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07 Oct 2020

Why investment in strategic health and wellbeing is critical in delivering organisational resilience

COVID-19 shone a spotlight on the fragility and dependence businesses have on a financially well and healthy workforce. But it has also shown businesses how creating a resilient environment can benefit them in the long-term.​


It was people, after all, that saved many businesses during the global lockdown, and it is people who will lead businesses into the future.

And yet, many employees feel unsupported. Our Rising Resilience Research (2020) shows there is a clear link between resilience, its effect on employees, and in turn, their employer:

  • 33% of non-resilient workers feel unable to take care of their personal needs at work
  • 40% of non-resilient workers feel unable to confide in their manager about their problems
  • 27% of non-resilient workers are thinking about leaving their employers
  • 44% of non-resilient workers feel unable to reach their full potential at work​.

For business leaders, HR directors, and wellbeing decision makers, the path to developing true workforce resilience is clear:

Strategic investment in health and wellbeing initiatives driven by compassionate and visible leadership – and through empathetic dialogue between employer and employee – are critical components in delivering workforce resilience.​

And there are many benefits to having resilience in your organisation. Resilient employees have higher perceived health status​, are likely to want to stay with their employer​, view their employer as modern​ and have a higher perceived level of motivation​.

For the employees themselves, resilience increases workplace energy levels​, confidence​, concentration​, satisfaction ​and enthusiasm​.

A culture of resilience

Developing a workforce that can adapt to change, manage stress and retain motivation is complex. It requires balancing many different factors as the organisation evolves alongside your people.​

Delivering a strategy that incorporates the five pillars of wellbeing – physical, social, emotional, professional, and financial – will connect wellbeing to resilience, and create a workforce that not only survives, but thrives as the world changes.​

To nurture a workforce that enables resilience to thrive, there are some key areas on which our Rising Resilience Research (2020) found employers can focus:​

  • offering well-rounded wellbeing programmes (45% increased likelihood of resilience)
  • developing social connections between co-workers (45% increased likelihood of resilience)
  • providing a supportive work environment (49% increased likelihood of resilience)
  • offering strong professional development programmes (54% increased likelihood of resilience)
  • supporting employee mindset growth (47% increased likelihood of resilience)​.

Companies that focus on resilience are creating cultures that make them better placed to retain talent, adapt to change and potentially have a happier, healthier and more productive workforce.

But without looking at workforce resilience as a whole picture – from leadership, through to employee engagement, to the design of health and wellbeing initiatives – individual, unconnected efforts to care for the people within an organisation may fall flat. ​

Those who rise resilient will survive and thrive

By shifting gear to create a workplace environment where resilience can thrive, employers can work to close this divide. This not only helps to deliver the outcomes businesses need to survive and thrive in the future, but improves the return on investment in their health and wellbeing initiatives. ​

​Astute leaders prepare for uncertainty. They analyse their investment and map their course; they have a plan B, C and D. When it comes to finance, businesses are well versed in the strategies and tactics of building resilience.​

​Businesses now need to consider their workforce by the same terms: where the resilience of your people is no longer a nice to have, it is core to protecting the single largest asset of your business, its people.​

You can find out more about how workforce resilience will enable businesses to thrive by downloading Aon’s Rising Resilient Report.

This article is provided by Aon.

The data for Aon’s Rising Resilience Research was collected during March 2020 amidst the backdrop of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, from survey participants in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. 500 participants were surveyed per country, with 20% of each sample consisting of senior decision makers and 80% employees.

In partnership with Aon

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