SCIENTIFIC WELLNESS MEASUREMENT THROUGH RESILIENCE
Wellness measurement is critical to gain insightful knowledge to successfully help staff to thrive within organisations. It clarifies the starting point, identifies priorities and informs goals for action.
Ongoing evaluation is what tracks progress and creates a data set for benefits tracking. All critical factors for the success of a wellness program. But if measurement is so critical, why do so few organisations deploy robust analysis methods alongside wellness initiatives?
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Challenges to measurement
Here are some of the most common reasons for measurement error:
Survey fatigue – Current wellness measurement tools tend to use long questionnaires, some with over 100 questions! Most larger organisations already regularly use surveys for other aspects of the business, so another long survey results in low participation rates as people simply do not have time.
Uninsightful – When measuring staff resilience in particular, there are surprisingly few measurement tools that are directly suited for adult professionals. Instead the focus is usually children, mental health patients, elderly, or veterans. This results in insights that are often not designed to be used in a corporate environment and don’t lead to meaningful action.
Lack of validation – Given the difficulty of finding a measurement tool that actually suits the corporate environment, many businesses resort to developing their own surveys or using surveys that have not been scientifically validated. This produces unreliable perceptions that may misdirect effort, leading to a waste of time and money.
Measuring what is actionable
Before looking at ways to address these challenges, there is a larger question to consider – what is actually useful to measure? Many assessments may seem useful at the outset, but later lead to fruitless conclusions. This includes measuring how much someone enjoyed a wellness initiative, or how positive or satisfied they are.
Those quick surveys handed out at the end of a seminar invariably result in positive ratings. People dislike confrontation, so those who didn’t enjoy it usually just don’t fill in a survey, while the rest usually give a ‘high’ or ‘very high’ enjoyment rating out of politeness. The result? High ratings overall and leaders expressing how “everyone loved it”. But these transient measurements do not provide any insight into whether the event actually led to any real change or long-term improvement.
Meanwhile, focusing on aspects such as happiness, satisfaction or positivity brings another challenge – these are the outcomes of wellness that we want to achieve, but they don’t give direct vision into what should be done if scores come in low. The evaluations may be interesting, but they’re not useful and don’t direct effort meaningfully. What is needed instead is measurement that looks into the causal elements that lead to improvement in wellness. In other words, measuring what is useful to the person and the organisation.
Resilience is how people achieve wellness
Deeply held attitudes, beliefs and behaviours are the factors that enable wellness. These factors can be changed, learned and enhanced, and in fact, are the construct of personal resilience. By measuring these resilience factors, we can find insights that are useful because measurement directs effort to build improvable skills that in turn lead to greater wellness.
Resilience is often mistaken simply as the ability to bounce back, but actually entails so much more. There are two key themes that are not immediately evident from the usual resilience definitions. One is that resilience is not just reactive, but is also, crucially, proactive, meaning managing risk in advance, learning from the experience of others and actively preventing personal disruptions. Second is that resilience is not just about coming back to where you were before, but instead using each setback as an opportunity to advance towards a larger goal and purpose.
The result of this more complete concept of resilience as a set of factors that is fundamental to achieve wellness. These are the factors that we need to measure within organisations to be able to meaningfully help people to increase their own wellness.
Scientifically measuring resilience
These were the challenges and questions that drove us to develop a new resilience measurement scale. Through over a year of design and scientific validation, we developed the Predictive 6 Factor Resilience Scale (PR6). The PR6 is designed with the following in mind:
Get meaningful insights that are directly applicable to organisations and direct action towards improvable skills.
Ongoing evaluation – Longitudinally track progress and benefits.
Based on neuroscience – The PR6 identifies six different factors, or ‘domains’ of resilience along with the neurobiological foundations of each domain. Exploring the neuroscience of these resilience domains provides insight into more effective ways to enhance resilience, and in effect, wellness. The domains cover goal setting and purpose, emotional regulation and composure, problem solving and change readiness, persistence and tenacity, collaboration and social connection, and physiological health (interestingly, none of the major existing resilience measurement tools included health as a component)
Predictive – The PR6 also includes a forward-looking component by measuring psychological approach and avoidance schemas which are predictive of future resilience.
Fast to use – The questionnaire takes little time with only 16 questions – around 3 minutes to complete.
We have previously completed studies on use of the PR6 and published two research papers in the International Journal of Neuropsychotherapy. This confirmed the PR6 as a valid psychometric scale and has since been adopted by many psychologists as an insightful way to measure resilience and wellness. In the study we also validated that health is in fact a component of resilience and discuss the neurobiological mechanism through which this may operate.
The PR6 is available, ready, and already being used in organisations to provide meaningful and useful insights. Depending on needs, there are a few different ways of using the PR6:
Businesses – If you want to understand the wellness of your employees, the PR6 is available for easy deployment through our AI-powered platform. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more.
Practitioners – If you need to measure and track progress of psychological assistance, the PR6 is available for use to psychologists and clinicians. You can read more about it here: https://home.hellodriven.com/research/pr6-model/
Certification – If you’re interested in becoming a certified resilience coach, we have an online course available. Contact us at email@example.com for information.
All the best!