have revealed various and numerous dimen-
sions of work-related well-being. While early studies primar-
ily focused on problems faced by employees (e.g. stress, burn-
out, dissatisfaction), recently more and more of research has
focused on the positive side of employee well-being and on
strengths (Calabrese et al., 2010).
Why is employee well-being so important? Individuals’
experiences at work, be they emotional or social in nature,
obviously affect them. Well-being can potentially affect both
workers and organizations in different ways. Workers with
poor well-being may be less productive, make lower quality
decisions, be more prone to be absent from work, and make
consistently diminishing overall contributions to organizations
(Price and Hooijberg, 1992).
Most studies on well-being examine separate constructs
such as engagement, satisfaction, mental health or happiness. It
is very clear that well-being at work is multidimensional (Grant
et al., 2007; Page and Vella-Brodrick, 2009). Many concepts
and measurements used in related research attempt to identify
different elements of well-being, including job satisfaction,
work engagement, organizational commitment, positive and
negative emotions at work, positive and negative affect, intrin-
sic motivation, and thriving (Fisher, 2010).
Such separate aspects of well-being at work comprise an
overall picture of well-being in the workplace.
In summary, it seems to be increasingly evident that
employee well-being plays an important role at work. Well-
being not only contributes to reducing the risk of mental prob-
lems, but also seems to facilitate many work-related issues,
such as performance, quality of workplace relationships, moti-
vation, engagement, etc. In this study we approach employee
well-being from a positive psychology framework, adopting
Seligman’s (2011) multidimensional PERMA model.
1.2.3 Measuring well-being
Measures of well-being play an increasingly important role
in applied research. Within psychology the expanding role of
overall measures of well-being indicates a greater interest in
the determinants of positive functioning. Measuring well-being
can be done in a number of ways – there is no ‘one size ts all’
approach. In general, however, well-being measurement tends to
be based on two principles: a) individuals, rather than groups, are
the ‘unit of measurement’, even if we are ultimately interested
in the well-being of a particular group of people. b) subjective,
rather than objective, indicators provide the data. ‘Subjective
indicators’ refers to questions which ask about feelings, experi-
ences and judgements about life (NEF, 2012). Subjective meas-
ures of well-being capture people’s feelings or real experience
in a direct way, assessing well-being through ordinal measures
(McGillivray and Clarke 2006; van Hoorn, 2007)
A number of questionnaires are available for gathering infor-
mation on well-being. Most of these questionnaires focus on a
single aspect of well-being (e.g. happiness, satisfaction, affect
or mental aspect), while others aim to measure overall well-
being (using multidimensional scales). The best known meas-
urements on (subjective) well-being are summarized in Table 1.
Table 1 List of well-known well-being measurements
Well-being measures Authors
Oxford Happiness Inventory Argyle and Hills, 2002.
Subjective Happiness Scale Lyubomirsky and Lepper, 1999.
Approaches to Happiness Scale Peterson, 2003.
Authentic Happiness Inventory Peterson, 2005.
Satisfaction with Life Scale Diener, Emmons, Larsen and
Grifn, 1985.
PANAS (Positive and Negative
Affect Schedule) Watson, Claek, Tellegen, 1988.
Affect Balance Scale (ABS) Bradbum, 1969.
Psychological Well-Being Scales Ryff, 1995.
Psychological Well-Being Scale Diener and Biswas-Diener, 2009.
Warwick-Edinburgh Mental
Well-being Scale (SWEMWBS) Clarke et al., 2011.
Friedman Well-being Scale Friedman, 1992.
Only a few scales cover factors associated directly to work-
related well-being. One such scale, the Workplace PERMA-
Proler (M. L. Kern, 2014) is under development, and is – as
it name indicates – based on Seligman’s PERMA model as a
theoretical framework. Several work-specic well-being ques-
tionnaires have been developed in the last years (e.g. Parker
and Hyett, 2011; Orsila et al., 2011) and it is expected that
an increasing number of work-specic questionnaires will be
developed in the future. In this paper, we build upon Seligman’s
(2011) PERMA model as an organizing framework for measur-
ing workplace well-being. We aimed to develop a comprehen-
sive measure for assessing workplace well-being on the basis of
positive psychology concerns and the PERMA model.
