Our Nation’s Current Workplace Landscape
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Written Document on Workplace Well‑Being
We can build workplaces that are engines of well-being, showing workers that they matter, that their work matters, and that they have the workplace resources and support necessary to flourish.
This 30-page Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being offers a foundation that workplaces can build upon. Download the document PDF or continue scrolling to learn more.
The Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health and Well‑Being
Centered on the worker’s voice and equity, these Five Essentials support workplaces as engines of well-being. Each essential is grounded in two human needs, shared across industries and roles. Creating a plan to enact these practices can help strengthen the essentials of workplace well‑being.
Explore the Framework
The first Essential of this Framework is Protection from Harm. Creating the conditions for physical and psychological safety is a critical foundation for ensuring workplace mental health and well-being. This Essential rests on two human needs: safety and security.
Safety is protecting all workers from physical and non-physical harm, including injury, illness, discrimination, bullying, and harassment.
Security is ensuring all workers feel secure financially and in their job future.
*Diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility
The second Essential of the Framework is Connection and Community. Fostering positive social interactions and relationships in the workplace supports worker well-being. This Essential rests on two human needs: social support and belonging.
Social Support is having the networks and relationships that can offer physical and psychological help, and can mitigate feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Belonging is the feeling of being an accepted member of a group.
The third Essential of this Framework is Work-Life Harmony. Professional and personal roles can together create work and non-work conflicts. The ability to integrate work and non-work demands, for all workers, rests on the human needs of autonomy and flexibility.
Autonomy is how much control a worker has over when, where, and how they do their work.
Flexibility is ability of workers to work when and where is best for them.
The fourth Essential of the Framework is Mattering at Work. People want to know that they matter to those around them and that their work matters. Knowing you matter has been shown to lower stress, while feeling like you do not can raise the risk for depression. This Essential rests on the human needs of dignity and meaning.
Dignity is the sense of being respected and valued.
Meaning in the workplace can refer to the sense of broader purpose and significance of one’s work.
The final Essential of this Framework is Opportunity for Growth. When organizations create more opportunities for workers to accomplish goals based on their skills and growth, workers become more optimistic about their abilities and more enthusiastic about contributing to the organization. This Essential rests on the human needs of learning and a sense of accomplishment.
Learning is the process of acquiring new skills and knowledge in the workplace.
Accomplishment is the outcome of meeting goals and having an impact.
Conclusion & Next Steps
The Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being emphasizes the connection between the well-being of workers and the health of organizations. It offers a foundation and resources that can be used by workplaces of any size, across any industry. Sustainable change must be driven by committed leaders in continuous collaboration with the valued workers who power each workplace. The most important asset in any organization is its people. By choosing to center their voices, we can ensure that everyone has a platform to thrive.
Resources for Supporting Workplace Well‑Being
Visit our resources page to find more information about how to implement the framework in your workplace.Go to Resources Library
This graphic communicates the Five Essentials for Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being and their respective human needs and components, shared across industries and roles.