welcome to the wellbeing zone

The Wellbeing Zone is committed to Engage For Success' Vision: by 2025 all members of the UK working population are healthy, happy, and able to realise their potential. They are supported by their employers, are motivated and committed to contribute to organisational success and understand the part they have to play.  

Wellbeing is clearly at the heart of EFS’s recommended definition of employee engagement:

Employee engagement is a workplace approach designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of wellbeing.

We consider the World Health Organisation (WHO) definition of mental health to be a useful definition of overall employee wellbeing:

“A state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to her or his community” - World Health Organisation definition of mental health.

The Wellbeing Zone is a practical resource, which can be used by HR practitioners, leaders, managers, consultants and employees.

who is this zone for?

Wellbeing and employee engagement is important for all organisations, regardless of size, sector or location. It matters to those who lead them, those who work in them and those invest in the organisation’s success.
Its importance and its relevance will continue to grow as we move further into the 21st century where the workplace will often consist of five generations and the lines between work and home life blur even more than they do today.

If someone is happy, healthy, and engaged at work, or indeed if they are the opposite, this impacts upon their home life as well as their work life. Family, friends, and the wider community in which they live and work are all impacted by, and have an influence on, a person’s wellbeing and their engagement.

The primary audiences for the Wellbeing Zone are those who we feel can and should make the greatest difference to employees’ wellbeing and engagement – business leaders, specialists and advisors, whether in-house or consulting, and managers.

We recognise though that individuals through their own behaviour, along with that of colleagues, also play a key part in improving and sustaining wellbeing. An organisation cannot deliver the wellbeing agenda alone, but it can install a supportive culture and adopt behaviours that will help create the ‘virtuous circle’ that will drive improvements in employee wellbeing.

If you are a Chief Executive, Chair, non-executive director, or senior leader in an organisation, you need to be prepared for how trends in the workplace will affect your people and your organisation, not just right now, but in the years and decades to come. We believe that many of the trends predicted to affect the UK workplace have the potential to make a big difference to employee wellbeing and engagement – in both a positive and negative way. This Zone aims to help you prepare to support and improve wellbeing and engagement in your organisation in the future, considering what society, people and the workplace is likely to be like.

You might be a HR professional, wellbeing or engagement specialist or advisoror perhaps you work in occupational health, internal communications, or business change. You may be a passionate role model or champion for engagement and wellbeing in your organisation, whatever role you currently play we hope that the resources in this Zone will help you influence your senior leaders or clients to put wellbeing and engagement high up on their agenda. Our aim is that with these resources you can guide others to consider what is likely to impact wellbeing and engagement in the future, to understand what they need to do, and to learn from how other organisations are approaching the same challenges and opportunities. We see the Wellbeing Zone as being a key part of your practitioner toolkit.

If you are a manager, whether managing just one or two people or managing large departments, you are critical to driving the change that is needed in organisations. Wellbeing and engagement aren’t driven just from the top. In your role as a manager, you have responsibility for supporting your employees’ wellbeing and inspiring their commitment to the organisation. You have the ability to influence up, down and across the organisation to ensure that wellbeing and engagement are taken seriously, and that efforts to improve them are implemented successfully. This Zone and its resources will help you spot the potential challenges and opportunities for wellbeing and engagement, both for your organisation and your team. It will provide you with ideas from other organisations which you can learn from and potentially implement yourself.

what will i find in this zone?

The Wellbeing Zone is a practical guide to the key trends likely to affect the UK’s organisations and working population in 2025, and to what the impact could be on wellbeing and engagement.
Trends may impact upon wellbeing and engagement, and we provide examples of how organisations of all sizes, shapes and sectors are preparing for these trends, and pose a number of questions that we believe leaders, practitioners and managers in organisations should be asking themselves, and trying to answer. It won’t be easy – we are trying to predict the future after all – but it’s clear to us that wellbeing and engagement will become even more important in the future, and that organisations will be more successful if they prepare for this.

This Zone is designed to be practical and easy to ‘dip in to’ and explore in your own way. We recognise that you may have limited time and will want to find the information you need in an instant. We have set out the key trends which we believe will affect wellbeing and engagement in the future, and for each of these we have identified a number of sub-trends. Dip in to any of these and you will be able to learn about:

  • the trend and how it will affect the workplace and workforce of the future
  • the links between this trend and wellbeing and engagement
  • examples and case studies of organisations who have prepared for these trends
  • critical questions that you should ask yourself or your leaders about your organisation’s preparedness for these
  • Further links to other resources

We have created this Zone to shine a light on the insights from the various reports and resources available today, summarising what’s relevant to wellbeing and engagement and helping you on your journey to supporting and improving this in your organisation, now and in the future.

Our aim is to maintain this as a ‘living’ Zone, keeping it updated as new evidence and examples come to light, and using it to spark debate in the UK about how organisations can and should prepare for the future and specifically how this will impact upon employee wellbeing and engagement.

why is wellbeing and engagement important?

