The Workwell Model

Developed by business for business, and based on robust evidence, the Business in the Community Workwell model supports employers to take a strategic, proactive approach to wellbeing. The model demonstrates the benefits of action and provides practical support to help businesses develop a bespoke wellbeing strategy. The model is considered to be the gold standard by business, with many companies endorsing, adopting, and adapting the model to work with their business wellbeing approaches. The model is not a one size fits all, instead it is specifically designed to be able to support the unique requirements of each business.

The Workwell wheel
The outer magenta wheel demonstrates the virtuous cycle of business benefits that result from promoting wellbeing. This section provides a compelling business case for business to adopt a strategic, proactive approach to wellbeing that is aligned to their core business objectives.

The inner grey wheel outlines the complementary employee led element of the model. Demonstrating and supporting how employees can take action to support their own wellbeing and that of others, this element is based on the Five Ways To Wellbeing framework developed by the New Economics Foundation. 

The Workwell model highlights the need for collaboration. It’s the employer’s job to create an environment where employees can make healthy lifestyle choices, but employees must take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. Professor Cary Cooper CBE

- Professor Cary Cooper CBE,
50th Anniversary Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Manchester Business School, University of Manchester.

The five inner segments of the model cover the broad areas businesses need address in order to create a culture of wellbeing, where employees can thrive. By taking action across all of these elements, businesses can create a comprehensive approach to wellbeing that drives business productivity and employee engagement: 

  • Better physical and psychological health: creating a safe and pleasant work environment by promoting a physically safe working environment and promoting healthy behaviours, both physical and mental.
  • Better work: creating a happy, engaging environment of good work, which is underpinned by good job design, autonomy, variety, employee voice, talent management, employment security, and a management style and culture that promotes mutual trust and respect.
  • Better relationships: Promoting better communication both inside and outside the workplace, to ensure employees maintain the social capital they need for good mental health wellbeing.
  • Better specialist support: Ensuring teams manage health issues at work in a proactive way, and facilitate a more efficient return to work for those off work, by equipping specialist teams, line managers and all employees with information and skills to maintain their own health and support others. 
  • Working well: Positioning employee wellbeing as a boardroom issue, creating a culture of wellbeing where employees feel trusted, respected, with a strategic proactive approach to wellbeing, underpinned by strong governance and reporting arrangements

Related resources
The Business in the Community Public Reporting Guidelines: Employee Wellness and Engagement include key metrics for measuring the effectiveness of wellbeing strategies.