The Importance of Social Well-Being to Law Enforcement

As derived from the GALLUP/Healthways Well-Being 5 framework, social well-being, the second of the five factors of well-being, refers to having strong and valuable relationships in one’s life. Individuals with ample social well-being tend to surround themselves with those that promote a healthy lifestyle and encourage respect, growth, and happiness. According to GALLUP’s research, individuals with substantial social well-being tend to consistently have more energy in the work place and have stronger social networks, which contributes to greater success in the other four categories of well-being.

For law enforcement officers, this idea of social well-being does not have to be restricted to off-duty; maintaining positive relationships while on-duty is an equally important element to social well-being. GALLUP reported that having a best friend at work makes a person seven times as likely to be more engaged and productive during work hours, less likely to be injured on the job, and have higher well-being. When trying to build better workplace relationships it is important to be honest, listen diligently, provide backup when needed, and interact with those that you work with outside of your shift.

However, it is equally as important to sustain a work-life balance because working long hours can increase stress levels and impact overall health. Personal relationships, including spouses and family members, have a large impact on social well-being, and overworking and not spending adequate time with loved ones can hinder social well-being.  Recent studies suggest that as many as 1 in 4 employees suffer from imbalance between work and family. But when an individual enhances his/her work-time flexibility and management strategies, there is an increase in both work efficiency and family time.

It is the IACP’s position that no injury to or death of a law enforcement professional is acceptable. The IACP Center for Officer Safety and Wellness strives to improve awareness on all aspects of officer safety, health, and wellness. Please feel free to contact the Center at officersafety@theiacp.org and let us know what well-being means to you.

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