Prior EFS research has found evidence of a strong correlation between high employee wellbeing and high employee engagement. Neither ‘leads’ the other – in fact, we see high employee engagement contributing to high employee wellbeing, and vice versa. They form a ‘virtuous circle’, mutually reinforcing each other. Academic research also supports the links between wellbeing, engagement and organisational productivity/performance. As an example, Brunetto et al (2012) stated that “work engagement is associated with higher levels of psychological wellbeing”.

The wellbeing agenda has risen in profile over the years as the health and safety remit has grown in line with our understanding of wellbeing and engagement. ACAS believe “whilst physical health and safety in the workplace remains a paramount concern, more recently there has been a growing recognition of the importance of psychosocial issues, with a focus on both the psychological and social elements of work”. Year on year progress is being made as reported through independent reviews. Business in the Community (BiTC) found in a 2014 report on FTSE companies that there were improvements in “better work”, “better physical and psychological health” and “working well” from 2013 to 2014.

Read more about the evidence for improving engagement and wellbeing.

The world and the world of work is changing at a rapid pace. Research into the future of work shows that wellbeing will be a key aspect of how the workplace develops and an opportunity (or challenge) for organisations and individuals alike as the future of work develops.

The UK Commission for employment and skills (UKCES) state that it is not possible to predict the future, comparing the common belief 20 years ago that the future UK labour market would work radically reduced hours and have increased leisure time, with the reality that in 2014 ‘mobile is set to overtake desktop to access the Internet, and work and leisure hours have become blurred by our increasingly ‘mobile’ lives. Jobs are being done on the move, at any time of day, in almost any location.”

UKCES predict that “The global labour market in 2030 is likely to be highly competitive. New attitudes and behaviours will be needed by individuals and businesses founded on flexibility, resilience, collaboration, entrepreneurism and creativity. Above all, the ability to respond to continuous change will be critical.”

In summary, EFS believes that for organisations to successfully improve employee engagement and wellbeing, they need to consider how future trends and the future world of work will affect their organisation and their employees in 10, 20 or 30 years. It is not enough to implement engagement and wellbeing initiatives for now – organisations need to be focused on future-proofing themselves and their people if they are to ensure a happy, healthy and engaged workforce in years to come.

WELLBEING definitions

We understand that one of the initial challenges when employers begin to make a commitment to employee wellbeing is how we define what wellbeing actually is. Bringing together our founding members expert knowledge and experience, we have created a set of definitions based on the four areas of wellbeing as set out by the World Economic Forum with the addition of digital wellbeing. We believe it is important to ‘speak’ to both employees and employers hence the separate definitions under each area.

  • Physical wellbeing

  • mental wellbeing

  • Social wellbeing

  • Financial wellbeing

  • digital wellbeing

employee role

When employees are physically well and thriving, they move regularly and manage their energy by taking care of their nutrition, rest and sleep. They understand the importance of physical wellness on their overall wellbeing and take care of their whole body to ensure their performance and long-term health is maintained.

organisational role

We give people the flexibility to work in a way that suits them and provide the space needed to work well as a team or individually. We enable people to manage their energy, fitness and recovery through reasonable workloads, healthy working practices, time for rest and professional support.


These resources aim to help you understand the key trends likely to affect the UK’s organisations and working population in 2025, the potential impact of these on wellbeing and engagement, and how your organisation can prepare.

wellbeing REPORTS

The following reports have been produced by our Wellbeing TAG

This special Wellbeing TAG report follows the global Coronavirus pandemic. The report aims to summarise the challenges employers will face over the coming years and through the collective experience and thought leadership, share our advice and recommendations. Learn More...

The Wellbeing and Engagement: the Evidence white paper showed that engaged employees with high wellbeing are 35% more attached to their organisation than those with lower wellbeing; and we know that higher employee engagement correlates with greater productivity. Learn More...

In preparation for the launch of the Engage for Success movement back in 2012, a Wellbeing subgroup was formed and produced this document called “Sustaining Employee Engagement and Performance – Why Wellbeing Matters”. This outlined the evidence for the links between employee engagement and employee well-being (both physical and psychological). Learn More...

case studies

explore our case studies

wellbeing content

from the efs blog

Page [tcb_pagination_current_page] of [tcb_pagination_total_pages]

Page [tcb_pagination_current_page] of [tcb_pagination_total_pages]

wellbeing episodes

Page [tcb_pagination_current_page] of [tcb_pagination_total_pages]

Page [tcb_pagination_current_page] of [tcb_pagination_total_pages]

To find out more, or get involved, please contact us at: info@engageforsuccess.org ref: Wellbeing Thought and Action Group.

Subscribe to THE EFS newsletter

Sign up to get the latest news, events, podcasts and more!