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Social wellbeing includes the extent to which we experience positive relationships and connectedness to others.

This includes relationships both in and beyond the workplace. It encompasses the quality and availability of an individual’s social capital and is important for pro-social behaviour, trust, and empathy towards others.

What is a quality relationship?

The term ‘quality’ in a relationship can mean something different to everyone. Typically, a quality relationship is based upon respect, trust, good communication, shared interests, understanding, equality, honesty, and support.

What is a quality relationship?

Social capital signifies the benefits generated from our social connections. Social capital can occur at the individual level or at the collective level. There are four proposed indicators of social capital, including personal relationships, social network support, civic engagement, and trust and cooperative norms.

Read more about social capital in schools here.

Did you know?

It is normal to have ups and downs in your relationships. It is how we reflect, respond and grow that matters the most.

Where can I start?

Build your professional social capital

Building social capital can entail both small and big things that we do every day. Try to:

  • get involved with your collegiate network
  • set up one or two fortnightly “check-in” phone calls with a couple of peers
  • take the opportunity to attend an event and network with peers
  • show your appreciation by acknowledging what others do for you.
Keep in touch with family and friends

In addition to building your social capital, it is important to put effort into maintaining your relationships with friends and family. Try to:

  • prioritise your time to ensure you keep in touch with friends and family
  • get in touch with people you may not have spoken to for a while
  • tell your friends and family how much they mean to you.
Understand how to develop and build trust

How we build and maintain trust in our relationships will influence their success. Remember to:

  • do what you say you will do
  • be honest and transparent
  • admit when you are wrong
  • keep private information private.


More information here.

Develop quality relationships

Connecting with others is extremely important to our happiness, life satisfaction and health.  Try to:

  • make new connections everyday
  • communicate face-to-face rather than by the phone, email or social media
  • learn a new skill or hobby by joining a group.

For more information

Resource Name Source Summary
Relationships Australia (NT) Relationships Australia Relationship services and resources available for Northern Territory.
The secret to living longer may be your social life TED by Susan Pinker The emphasis on close personal relationships and face-to-face interactions seems to be the difference for longevity.
Building healthy relationships Health Direct, Australian Government Information on building healthy relationships and links to various services to assist you.
Your network is your net worth: 7 ways to build social capital Forbes, by Bonnie Marcus Article outlining seven strategies for building your social capital to support your career.

What to look out for

Putting the needs of others first

Always putting the needs of others before yourself

Relationships need to be built on balanced effort, that is, the relationship is mutually beneficial to both parties.

Focusing on just personal instead of professional capital

Focusing on building only your personal or professional social capital

Building our social capital is just as important in our personal lives as it is in our professional lives, remember to take the time to develop both.


  1. Office for National Statistics (2014). Measuring Social Capital. Retrieved on 16th October, 2017, from
  2. Viswesvaran, C., Sanchez, J. I., & Fisher, J. (1999). The role of social support in the process of work stress: A meta-analysis. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 54, 314-334.
  3. Helliwell, J. F., & Putnam, R. D. (2004). The social context of well-being. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 359, 1435-1446.
  4. Brown, S. L., Nesse, R. M., Vinokur, A. D., & Smith, D. M. (2003). Providing social support may be more beneficial than receiving it: Results from a prospective study of mortality. Psychological Science, 14, 321-327.
  5. Post, S. G. (2005). Altruism, happiness, and health: It’s good to be good. International Journal or Behavioral Medicine, 12, 66-77.