Cooper Fitch Dubai


December 4, 2018

PERMA in the Workplace

The PERMA model constitutes of five core pillars which are equally important and act as the foundation of positive well-being.

PERMA in the workplace
Cooper Fitch Dubai
Cooper Fitch Dubai
Cooper Fitch Dubai
Cooper Fitch Dubai

We spend half of our waking hours at work on average which means that the well-being of employees depends greatly on their presence at the workplace. Many organisations and business leaders are beginning to acknowledge that utilising psychology techniques is imperative for higher employee retention rate and the overall success of the business. The PERMA model was introduced by Martin Seligman in 2011 through his research into thriving. The model constitutes of five core pillars which are equally important and act as the foundation of positive well-being.

P - Positive Emotions

E - Engagement

R - Relationships

M- Meaning

A - Achievement


Achieving Positivity

As a leader, it is your job to normalise help-seeking in meetings with your team and subordinates. Set clear expectations on working hours by avoiding sending work-related emails on weekends and in the evening. Always be aware of the language used amongst your team members and in the workplace. Build a solution-focused discourse of hope and let it spread.  


Engagement is making your team feel attached, involved with the ability to concentrate on activities. It is all about establishing strength-based goal setting and leadership practices. Ensure that your team members have regular opportunities to identify the projects and goals that they are working on that build on their strengths and interests.

Fostering Relationships

As a leader, you should let your team feel connected, supported and cared about. Establish an ethos of holding “active meetings” that provide intentional opportunities for the staff members to connect and interact with each other. Take time to acknowledge and appreciate how positive relationships and collaborations have occurred. Constantly ask “How can I be of your support?”

Creating Meaning

Finding meaning is about feeling valued and connected to something greater than self. Establish clear unit priorities and goals. Provide regular opportunities for your team members to reflect on. Let them ask themselves, what difference are they making and the significance of that difference.

Celebrating  Achievements

Finally, the fifth PERMA model element is accomplishments. We all take pride in something we’ve done or accomplished. It is these accomplishments that strengthen our self-esteem and our confidence that we are worth something. When we achieve something, we feel good and want to do more and become more. Document and give voice to accomplishments by sending emails to acknowledge and explicitly name where and how success has occurred. Take a coach-approach to leadership that helps others develop solutions on their own.

When the PERMA Model is followed, there are higher chances of creating a happy workforce, which easily translates to a happy and productive workplace. Whether it is used by an individual as a tool for self-development or stress management or by a company to foster a positive working environment, the important thing is that each person’s contribution is acknowledged.


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