MAKE A DIFFERENCE | workplace culture / mental health / wellbeing

New Aon Research Highlights The Link Between Resilience and Wellbeing

As the pandemic unfolds and we in the UK have started our second round of national lockdown, resilience is a word that seems to be increasingly featuring in conversations about employee wellbeing.

In their most recent research, global professional services firm Aon shows how resilience affects employee motivation, productivity and concentration, as well as their perceived health status. It also highlights how this impacts organisations.

The report’s data was collected during March 2020. It draws on insights from 2500 respondents (from both HR departments and employees) from across France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Core indicators of resilience

According to the research:

• 86% of employees who are resilient say they are highly motivated. On the other hand, just 44% who aren’t resilient say they’re highly motivated
• Only 30% of employees are currently resilient. This highlights the fragility of organisations
• Concentration, enthusiasm and energy are also positively impacted by resilience
• UK employees have lower perceived health status compared to the wider EMEA region. 57% of non-resilient employees in EMEA believe they are healthier, compared to 49% of UK employees

The Rising Resilient report finds that employees are resilient based on three core indicators – their sense of security, sense of belonging and ability to reach their potential.

Resilience in a work environment means people can better adapt to adverse situations, manage stress and retain motivation, enabling organisations to better manage change.

Helping increase resilience is in an employer’s power

The research’s data shows a tripling of results when employers adopt a well-rounded health and wellbeing programme supporting employees’ physical, social, emotional, financial and professional needs.

In fact, just 15% of employees are resilient within organisations that don’t 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.

Geoffrey Kuhn, senior vice president and actuary, Health Solutions, Aon, said:

“Developing resilient employees is complex. It requires balancing many different factors, and the recipe for how to do it well is evolving just as employees do. Yet smart, strategic investment is more than good housekeeping; it is part of what makes a business thrive.

“As the World Health Organisation sets out in its Health 2020(1) policy framework, resilience ‘is shaped by the availability of supportive environments,’ which ‘are essential for people to increase control over the determinants of their health.’

At work, businesses need to step up and create an environment for resilience to thrive. This means understanding the context and content for delivering effective health and wellbeing programmes and initiatives, along with the 10 factors – among them encouraging positive health behaviours, supporting mental health, sharing responsibility and control as well as developing financial security – that are currently affecting and influencing workforces today.”

Health 2020: a European policy framework supporting action across government and society for health and wellbeing.

About the author

Claire Farrow is the Global Director of Content and Programming for the Mad World and Make a Difference Summits. She also drives the content for Make A Difference News. Claire is on a mission to help every employer – large, medium and small – get the insight, inspiration and contacts they need to make real impact on workplace culture, mental health and wellbeing in their organisation. She has been freelance for more than 15 years. During that time, she has had the honour of working with many leading publishers, including the New York Times