Managing Wellbeing at work

April is Stress Awareness Month! According to CIPD, stress is a major cause of long-term absence from work – so we’ve decided to investigate workplace wellbeing.

Wellbeing and Stress

What is workplace wellbeing and stress?

Workplace wellbeing is based on how employees feel, and how employees feel impacts how your businesses perform. According to Indeed’s Work Wellbeing 2023 Report:

  • Only 23% of the workforce are reporting high wellbeing at work.
  • 77% of the workforce is reporting low to moderate wellbeing at work.
Why is this Important

What does this mean for businesses and employees?

High employee wellbeing means that employees believe their employer cares about the wellbeing of the workforce.

These employees are typically less likely to be actively searching for a new role, they tend to be more satisfied with their career, and are more likely to have a longer tenure with their company compared to employees that report low wellbeing in their place of work. So, employee wellbeing and employee retention often go hand-in-hand!

Employees who report low wellbeing in the workplace are likely to have higher levels of work-related stress, are less likely to feel energised in their work tasks, and are more likely to be actively searching for a new role elsewhere.

CIPD reports that stress is a major cause of long-term absence from work.

When employees move on, it costs approximately 20% of the employee’s salary to replace them! Therefore, it is important to get employee wellbeing right in order to retain the workforce

Wellbeing pillars

What are the 4 pillars of employee wellbeing?

The 4 Pillars of Employee Wellbeing theory suggests that employee performance is directly linked to wellbeing factors that fall within mental, physical, social, and financial categories. These are seen as the four key pillars that form wellbeing.


What are the 6 pillars of employee wellbeing?

The 6 Pillars of Employee Wellbeing theory suggests that financial security, job security, health, support, protection and work-life balance are wellbeing factors that are directly linked to driving employee performance in the workplace. This is a more in-depth and extended version of The 4 Pillars of Employee Wellbeing theory.

Calculating Wellbeing

How do we Measure Workplace Wellbeing?

The Oxford Wellbeing Research Centre and the OECD measure employee wellbeing by looking at happiness, purpose, stress, and satisfaction.

They also look at influencers on wellbeing, including foundational, social, and growth needs.

A survey conducted as part of the Indeed Work Wellbeing Report found that feeling energised, and feeling like you have a sense of belonging have the greatest impact on how employees feel in the workplace.

However, 51% of the workforce say they do not feel energised, and 46% of the workforce don’t feel a sense of belonging at work.

A higher work wellbeing score has been linked to many things, including higher levels of productivity, better health and fewer sick days, better relationships inside of the workplace, higher levels of retention, and easier recruitment prospects when it comes to bringing in new talent.

  • 86% of people with high workplace wellbeing believe they will stay with their employer for the next year.
  • 46% of people with low workplace wellbeing believe they will stay with their employer for the next year.

When people were asked the reasons why they are considering leaving their place of work:

  • 34% of people believe they are not paid fairly for their work.
  • 20% said they feel stressed at work most of the time.
  • 18% said overall, they are not satisfied with their job.
  • 16% do not feel energised in most of their work tasks.
  • 16% do not feel happy at work most of the time.

Workplace wellbeing expectations from businesses during the cost-of-living crisis:

Workplace wellbeing expectations are rising particularly faster among younger generations.

45% of people report their work wellbeing expectations are higher than they were just one year ago. This has been particularly prevalent with people under the age of 40, especially since the Covid19 pandemic.

With the cost-of-living crisis expecting us all, it’s easy for some businesses to feel pressure to spend more on wellbeing when they might not have the budget to do so. Particularly with 66% of respondents believing that CEOs, HR, and top managers have the most impact on an individual’s wellbeing at work.

Wellbeing at work

Improving Wellbeing in the Workplace

Although some might value financial wellbeing perks, prioritising wellbeing doesn’t have to be expensive and costly.

Building a workplace culture of wellbeing is arguably the best way to promote employee wellbeing, creating a mentally positive workforce.


There are many ways that you can implement this:

  • Measure employee wellbeing – This could be done by anonymous questionnaires to check on employee mental health. Anonymised activities are more likely to provide reliable results.
  • Prioritise – create a people-first culture. Although profit is what drives businesses to grow and develop, research has shown that businesses with high levels of employee wellbeing are more likely to be profitable. Therefore, if you look after your employees, they’re more likely to look after your business.
  • Connect employee wellbeing to happiness and business success – Many businesses might analyse profit and loss alone during quarterly or end-of-year reports. However, including employee wellbeing and feelings towards the business and their role in end-of-year reports allows you a holistic view of the business’s success.
  • Ensure senior leadership understands day-to-day employee struggles – It’s always important to be mindful of when other employees might be struggling with their workload or feel burnt out. Show you understand by conducting regular check-ins to understand what their capacity is like, as well as anything they might be struggling with.


  • Set wellbeing goals – Implement measurable goals within your business strategy to help improve wellbeing or reduce stress levels within the workforce.
  • Experiment with wellbeing practises – You might want to consider experimenting with wellbeing practises, providing healthy snacks, a wellness room on-site gym, offering discounted mental and physical health perks as an employee benefit, or trailing a bring your dog to work day are all common wellbeing practices – while not everything will be appropriate for your business, you might be able to find something that is!
  • Listen to employee feedback and adapt – Providing opportunities for feedback such as questionnaires or focus groups. Providing the option for anonymity helps to increase the honesty of answers.
  • Promote healthy work-life balance – Promoting a healthy work-life balance through encouraging employees to ensure they book all of their annual leave, offering hybrid working where possible, showing appreciation for people who have gone the extra mile, and encouraging employees to take their lunch breaks. According to research, more than a third of employees sit at their desk, or work through their lunch break!
Things for Managers to Consider

What are people looking for from their managers in order to feel supported?

According to Indeed’s Work Wellbeing 2023 Report:

  • 48% want to receive enough support from their manager in difficult situations.
  • 44% want to feel heard by their manager.
  • 38% want not to be micromanaged.
  • 34% want their managers to understand what their employees need to be successful in their role.
  • 31% want to have conversations about their growth and development.
  • 28% want to feel that feedback to their manager is welcomed.
  • 23% want regular meetings with their manager.
What's Instore for the Future?

The future of workplace wellbeing

Less than half (43%) of companies are measuring wellbeing in some form, which means the majority of businesses are not measuring it at all.

However, research shows that businesses are looking to push more mental wellbeing and financial support benefits into employers’ benefits packages going forward – so if you’re looking to retain your workforce and attract new talent, it might be a good idea to get ahead and start looking at wellbeing now.