Mentor Wellbeing: Volunteering in the Workplace

Written by: Hannah Miller

TeamMates has developed a phenomenal partnership with Gallup thanks to Dr. Tom Osborne, Allyson Horne, and Gallup’s passion for helping students reach their full potential. This partnership has grown so much so, that we’ve even added “Strengths-based” to our Core Values to better reflect our practice of strengths-based mentoring through the Gallup CliftonStrengths model. Over the next several months, we will be taking a deep dive into how adults can best use their strengths to enhance their wellbeing as a mentor.

In Jim Clifton and Jim Harter’s book, Wellbeing at Work, we learn about the effects COVID-19 had on the workplace, but also how to build resilient and thriving teams in times of uncertainty. For example, Gallup research shows only 1/3 of working Americans feel like they are engaged in the workplace. This means, that only 1/3 of Americans feel like they make a meaningful contribution to society. Here’s a look at Gallup’s engagement metaphor:

An engaged employee will see a piece of paper on the floor and immediately pick it up and throw it into the recycling bin.
A disengaged employee will see that piece of paper and ignore it.
An actively disengaged employee is the person who puts that piece of trash on the floor in the first place.

Gallup’s research also shows that if you have one disengaged or actively disengaged employee, this person can negatively influence at least seven other coworkers. This can create a ripple effect of anxiety, disengagement, resentment, and/or teams crumbling.

“That’s interesting Hannah, but what does this have to do with mentoring?”
-what you might be thinking

In the book, Jim Clifton and Jim Harter share the five key elements of wellbeing:

  • Career
  • Social
  • Financial
  • Physical
  • Community

In this series, we will be referencing key ways you can use your strengths to better improve your community wellbeing by using some tips from Wellbeing at Work and best practices from the TeamMates Mentoring Program’s match support team. My hope is that by improving your community wellbeing, you’ll be able to use these practices in your career or share with your professional team the importance of giving back in the workplace.

I look forward to writing to you each month about your uniquely awesome strengths! In the meantime, check out the CliftonStrengths Podcast or read Wellbeing at Work to jumpstart your learning. To order a copy from one of our partner bookstores, click here.