2 Method
2.1 Participants and procedure
A 56-item questionnaire was completed by a sample of
397 employees from different types of organizations. Data
were gathered in paper and pencil form in groups during the
4Period. Polytech. Soc. Man. Sci. Á. Kun, P. Balogh, K. Gerákné Krasz
postgraduate course lessons at BUTE. The participants were
153 males and 244 females. The participants’ ages ranged from
26 to 57 years, with a mean of 41.38 (SD=7.81).
2.2 Measures
Items focusing on the ve elements of PERMA model were
constructed and gathered by a 6 member group of psycholo-
gists and MA psychology students. We gathered as many work-
related well-being items that covered Seligman’s denitions of
each domain of PERMA as possible. The next step was the
construction of a 56-item questionnaire covering positive emo-
tions, engagement, positive relationships, meaning and accom-
plishment relating to work settings.
The preliminary scale structure was evaluated by fac-
tor analysis with Varimax rotation in order to minimise cor-
relations between components. Reliability was evaluated by
Cronbach’s alpha coefcients of internal consistency. The pre-
liminary scale was shortened to 35 items by eliminating the
items with the least favourable psychometric properties.
3 Results
The questionnaire data analysis was designed to identify
the contents, elements and factors of psychological well-being
based on the related literature. Theoretical approaches in the
literature of well-being differ in the number and content of
explanatory categories they propose. This study attempts to
investigate which factor structure covers most of the construct
in a Hungarian sample.
Factor analysis was applied, not only to reduce numbers of
variables but to reveal underlying connections between vari-
ables. Additionally, based on the results it is possible to attempt
to describe and explain the perception structures of partici-
pants. The characteristics that affect psychological well-being
are very diverse so our primary goal when grouping items was
to identify a meaningful but easy-to-use factor structure.
Firstly, explanatory factor analysis was applied to the total
sample of 56 items. Factor analysis of the total sample resulted
in 13 factors, and the number of item variables was 56. Sampling
adequacy was measured with the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin index,
which resulted in 0.913 (p=0.000), high above the commonly
recommended value, and thus suitable for factor analysis. Initial
eigen values showed 13 factors, which explained 63.5% of the
variance of the total variables. It would appear, then, that thir-
teen factors cover the variables structure relatively consistently.
Based on the theoretical model and statistical results, our
primary goal was to develop a more consistent factor structure.
Hence, based on the results of the explanatory factor analysis,
8 items were eliminated because some failed to meet the mini-
mum criteria of communality values (0.3), while others had a
primary factor loading above 0.5.
Secondly, factor analysis was conducted on 46 items with
8 predetermined factors, since 5 factors were eliminated after
the explanatory factor analysis because of insufcient value of
primary factor loading. The result of the KMO index was 0.913
(p=0.000), high above the commonly recommended value and
suitable for factor analysis. 58.08% of the variance of total
variables was explained by 8 factors. A total of two items were
eliminated because of communality of 0.3 or above: “I always
know in advance what the next step I need to do will be” and “I
just plan short-term, small goals, those are for sure”.
Thirdly, factor analysis was conducted on 46 items with
6 predetermined factors, since 2 factors were eliminated at
a previous step because of insufcient values of factor load-
ing above 0.3 for all items. The KMO index result was 0.905
(p=0.000), high above the commonly recommended value and
suitable for factor analysis. 58.27% of the variance of total var-
iables was explained by 6 factors. 35 items were selected after
all non-contributing items with factor loading above 0.5 were
removed. Based on the factor loading values, a strong connec-
tion was found (> 0.5) between the majority of the items and
underlying factors.
