Well-Being Defined: Because We Are All Human

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Well-Being Defined: Because We Are All Human

Welcome to Wit and Wisdom for Well-Being!

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Health as “a state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” meaning that if a person is not “sick” it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are “healthy” or “well” because there’s always room for improvement.

At Stok, we work to create a radically better world for all. We believe that health and well-being for people and the environment is not an end state, but rather a constant pursuit to be better than we were yesterday—for the health of our people, our environment, and ourselves. With this series, our goal is to provide a few nuggets of well-being wit and wisdom each month to incorporate into your own practice and to assist with well-being initiatives for your organization, your clients, and yourself.

In this first installment, let’s start with understanding that making a commitment to well-being begins with designing for a human experience. If nothing else is certain, we can at least start with this as a foundation. Digging in, we know that there are needs that are fundamental to all humans, but how each individual supports them is unique.

The research into these various fundamental human needs is vast, but we can offer a few effective entry points:

In reviewing these, you will likely notice a lot of overlap. No one structure is better than another; the key is to find a structure that works for you and your stakeholders.

As you work toward improved well-being, you must start with a human-centered approach. It’s crucial to understand what motivates people each day, what needs are important to them, and how those needs are currently being met. Designing a well-being program for your organization, or yourself, must start with an assessment of what is important to you and your organization, what metrics you can use to assess the importance and support for these needs, and then determine what steps can be taken to reinforce these needs.


  1. Each person, each organization, and each organization’s culture is unique. It’s not about mimicking what someone else is doing but finding out what makes you different than everyone else and working from there.
  2. Autonomy is crucial. You don’t have to create a customized experience for everyone. Think about planning a vacation for a family of 4—if you tried to create a custom itinerary for everyone, you’d all be spending the trip apart…. Not the goal. It’s about finding some common ground and a few aspects that bring you together and then providing a level of variety and choice with regards to where, when, and how people support their well-being. People are smarter than we often give them credit for. They can (quite effectively) create an experience that works best for them if you give them the opportunity and resources to do so. And if you needed further convincing, a friendly reminder… happy and engaged employees also benefit your organization.
  3. Review, Reassess, and Revise. This is the Kaizen model. Well-being isn’t a race to the finish line, but rather an opportunity to improve every day. Don’t be afraid to take it one step at a time—in fact, it’ll be better if you do.

That’s a wrap on Wit and Wisdom for Well-Being #1! If you’d like to learn more about how Stok and our subject matter experts can support your well-being initiatives, please reach out.