Five Ways to Wellbeing

There are a wide range of approaches to making great places to work that positively contribute to people’s health and happiness – from flexible working to changes to work culture, the physical design of workplaces and opportunities to learn and progress.

One route that organisations can take is to improve understanding and knowledge about happiness and wellbeing among employees.

Support employees to look after their wellbeing

We have developed a half-day workshop to encourage employees and teams to think about how they can build more of the Five Ways to Wellbeing into their day-to-day working lives:


Understand cutting edge science on resilience, happiness and wellbeing

The aim of these sessions is to create the space for employees to learn about their own wellbeing and share ideas with colleagues.  These interactive sessions have been tailored to a workplace context to identify actions employees can take, individually and collectively, to improve happiness and wellbeing at work.

At the end of these sessions, those who have taken part are able to:

  • Reflect on the Five Ways to Wellbeing in their own lives.
  • Understand what the science says about how and when the changes we make go the distance.
  • Develop ideas for improving happiness and wellbeing in the workplace.
  • Identifying barriers and opportunities to increasing Five Ways to Wellbeing activities
  • Develop action plans that specify the individual, collective and organisational changes that will contribute to happier working lives.

Make the Five Ways to Wellbeing visible in your workplace

We all want to be happy but we are not always good at predicting what will bring us lasting wellbeing. Help your employees by reminding them of the activities that matter.

We have produced a set of postcards featuring each of the Five Ways, which are used in all sorts of work places and living spaces – university forecourts, bus shelters, high streets, festivals, doctors’ surgeries! They have inspired videos, animations, posters, books and larger-than-life puppets. They have been used strategically to inform HR processes, activities in the community and the design of physical spaces.

The background to the Five Ways to Wellbeing

Between July 2006 and October 2008 the UK government’s futures think-tank, Foresight, commissioned over 400 experts in psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, education, and economics from across the world to review current knowledge on mental health and wellbeing. What became clear is that some of our happiness is determined by:

  • Our circumstances (where we are)
  • Our personal resources (who we are)
  • The activities where we focus our energy (what we do).

Towards the end of this process, Foresight commissioned New Economics Foundation to look at the evidence and identify the daily activities that support people to live their lives in a happier way.

The resulting actions – ConnectBe ActiveTake NoticeKeep Learning and Give – are sure ways to look after our wellbeing.


Training Programme
Strategic overviews for leaders and practical training for teams.

We offer tailored online and on-site training and briefings on SROI, Theory of Change, measuring social impact, commissioning for outcomes and social value, measuring local economic impact, community economic development, the social value of research, and more.

Clients include local authorities, universities, public health services, charities, community groups, membership bodies, and responsible businesses.

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by @nefconsulting