First factor – Negative aspects of work
The most important factor in the factor structure which indi-
cated the largest reliability value contains 9 items, each with
factor loadings between 0.557-0.781. This factor explains
26.1% of the variance. Effects causing work-related nega-
tive feelings were of the greatest importance, for example the
inuence of colleagues, or tasks exceeding one’s capabilities
or skills. “I feel I do not t in with my colleagues”, “Work
demands exceed my abilities”. Negative feelings related to the
nature of the work seem less important, for instance “It is hard
to be enthusiastic about my work”.
Second factor – Meaning of work
The second most important factor in factor structure indi-
cated second largest reliability. It contains 7 items, each with
a factor loading between 0.587 and 0.739. This factor explains
9.4% of the variance. Items connected with the meaning and
usefulness of the work had higher factor loading: “My job has
signicance”. Lower values were related to attitude and the
method of individual work (engrossment, all-out effort) “I
work with full effort”.
Third factor – positive relationships
The third factor contains 5 items with factor loadings
between 0.614 and 0.833. This factor explains 7.6% of the vari-
ance. The most important item concerned trust in colleagues,
“In most cases I can count on my colleagues”, while the item:
There are many common themes with my colleagues” had the
lowest value of factor loading.
Fourth factor – engagement, ow
The fourth factor contains 6 items, with factor loading
between 0.554 and 0.797. This factor explains 5.6% of the
variance. The items with higher factor loading were related to
happiness and inspiration caused by work situations “My job
makes me happy” and “My job inspires me”. An example of a
5
Development of the Work-Related Well-Being Questionnaire
less important one was: “At work, I more frequently have posi-
tive emotions than negative ones”.
Fifth factor –positive emotions, optimism
The fth factor contains 5 items, with factor loading between
0.526 and 0.675. This factor explains 4.9% of the variance. The
most important items were related to an optimistic mind-set and
positive perceptions e.g. “I look to the future with optimism”,
while lower factor loadings were connected with positive emo-
tions about the workplace e.g. “I feel positive at work”.
Sixth factor – achievement, success
The sixth factor contains 5 items with factor loadings
between 0.508 and 0.740. This factor explains 4.6% of the vari-
ance. The strongest connection of this factor was with items
about coping with obstacles “I will achieve what I want against
all odds.” The weakest correlation was with high performance
in work: “My job performance is outstanding.”
Reliability analysis of factors was examined using
Cronbach’s alfa. All of the factors seem reliable (>0.7). These
results indicate a high level of consistency between the items
of each factor.
Table 2 Psychometric properties of the nal questionnaire
Factor name Number
of items
Cronbach’s
Alfa Variance%
1. Negative aspects of work 80.86 26.1
2. Meaning 60.80 9.4
3. Positive relationships 50.83 7.6
4. Engagement 60.81 5.6
5. Positive emotions
- Optimism 50.79 4.9
6. Accomplishment 50.73 4.6
Total Variance 58.27
4 Discussion
4.1 Implications
This is the rst study in Hungary to empirically apply the
PERMA model to examine the well-being of individuals and its
relationship to work. In evaluating the results we will attempt,
in addition to the personal aspect, to outline the application of
our results in organizational settings.
Our study has conrmed that the development of a new
questionnaire based on the PERMA model can give a picture
of overall well-being at work, and we explored evidence for
six separate factors that provide specic value for work-related
determinants of well-being. Our results conrmed that the
theory of overall well-being can be described by a multidi-
mensional approach which in practice gives more information
about opportunities for change. On the other hand, using six
factors provides us with an opportunity to form feedback to
determine the points of intervention and development in organ-
izational settings.
If levels of well-being are low interventions can be made in
various ways that are most focused on increasing positive emo-
tions and reducing negative emotions at work. Positive relation-
ships between employees proved to be a very important factor
in the prediction of job satisfaction and organizational loyalty.
