The growing importance of resilience in the workplace – and how it relates to health and wellbeing strategies – is revealed in a major report released this week.
The Aon report, which covers five major countries across Europe, found that just 30% of employees are resilient.
The report also argues that “resilience can triple” when employers adopt a “well-rounded programme of support”.
The analysis suggests that employees with poor resilience have 55% lower engagement at work and are 42% less likely to want to stay with their employer.
UK workers’ views on
job security and engagement
43% ‘don’t feel secure’Source: Aon, The Rising Resilient, October 2020
52% ‘don’t feel a sense of belonging’
56% ‘don’t feel they can reach their potential’
In the UK, 29% of employees are resilient, and those with poor resilience have 59% lower engagement and are 43% less likely to want to stay with their employer.
The report’s data, collected during March 2020 against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is based on the views of 2,500 employers and employees across France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK.
The report – The Rising Resilient – finds that despite health and wellbeing initiatives being well-established with employers, with 80% agreeing that they are beneficial for their organisations, the programmes do not result in creating resilient workforces.
The research also argues that “resilience triples” when employers adopt a well-rounded health and wellbeing programme supporting physical, social, emotional, financial and professional needs. Just 15% of employees are resilient within organisations that do not offer health and wellbeing initiatives, 29% are resilient if a partial health and wellbeing initiative is offered and 45% of employees are resilient if they work for an employer that offers a broad health and wellbeing programme.
‘The COVID-19 pandemic has shone an intense spotlight on workforce resilience in a way we have never seen before’
Geoffrey Kuhn, Health Solutions, Aon
Geoffrey Kuhn, Senior Vice President and Actuary, Health Solutions, Aon, said that while health and wellbeing have been discussed for a long time, the connection with workforce resilience has not been “front of mind”.
He said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has shone an intense spotlight on workforce resilience in a way we have never seen before; leaders are far more aware of the fragility and dependence on a healthy and financially well workforce.”
“The research showed that despite health and wellbeing programmes being well-established with employers and being positively correlated with employee resilience, wellbeing programmes as they are implemented today often fail to lead to workforce resilience. Smart, strategic investment is more than good housekeeping; it is part of what makes a business thrive.”
WHAT DOES “THE ENGAGED EMPLOYEE” MEAN –
AND DOES ENGAGEMENT = RESILIENCE?
Aon defines “engaged employees” as: “Those that are enthusiastic towards work, motivated, feel that they will stay with their employer and love the company that they work for. If an employee meets all these measures, they are defined as engaged.”
Defined in this way, of those polled for Aon, 71% of resilient employees meet the engaged employee definition, while just 16% non-resilient meet it, highlighting a difference of 55%.
In the UK, the figures show that 67% of resilient employees meet the engaged employee definition, while just 8% of non-resilient meet it, showing a difference of 59%.
Source: Aon, The Rising Resilient, September 2020
Andrew Cunningham, Chief Commercial Officer EMEA, Health Solutions, Aon, said it “almost seems implausible” to think that convincing leaders to consider wellbeing as more than an exercise in compliance “was ever a struggle”.
He said: “But it was; and for some, it still is.
“There were already many challenges facing business leaders. From potential damage to brand and reputation, to the ongoing complexity of talent acquisition, retention and development at a time of accelerated change – though many of these pale into insignificance compared to meeting the challenge of the global economic slowdown caused by COVID-19.”