There's a difference between a happy feeling and happiness.

You feel happy when you achieve a key performance indicator or the IT department finally fixes your computer.

Happiness is longer-lasting - it's how you feel about your life. It's also called Subjective wellbeing.

Why Wellbeing?

Wellbeing is about a whole entity - be it a person, organization, company or even a whole nation. This concept is based on the science.

Research has found that income, profits and GDP are important - but they're not everything. Life is also about engagement, empowerment, support, creativity, motivation, meaning, purpose and so much more.

All the different factors in life connect to every other factor to produce wellbeing.

Wellbeing factors are divided into 3 categories:

  • Subjective wellbeing or Happiness. It's made up of:
    • How you feel about life
  • Psychological wellbeing: It's defined as:
    • How you assess the meaning and purpose of life
  • Objective wellbeing, which includes:
    • Income, jobs, housing and other factors of material living conditions
    • Health, safety, education, environment, governance and other quality of life factors

“Workplaces think of wellbeing as a synonym for health or for mental health.”

“However, this does not capture the components of wellbeing like self-fulfillment, engagement, flourishing and opportunity.”

American Journal of Public Health, 2015

Wellbeing - Personal and Workplace

Wellbeing is experienced in every second of your life. Whether it's good or bad, it's always there. This is called personal wellbeing.

You can also drill down to understand wellbeing in specific areas of your life - such as at work, which is called workplace wellbeing.

two way flow people

Two-way flow

Each person working in a team, organization or company experiences both:

  1. Personal wellbeing and
  2. Workplace wellbeing

However, they don't exist in isolation from each other.

What happens in your personal life and your life at work, interact and influence each other in a two-way flow.

Importance of personal wellbeing

The key feature of this two-way flow is the importance of personal wellbeing.

If a person is like a building, personal wellbeing is the foundation - and workplace wellbeing is constructed on top of this foundation.

This isn't just a matter of things such as work-life balance (as important as this is) - it's more fundamental, such as

  • When you're happier with your personal life, you're better able to contribute in a positive manner at work.
  • When you have clear and defined values in your personal life that are the same as the values of your workplace, you experience better wellbeing.
  • When you treat other people with care and kindness in both your personal and work life, you all experience higher wellbeing levels.

The individual and the workplace

In the same way as each individual person has their own personal and workplace wellbeing - each team, organization or company, as a whole entity, has its own personal and workplace wellbeing.

The wellbeing of a workplace, as a whole entity, is made up of the sum total wellbeing of all the people working there.

“We need an approach that recognizes that staff are individuals whose working lives are inextricably intertwined with their personal lives.”

New Economics Foundation

Causes of Happiness and Wellbeing

Scientists have found that happiness and wellbeing are determined by a combination of:

Genes + Non-genetic factors

Genes are responsible for an estimated 40%. They determine, for example, the tendency for your personality to express happiness.

DNA strands

Non-genetic factors that determine happiness and wellbeing levels can be improved and lead to positive outcomes.

For example:

  • Increased autonomy, variety and growth at work can lead to more initiative.
  • Greater vision, purpose and meaning in your personal life improves productivity at work.
  • Increased support and openness to new ideas increases creativity
  • More positive mood and optimism about life is associated with better health

MAP is a unique program that achieves more happiness and better wellbeing by influencing the many different non-genetic factors.

See How it Works

The science shows that better wellbeing in a workplace improves the likelihood of work-related positive outcomes

Balanced and Centered

Better wellbeing in a workplace is not a guarantee of success for a team, organization or company.

Outside circumstances such as a loss of funding or an economic recession are clearly crucial factors.

Yet the science shows that - all other things being equal - better wellbeing in a workplace improves the likelihood of work-related positive outcomes.

Learn More about Business & Science

At the same time, happiness and wellbeing are not based on being cheerful, joyous and content all the time.

They're about experiencing a wide range of emotions and experiences, and dealing with both the good and the bad.

At MAP we see this as part of being balanced and centered in your life as an individual and a workplace, as a whole entity.

See How it Works

“People have grown no happier in the last fifty years, even as average incomes have more than doubled. What is going on?”

Richard Layard, London School of Economics

Happiness and Wellbeing

In the modern era both economists and psychologists have shown the way on the importance of happiness and wellbeing.


GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was developed in the 1930s to measure economic production. But for decades it was incorrectly used - under the title 'living standards - to indicate wellbeing', when clearly GDP is just an objective wellbeing measure.

About 20 years ago economists, and then later governments, recognized the need to focus on a broad definition of happiness and wellbeing.

As Professor Richard Layard, Director of the Wellbeing Programme at the London School of Economics, asked in his 2006 book Happiness - Lessons from a New Science

“There is a paradox at the heart of our societies become richer, they do not become happier.
All the evidence shows that on average people have grown no happier in the last fifty years, even as average incomes have more than doubled. What is going on?”


For psychologists the importance of happiness and wellbeing was kick started in the late 1990s with the development of positive psychology.

It was led by pioneers such as Martin Seligman, Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, who stated:

“For the last half century psychology has been consumed with a single topic only - mental illness”

Psychologists were urged to continue the earlier missions of psychology of nurturing talent and improving normal life.

As another pioneer, Ed Diener, Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, wrote in the 2011 book Happiness: Unlocking the mysteries of psychological wealth:

“Psychological wealth includes... satisfaction, the feeling that life is full of meaning, a sense of engagement in interesting activities, the pursuit of important goals, the experience of positive emotional feelings and a sense of spirituality that connects people to things larger than themselves.”

Leading contributors

Happiness and wellbeing is not a fringe, alternative movement.

Leading contributors to research and implementation currently include:

  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) - Better Life Index
  • United Nations - Human Development Index
  • Gallup-Healthways, USA - Global Well-Being Index
  • UK Government - Office for National Statistics - National Well-Being
  • USA - States of Maryland and Vermont - Genuine Progress Indicator
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics - Measures of Australia's Progress - Society
  • Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia - Australian Unity Personal Wellbeing Index
  • University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada - Canadian Index of Wellbeing

MAP understands the importance of happiness and wellbeing in your personal life and how it influences your work life

Unique program

Happiness and wellbeing are such rapidly growing fields, there are now at least 60 subjective wellbeing measuring tools alone used in research.

A number of programs are also available to help improve happiness and wellbeing.

MAP is unique because of its:

  • Understanding of the importance of happiness and wellbeing in your personal life and how it influences your work life.
  • Ease of set up and use, including 10-minute questionnaires, online dashboard and real-time results.
  • Mechanisms identified in the scientific research as drivers of more happiness.
  • Algorithmic analysis of the MAP questionnaires, which produces Wellbeing Reports.

MAP starts with measurements of current wellbeing for:

  • Each person in a workplace and
  • A team, organization or company, as a whole entity

It then enables each person and the workplace to achieve more happiness and better wellbeing through:

  • A clear vision of what wellbeing in the workplace means
  • Personalized directions on how to reach your destination
  • Checking how you're going online, wherever you are, whenever you want - so you and your workplace can stay on track

See How it Works