However, the level of overall mental health and well-being was
increasingly inuenced by negative factors at work and positive
emotions, such as Engagement and the Meaning of work.
The differentiated patterns of the questionnaire achieved by
using multidimensional scales enable the adoption of a more
tailored approach to support well-being in the workplace. How
can employees’ well-being be supported and improved in an
organization? One example is that during meetings there can
be more discussion of the positive results employees have
achieved and of what works well in the department. It may be
important to increase the number and timing of discussions
about results, and to reduce, but not eliminate the amount of
time spent on discussing errors and failures. This practice can
improve employees’ level of well-being by setting clear goals
relating to their personal development that are consistent with
the PERMA principles. If the majority of teams in a given
organization are open to using this practice, then the positive
psychology approach may become a signicant factor in the
formation of the organizational culture.
4.2 Application of the work-related well-being
questionnaire
4.2.1 Feedback for employees
The results of the well-being questionnaire may help to raise
awareness at an individual level of the factors that determine
whether employees feel good at work. Focusing on positive
factors, they can reconsider their role, attitudes, and relation
to work. They can search for opportunities to change in a con-
structive way in order to develop their social and working envi-
ronment. Based on these:
they can strengthen their personal resources to be better
utilized,
they can be happier and take pride in seeing their own
role in the organisation,
they can work to the best of their abilities as individuals,
cooperating with their colleagues,
it generally enhances his/her positive experience of the
work.
4.2.2 Feedback for leaders
The individual results clearly indicate the level of well-
being of each employee. The level of an employee’s loyalty
can highlight the degree of his/her commitment to the organi-
zation, the work, his colleagues, and the tasks. The summarized
results of the questionnaire of a given department can inform
decision makers and others about its retaining power and its
work climate. Using the questionnaire at regular intervals can
6Period. Polytech. Soc. Man. Sci. Á. Kun, P. Balogh, K. Gerákné Krasz
indicate increasing or decreasing levels of expected staff turno-
ver, absenteeism, and internal conicts.
4.2.3 Organizational diagnosis and development
Many companies strongly believe that their most important
resources are their employees. In order to identify and activate
the inherent strengths employees have, one of the most appro-
priate tools is making a PERMA-based diagnosis. To study
well-being determinants can be the starting point for SOAR-
based organization development, and it can help to achieve the
organization’s vision (Cooperrider-Whitney-Stavros, 2008).
The repeated use of the work-related well-being question-
naire can serve as an evaluation tool: its results can provide
information not only about the healthy functioning of an organ-
ization, but also about an increasing level of performance, or
even tension, and can indicate the necessity of organizational
transformation. While this questionnaire should, of course, be
used with other diagnostic tools, positive psychological meas-
urement and the positive psychology approach can give a strong
positive reference points for improvement and development.
4.2.4 Employee satisfaction
To date, most employee satisfaction measurements focus
on determinants of dissatisfaction. Research experiences have
shown that in some cases, the answers given are not completely
honest. Our well-being questionnaire focuses on positive fac-
tors, and respondents are not presented with critical factors,
thus strengthening the satisfaction-based approach. Using the
work-related well-being questionnaire presented in this study,
reliable and quickly applicable results can be obtained in a
short time based around the 6 factors that also provides a trans-
parent picture of the level of job satisfaction.
4.2.5 Eustress vs. distress
Frequently focussing on negative events may intensify feel-
ings of anxiety, apathy, anger or even the emotional state of
despair and distress in leaders and employees. For evolutionary
reasons, most people are not prone to muse on good and joyful
things, but instead tend to analyse bad events in depth. This
tendency often reduces a sense of comfort, increases the risk of
burnout, and inhibits healthy mental function. By investigating
and enhancing positive emotions and relationships, providing
meaningful work, and supporting personal goals and fullment
(all of which represent PERMA dimensions), we can increase
the presence of eustress, resulting in better performance, self-
efcacy, motivation, and commitment to work.
