The health crisis, a real “stress test” for companies

Aon is an insurance company. A multinational which, since its creation in 1982 in Chicago in the United States, has become a major player in the fields of risk management. Never stingy with new projects, she conducted a survey of employees across Europe on their resilience capacities before the health crisis. She also inquired about how these abilities could have helped them overcome this difficult time. A study which revealed that this period had been experienced by most as a “stress test”, like the crisis drills that are imposed on banks to ensure their soundness. What have been the best tools to deal with it and what lessons can be learned for the future? Overview.

Investments in employee well-being that have paid off

The first thing that emerges from the study is that resilience (the ability to withstand adversity and stress) is a rare ability for employees. And we think in passing that this is a criterion that employers should particularly watch out for when hiring. Only 3 in 10 respondents thought they were before the crisis. First observation, this number is much higher in companies that had previously made investments in the well-being of their employees (about 5 out of 10). Employees say they are more motivated, productive and efficient.

The first thing that emerges from the study is that resilience (the ability to withstand adversity and stress) is a rare ability for employees. And we think in passing that this is a criterion that employers should particularly watch out for when hiring. Only 3 in 10 respondents thought they were before the crisis. First observation, this number is much higher in companies that had previously made investments in the well-being of their employees (about 5 out of 10). Employees say they are more motivated, productive and efficient. The other factor that has increased employee resilience: communication and their empowerment through their management. 55% of employees say they do not feel at home within their company. 52% feel they cannot use their full potential. Finally, 45% do not feel safe. Problems that are usually resolved through dialogue. The survey also reveals that 13% of companies have no health policy. The figure rises to 18% when it comes to emotional health. Finally, 12% of companies grant absolutely no flexibility in terms of the organization of working hours.

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Beware of generalized burnout

Beware of generalized burnout “The Covid-19 has been a real stress test for many companies, which have tried to keep the level of motivation, production and quality of work at a high level while working remotely »Explains wellness expert Ann De Bisschop. A real “stress test” which has left its mark. Because a quarter of French people say they have “come close” to burnout during confinement. 28% also say they feel close to bore out (boredom burnout syndrome). Studies also show widespread psychological exhaustion, which no one knows when it will go away. In particular concerning management positions. Ann De Bisschop urges companies to invest now in the well-being of their employees. The danger is to witness a wave of sick leave in the coming year. She also calls on them to adopt a leadership based on the four big Cs: communication, collegiality, connection and “care”. Because otherwise professional burnout could become a real public health problem.

To summarize: first, companies that invested in the well-being of employees had greater resilience than others when facing the health crisis. Second, the French are on the verge of burnout. It therefore seems urgent to sound the alarm bells. Companies must invest in the well-being of their employees and develop communication within their structures. At the risk of paying it soon and realizing too late that the price was not worth it.