In this Wellspace blog, we are going to look at the five universal elements of wellbeing and outline how they relate to the success of your business.

Prioritising employee wellbeing can work wonders for your business. Decreasing absenteeism and staff turnover whilst improving employee productivity and motivation.

The question is, does your business support the five elements of wellbeing amongst its team members? Or is employee wellbeing at the bottom of your to-do list?

What Are The Five Elements Of Wellbeing?

Back in the 1960s, an American analytics and advisory company named Gallup carried out a comprehensive study spanning 150 countries.

This study aimed to better understand wellbeing around the world by asking hundreds of questions about health, wealth, relationships, jobs, and communities. The results of the study led to the introduction of five universal “wellbeing elements”.

These five elements were explored further in the popular 2010 book ‘Well Being: The Five Essential Elements’ by Tom Rath and Jim Harter PhD. They include:

  • Career Wellbeing
  • Social Wellbeing
  • Financial Wellbeing
  • Physical Wellbeing
  • Community Wellbeing

According to the book, we have control over each of these elements, meaning we have the power to improve our wellbeing. In order to live a happy, healthy and purposeful life, we should all aim to prioritise these five elements.

Career Wellbeing: What Is It And How Does It Relate To Employee Wellbeing?

Career wellbeing focuses on how happy we are in our jobs. Are we doing something that we love every day? Is it worthwhile? Does it satisfy us?

When it comes to employee wellbeing, this element is arguably the most important. As an employer, you can have a direct impact on the career wellbeing of your employees.

Do you believe your employees are fulfilled in their careers? Or could your business be doing more to help them achieve career wellbeing?

High staff turnover, high levels of absenteeism and low employee productivity are all signs that your employees may not be entirely happy within your company.

How Can I Help Employees Priorities Career Wellbeing?

Before you can help your employees, you must first gain an understanding of what it is they are looking for. The best way to do this is via a wellbeing study.

Have a chat with your employees, either in a 1 to 1 setting or in small focus groups. Ask them to be open and honest about the aspects of the job they like and dislike. Talk about what goals they have for their future career. And ask for honest feedback on which elements of the company could be improved. Once you better understand the desires of your team, you can implement changes to improve career wellbeing.

For example, you may find that some of your employees want to improve their skillset or switch up their roles within the company. Providing training or creating clear paths of progression are often effective ways to help employees fulfil their career wellbeing goals.

Social Wellbeing: What Is It And How Does It Relate To Employee Wellbeing?

Social wellbeing focuses on the strong relationships and love we have (or lack) in our lives. Unfortunately, our careers can often negatively impact our ability to maintain strong relationships with those we love.

Despite the evidence that working long hours can be damaging to our health, many of us still struggle to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Especially if we have a particularly demanding job.

If your employees are working overtime, or are struggling to cope with their workload, this will have an impact on their personal life.

Work-related stress and a negative work-life balance can directly affect the relationship an employee has with those close to them. Including their family members, partners and friends.

social wellbeing

How Can I Help Employees Prioritise Social Wellbeing?

Are you employees suffering from work-related stress? Are they working overtime to meet the demands of their role? Is the workload asking too much of them?

The rise of “working from home” has reduced the commute time for millions of workers, effectively giving them more time to spend with their loved ones. However, it has also made it harder for employees to disconnect from work.

As an employer, you should go above and beyond to ensure that your team have a work-life balance. This may be achieved through flexible working hours, hybrid home/office working and increased team collaboration on particularly demanding projects.

Financial Wellbeing: What Is It And How Does It Relate To Employee Wellbeing?

Financial wellbeing relates to how effectively we manage our economic lives. When an individual is struggling financially, it can impact every area of their lives, from their mental wellbeing to their relationships and career.

If an employee is struggling with financial stress, you may notice a significant decline in their quality of work. They may be less productive and engaged in the workplace.

How Can I Help Employees Prioritise Financial Wellbeing?

As an employer, you should at the very least provide your employees with a fair wage. Offering benefits, such as child care benefits or student loan repayment plans may help ease the financial struggles of their employees.

Also, providing training to educate your employees on how to understand their financial choices can be beneficial.

Physical Wellbeing: What Is It And How Does It Relate To Employee Wellbeing?

Physical wellbeing is exactly what it says on the tin – having good physical health to be able to live a fulfilled life. As an employer, prioritising both the mental and physical health of your team is essential.

It will result in decreased costs related to health and presenteeism, number of employee absences and length of time employees are away from work. It will also reduce the cost of sick pay.

How Can I Help Employees Prioritise Physical Wellbeing?

Using an employee wellbeing app tailored to the needs of your team is an excellent way to help your employees improve their overall wellbeing.

The Wellspace App, for example, enables employees to monitor their activity, mental health and sleep pattern. It also provides a vast range of information and tips on how to improve physical and mental health.

You could also launch a Cycle To Work Scheme or sign your team up for an Adult Martial Art Class (Let some steam off) or a charity event, such as Race For Life or Tough Mudder to encourage them to train regularly.

Community Wellbeing: What Is It And How Does It Relate To Employee Wellbeing?

Community wellbeing relates to the sense of engagement we have with our local community and the area in which we live.

Do we feel like we belong in our community? Is there a sense of pride when it comes to our local area? Do we have a positive relationship with those outside of our immediate circle?

Your employees may likely live in different areas, so helping them achieve community wellbeing can be challenging. But that’s not to say it is impossible.

How Do I Help Employees Prioritise Community Wellbeing?

Community wellbeing is often linked to volunteering. Perhaps start an initiative that provides employees with paid time off to volunteer within their local community.

Alternatively, you could focus on creating a healthy and harmonious community within your company.

Fostering a sense of community can help your team feel rooted whilst giving them a sense of belonging. If an employee feels like they are a part of something positive, they are less likely to look elsewhere for work.

Get In Touch

Have questions about the five elements of employee wellbeing? Our expert team is on hand to help. You can call us on 0808 178 0748 or email us at

Wellspace is revolutionising workplace wellbeing with our integrated workplace wellbeing solution, which includes a secure app and integrated online portal, along with expert workshops and events.