Health and WellbeingCreating a resilient and engaged workforce

Creating a resilient and engaged workforce

Resilience will be the defining characteristic of the successful post-pandemic workplace. But engineering resilience relies on the cultivation of total wellbeing. How can HR leaders enable this in their dispersed workforces?

With physical, mental, financial and social health being impacted by coronavirus, it’s essential that employers look at how they can motivate employees to support themselves and build the resilience needed for the coming months.

Resilience – our ability to stay healthy under pressure – is dependent on how well we manage our emotions (mental health), how well we’re eating, exercising and sleeping (physical health), the quality of our interactions with others (social health), and our confidence in our ability to provide for ourselves and our loved ones (financial health).

Unfortunately, with different people being impacted in different ways, there is no single solution to the challenges people are now facing. Different personalities will have been affected in different ways.

Introverted personality types and those already accustomed to remote working might actually welcome the opportunity to live a better lifestyle. Conversely, extroverts are more likely to be struggling with feelings of loneliness and social isolation, which will in turn impact their motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Similarly, while ‘conscientious’ personality types might have already stashed away the recommended three months’ salary as a financial buffer in case of times of need, this may not be the case for many others, causing them to experience greater feelings of financial anxiety as we enter into recession.

In addition to a lack of insight as to what challenges are affecting each individual, another challenge now faced by employers is finding the right way to tailor and communicate the support they have in place.

Technology is a great enabler for addressing both of these problems. Digital wellbeing solutions not only have the power to capture what employees want and tailor information to each individual, but also reduce costs while boosting engagement.

Ondo, a digital workplace wellbeing app, which Mercer launched last week, utilities technology to not only connect individuals to the wellbeing support provided by their employer in a highly personalized way, but also support one another other through the use of a ‘check in with a colleague’ challenge, group wellness workshops and organizational fitness events.

The app also allows people to post comments, pictures and likes, to create wellness communities that can proactively support each other, even whilst having to work remotely.

Instead of just looking at physical, emotional, social or mental health one at a time, Ondo also suggests ways of working on all these elements at the same time. Users are connected with colleagues who have similar interests, so that – should they wish – they can develop physical wellbeing goals in a way that also supports their social wellbeing.

Communications about financial wellbeing are also tailored to each individual, to ensure that warnings about the importance of saving don’t undermine the mental health of someone who is already very anxious about this.

What's Hot

Learning to win the talent war: how digital marketing can develop its people

Whitepaper | Talent Development Learning to win the talent war: how digital marketing can develop its people

2w

Learning to win the talent war: how digital market...

This report documents the findings of a Fireside chat held by ClickZ in the first quarter of 2022. It provides expert insight on how companies can ret...

View resource
HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging The Hybrid Workforce

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging The Hybrid Workforce 5 May 2022

3w

HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging ...

We know hybrid working is here to stay, forcing many organisations to experiment with innovative and creative strategies from 4-day working weeks to u...

View event
HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What We Need to Reward, Engage and Retain

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What We Need to Reward, Engage and Retain 3 March 2022

3w

HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What...

We know the pandemic has caused many people to revaluate their careers and relationships with work and have been seeing the impact in global trends in...

View event
Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simplify complexity?

Leadership Development Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simplify complexity?

4m Dave Ulrich

Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simpl...

HR thought leader Dave Ulrich outlines ways leaders can deal with complexity in an increasingly busy world, including how to think critically and turn...

View article
HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Organisational Decision Making

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Organisational Decision Making 5 May 2022

3w

HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Org...

Historically, HR hasn’t been as effective as it could be in sharing and communicating data with wider teams. It’s paramount that we remove the self-in...

View event
Digital transformation investment grows but critical skills gaps remain - Coursera report

Digital HR Digital transformation investment grows but critical skills gaps remain - Coursera report

4m Leah Belsky

Digital transformation investment grows but critic...

Covid-19 has accelerated the rate of digital learning on a global scale. Coursera's latest report provides an update on employee proficiency in a numb...

View article
Wellbeing in the hybrid workplace: how to successfully drive engagement

Employee Engagement Wellbeing in the hybrid workplace: how to successfully drive engagement

4m Alara Basul | Sponsored

Wellbeing in the hybrid workplace: how to successf...

Remote working has impacted the way we communicate as a workforce, but striking the right balance between creating an engaged workforce and a successf...

View article
How to create a company culture capable of empowering the modern workforce

Culture How to create a company culture capable of empowering the modern workforce

4m Alara Basul | Sponsored

How to create a company culture capable of empower...

While new working patterns that emerged from the pandemic have earned a permanent spot in the workplace, creating a purpose-driven culture based ...

