Resilient Employees Are Much More Motivated: Aon Report


86% of resilient employees said they are highly motivated, while only 44% of employees identified as non-resilient said they are highly motivated.

When the mind is free of stress, it performs better and to its full potential. This principle applies to employees, especially in a crisis-ridden world. The higher the pressure on them from rising job uncertainty, health-related worries, and financial crunches, the lower their ability to remain motivated enough to perform.

Aon’s new report, The Rising ResilientOpens a new window , validates and reinforces this belief and link. 86% of resilient employees said that they are highly motivated. In contrast, only 44% of employees who were identified as non-resilient said they are highly motivated. Also, as per the report, only 30% of the employees are currently resilient. The data was collected from 2,500 survey participants in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Resilience is a much-needed attribute in the current times, especially since pandemic-induced changes are likely to keep evolving and creating a new way of work. Companies will go through multiple transition phases before they settle into a particular approach, and that process could stretch across years. Employees will need all the strength and resilience to overcome these and sustain their performance levels.

Components of Resilience

The report also shared that resilience at work increases employees’ enthusiasm by 45%, energy by 39%, and concentration by 27%. It also has a direct and positive impact on their confidence and satisfaction levels, increasing by 32% and 44%, respectively. The Aon definition of resilience is based on three core indicators: the sense of security, sense of belonging, and the ability to reach employees’ potential.

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.”

While resilience has always been an important competency, the past year has brought it to the forefront to a much higher degree. Several insights from across surveys and research point toward what resilience looks like in employees.

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What Resilience Looks Like: Findings From Other Research

Various research studies have studied resilience to formulate some trends and indicators to help organizations prioritize the actions they need to undertake to encourage it among employees.

ADP Workplace Resilience Study

The ADP Research Institute® (ADPRI)Opens a new window has designed and developed a Workplace Resilience Scale of its own to assess resilience regularly. Their definition is different from Aon’s and aims to gauge an individual’s capacity to withstand, bounce back from, and work through challenging circumstances or events at work.

ADPRI’s study was released in September 2020 and captured views on self, team leaders, and senior leaders and broke it down by generations.

One significant finding that resonates with the Aon survey was that only a small percentage – 19% – of workers are highly resilient. The survey sheds light on a different perspective by sharing that the employees who loved what they do and were 3.2x more likely to be Fully Engaged and 3.9x more likely to be Highly Resilient.

This finding is a little different since it indicates that meaningful work is a reason for an employee to become more resilient and engaged, whereas the Aon survey shared that resilience is the reason for engagement and improves their enthusiasm for work.

BetterUp’s Resilience in an Age of Uncertainty

BetterUp also recently released its Resilience in an Age of Uncertainty report and explained some insights through a data-driven examination of the attitudes, motivations, and behaviors of tens of thousands of professionals before and during the current pandemic. The approach is similar to the above surveys, but the parameters are somewhat different.

As per BetterUp’s research, the most resilient workers are also the most innovative ones, with 22% higher innovation than their peers, and as a result, they earn more than others. In addition, the business context is explained by the fact that companies with the highest growth in resilience demonstrated more than three times the annual revenue growth rate than those who grew the least in resilience.

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While many new research studies are emerging in this area with new and diverse sets of insights, the one recurring theme is that resilience is a non-negotiable attribute, and companies’ futures depend on it.