4.2.6 Motivation at work
People tend to think too much about what goes wrong and
too little about what goes well with their work and activities.
This may have a negative impact on motivation at work. Using
personal results of work-related well-being questionnaire, and
based on this information, we can set personal goals for the
development of each employee, with a focus on positive events
linked to productivity instead of obstacles. All of these consid-
ered, if greater emphasis is placed on the individual’s strengths
and efforts, he/she can be motivated to perform better. Regular
back-testing encourages the success and the progress of care,
and helps to maintain the motivation of individuals and teams.
4.2.7 Energizing the organization
Positive relationships, meaningful work, and improved
awareness of positive emotional reinforcement can be benecial
for organizations. We have some experience of this. Working
with a construction company, without staff turnover, and where
90% of employees work together day by day, we tried to develop
the aforementioned three factors for more than ten years. It was
exciting to see the effects of our work. The team of leaders and
key colleagues were completely elated, and this heightened
energy made their jobs extremely creative in this development
process. They were able to discuss issues persisting for a long
time in a positive atmosphere, and were able to think in a con-
structive way about the much-debated annual plan.
4.2.8 Career Planning
In the process of career planning and development individu-
als determine from where to where they wish to go. Getting
ahead does not necessarily mean a higher position, but may also
be perceived in terms of more professional and personal devel-
opment, or new and more interesting tasks. This work-related
well-being questionnaire may provide a useful measurement
in career planning related to personal needs and motivations,
or for those who plan to change their career. After changes in
employment, this questionnaire can be applied to measure suc-
cess and the extent of adaptation to the new job, or even where
he/she is actually in the process of individual self-fullment.
5 Summary
A short and reliable work-related well-being questionnaire
was the main result of the study. Based on the results, the work-
related well-being questionnaire was developed to provide a
self-rating questionnaire reecting Seligman’s theoretical
model of well-being. This questionnaire comprised from ve
to eight items for each of the ve well-being domains, and we
also explored a sixth one: the negative aspects of work. There
was evidence of generally high internal consistency, compos-
ite reliability, and variance extracted for the global and the
six domains of the work-related well-being. The exploratory
factor analysis indicated strong support for its construct valid-
ity. These results are consistent with our conceptualization of
work-related well-being as an extension of the PERMA model
that is constructed around six different factors.
In conclusion, from our results we were able to determine that
our 35-item questionnaire effectively estimates perspectives on
7
Development of the Work-Related Well-Being Questionnaire
work-related well-being. The applications of our results, as we
have outlined above, may encourage organizations to evalu-
ate work-related well-being at different workplaces. In addi-
tion, items should be researched in organizations with different
aims, in different occupations, and with a larger population.
Measuring changes over time, e.g., by use of annual yearly
questionnaires may be more helpful in identifying the complex
phenomenon of work-related well-being.
Employees’ well-being or the lack of it can play a critical
role in the life of organizations. It may inuence rates of absen-
teeism, or uctuation, workplace conict and cooperation, as
well as personal performance. All in all, it has a signicant
impact on organizational success. Hence it is strongly recom-
mended that well-being at workplaces should be assessed from
time to time. Improving well-being at work focuses on helping
employees to:
strengthen their personal resources
ourish and take pride in their roles within the organisa-
tional system
function to the best of their abilities, both as individuals
and in collaboration with their colleagues
have a positive overall experience of work
(National Economic Foundation, 2014)
Improved employee well-being contributes to individual
motivation and health, as well as to corporate competitive-
ness (Grawitch et al., 2006). Employees with high well-being
can be much more productive than those with low levels of
well-being; they are likely to experience fewer motivational
problems; they are more resilient to or welcoming of change
and they are more likely to be engaged with the organization’s
goals. In order to attain these potential benets, we need to
measure the underlying factors that create well-being at work,
and this 35-item work-related questionnaire can be a very use-
ful tool to make the rst step.
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