View article
WATCH: Connection and collaboration in a hybrid workplace

Leadership Learnings WATCH: Connection and collaboration in a hybrid workplace

4m Amy Kirkham

WATCH: Connection and collaboration in a hybrid wo...

Alison Noon-Jones, VP of People & Culture at Leidos UK & Europe, shares how crucial employee engagement and participation is when shaping the people s...

View article
Turbulence ahead: Why it’s time to be bold in your leadership

Leadership Development Turbulence ahead: Why it’s time to be bold in your leadership

5m Terence Mauri

Turbulence ahead: Why it’s time to be bold in your...

HRD thought leader and Hack Future Lab founder Terence Mauri sets out why the biggest risk to leadership is not turbulence itself, but leading with ye...

View article

At a time when many employees are feeling more isolated than ever, there is another key benefit to creating these kinds of authentic social communities: boosting employee engagement.

This matters because research shows that healthier, more engaged workforces are 10.6 days more productive per employee. This makes the health of the workforce a key driver of future success.

Unfortunately, when it comes to boosting the health of the workforce, less than 1/3 of people have the ‘conscientious’ personality type needed to act on the practical reminders and education that has been the bedrock of workplace wellbeing communications to date. The remaining 70% of people are far more likely to respond to incentives and rewards, positive peer pressure, humor and fun.

Although it would be easy to dismiss the relevance of these strategies for increasing engagement, there is much to be learned from the principles of gamification, now being utilised in apps such as Ondo. This includes the use of rewards and badges for attaining goals (to keep people motivated) and the use of cues, such as push notifications delivered to the employee’s phone.

Perhaps the biggest lesson to be learned is the simple truth that humans like to have fun. The very idea that employers can make becoming healthier more appealing by making it fun is somewhat of a strange concept,  and thisgoes a long way to explaining why most workplace wellbeing incentives are so poorly utilized.

Going forward, the ability of employers to build a healthy, resilient workforce will be as much dependent on how they communicate with employees as the solutions they have in place. Critical to this is the introduction of a much-needed element of consumer communication and creating authentic wellbeing communities, where people are empowered to look after themselves and each other.

You can find out more about Ondo, the employee wellbeing and engagement app from Mercer, here.

Nick McClelland is a Partner at Mercer, an employee wellbeing and benefits consultancy.


  1. Survey of 2,500 people aged between 18 and 70 (42% male, 58% female) who were asked a range of questions about their personality, attitudes to health and health behaviour, Mercer, 2019

Comments are closed.

What's Hot

Learning to win the talent war: how digital marketing can develop its people

Whitepaper | Talent Development Learning to win the talent war: how digital marketing can develop its people

2w

Learning to win the talent war: how digital market...

This report documents the findings of a Fireside chat held by ClickZ in the first quarter of 2022. It provides expert insight on how companies can ret...

View resource
HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging The Hybrid Workforce

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging The Hybrid Workforce 5 May 2022

3w

HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging ...

We know hybrid working is here to stay, forcing many organisations to experiment with innovative and creative strategies from 4-day working weeks to u...

View event
HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What We Need to Reward, Engage and Retain

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What We Need to Reward, Engage and Retain 3 March 2022

3w

HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What...

We know the pandemic has caused many people to revaluate their careers and relationships with work and have been seeing the impact in global trends in...

View event
Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simplify complexity?

Leadership Development Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simplify complexity?

4m Dave Ulrich

Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simpl...

HR thought leader Dave Ulrich outlines ways leaders can deal with complexity in an increasingly busy world, including how to think critically and turn...

View article
HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Organisational Decision Making

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Organisational Decision Making 5 May 2022

3w

HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Org...

Historically, HR hasn’t been as effective as it could be in sharing and communicating data with wider teams. It’s paramount that we remove the self-in...

View event
Digital transformation investment grows but critical skills gaps remain - Coursera report

Digital HR Digital transformation investment grows but critical skills gaps remain - Coursera report

4m Leah Belsky

Digital transformation investment grows but critic...

Covid-19 has accelerated the rate of digital learning on a global scale. Coursera's latest report provides an update on employee proficiency in a numb...

View article
Wellbeing in the hybrid workplace: how to successfully drive engagement

Employee Engagement Wellbeing in the hybrid workplace: how to successfully drive engagement

4m Alara Basul | Sponsored

Wellbeing in the hybrid workplace: how to successf...

Remote working has impacted the way we communicate as a workforce, but striking the right balance between creating an engaged workforce and a successf...

View article
How to create a company culture capable of empowering the modern workforce

Culture How to create a company culture capable of empowering the modern workforce

4m Alara Basul | Sponsored

How to create a company culture capable of empower...

While new working patterns that emerged from the pandemic have earned a permanent spot in the workplace, creating a purpose-driven culture based ...

View article