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Enhancing Employee Happiness & Presence with the Four Pillars of Wellbeing

Sinead Murphy Jun 26, 2024 1:28:51 PM
Enhancing Employee Happiness & Presence with the Four Pillars of Wellbeing

The CIPD Health and Wellbeing at Work report highlights a worrying trend in rising absenteeism amongst UK employees. According to the report, the average rate of employee absence has risen from 5.8 days per employee in 2019 to 7.8 days in 2023; its highest in over a decade.  

In contrast, many employees are continuing to work through injury and illness because they cannot afford to take time off work. A survey carried out by National Accident Helpline on 2000 British workers found that over a third (37%) worked through pain and illness in 2023 - further exacerbating short and long-term absence rates.  

This increase in absenteeism shows the crucial need for comprehensive wellbeing strategies in the workplace. By focussing on the Four Pillars of Wellbeing (Mental, Physical, Financial, and Community) employers can create happier, more engaged workforces who are both physically and mentally present.  


Mental Wellbeing 

In a survey of 6.5 million employees, 63% were found to have taken long-term leave because of poor mental health. This is because the pressures of modern life (including relationship issues, financial worries, workload, bereavement, and more) can lead to stress, burnout, and ultimately absenteeism if not properly addressed.  

When workers are unable to access the right support for their issues at the right time, employers pay an annual price of around £51billion for mental health-related absences.  

To support mental wellbeing in your workplace, you can:  

  • Make a range of mental health resources available, including Employee Assistance Programmes, counselling services, and stress management workshops 
  • Offer a blend of preventative care and in-the-moment support, helping to build long term-resilience while ensuring help is available at the point of need  


Physical Wellbeing  

A healthy body supports a healthy mind and, when your workforce is physically fit, absenteeism caused by illness and injuries can be reduced.   

However, with 45% of workers reporting symptoms such as neck pain and repetitive strain injuries, musculoskeletal issues are one of the top causes of both short and long-term work absence in the UK. 

To support physical wellbeing in your workplace, you can:  

  • Introduce benefits that promote movement such as Vivup’s Gym Membership benefit, enabling staff to save and spread the cost at over 3,000 gyms, health clubs, and yoga studios across the UK  
  • Make regular health screenings part of your wellbeing package 
  • Help your people work safely and comfortably by allocating a budget to create ergonomic workstations  
  • Introduce a comprehensive and accessible wellbeing platform such as Your Care, which provides assessments and goals for the leading lifestyle-related illnesses  


Financial Wellbeing 

When staff are financially stressed, they take an average of 15.5 days off work per year and are almost 2.5 times more likely to search for a new job. But it’s not just attendance and retention that takes a hit; money worries can also have a huge impact on productivity - even if your people are physically present at work.  

In fact, 49% of employees who are distracted by financial stress may spend over three working hours each week thinking about or dealing with issues related to their finances, and up to 19.5 days distracted from work each year.   

To support financial wellbeing in your workplace, you can:  

  • Enhance financial education by providing resources and workshops on financial planning, debt management, and savings  
  • Provide a competitive benefits package that helps staff save and spread the cost on essential items, utilities, holidays, childcare, and more  


Community Wellbeing 

Creating a supportive and inclusive environment where employees feel connected is vital to an organisation’s success. When employees feel like they belong, businesses may benefit from a 56% improvement in job performance, 50% lower turnover risk, and 75% fewer sick days. 

To support community wellbeing in your workplace, you can:  

  • Encourage a culture of continuous appreciation with a reward and recognition platform like Vivup highfive, which makes it easy for staff to acknowledge their colleague’s hard work, achievements, and milestones  
  • Create volunteering opportunities for your staff to give back to the causes they care about  
  • Schedule regular in-person social events for staff to connect outside of the workplace. This can be especially important for fostering a sense of community in remote or hybrid workplaces    


By investing in a comprehensive wellbeing strategy that integrates the Four Pillars of Wellbeing, employers can not only tackle the rising issue of absenteeism but also create a more resilient and thriving workplace where people show up in mind, body, and spirit – every single day.  

To discover how we can help your organisation imbed mental, physical, financial, and community wellbeing into your core values through our expert employee benefits, get in touch with our friendly team today. 



Sick Leave: Poor Mental Health Found to be Leading Cause of Long-Term Absence at Work - Employment Law Review 

Mental health and employers: The case for employers to invest in supporting working parents and a mentally health workplace | Deloitte UK 

Health and wellbeing at work | CIPD 

The link between employee resignation and financial wellbeing - Mintago 

The Real Costs of Employee Financial Stress—and How Employers Can Help - The Parks Group | Morgan Stanley 

Why Feeling A Sense Of Belonging At Work Matters And How To Cultivate It ( 



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