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Aon Survey Finds Direct Link Between Employee Wellbeing and Business Results

  • Aon’s 2021 Global Wellbeing Survey finds companies that improve employee wellbeing performance by 3% see a 1% increase in customer satisfaction and retention
  • The top three physical wellbeing risks impacting company performance are stress, anxiety and burnout, highlighting the critical role of employee emotional wellbeing in company success
  • In Canada, 90% of companies have an initiative in place, but only 54% have a strategy

TORONTO, April 21, 2021 – A survey released today by Aon plc (NYSE: AON), in partnership with IPSOS, confirms the link between wellbeing and company performance. Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, found that improvements to wellbeing performance within a company have an impact on customer satisfaction and retention.

The 2021 Global Wellbeing Survey shows that wellbeing performance has a direct connection to a strong and focused wellbeing strategy, while a series of standalone wellbeing initiatives has less impact. The survey also found that:

  • Organizations that improve employee wellbeing performance by 3% see a 1% increase in customer satisfaction and retention.
  • Organizations that improve employee wellbeing performance by 3.5 % see a 1% increase in employee satisfaction and customer acquisition.
  • Organizations that improve employee wellbeing performance by 4% see a 1% increase in company profit and a 1% decrease in employee turnover.

Although a high percentage of the companies surveyed said employee wellbeing and resilience are important and have initiatives in place, few have overall strategies in place. Even fewer have fully integrated wellbeing into their business and talent strategy.

  • Globally, 82% of companies surveyed said employee wellbeing is important, and although 87% have at least one initiative in place, only 55% have a wellbeing strategy. In addition, just 24% of companies fully integrate wellbeing into their business and talent strategy.
  • In Canada, 79% of companies reported employee wellbeing as important and 90% as having at least one initiative, but only 54% said they have a strategy in place and 16% fully integrate wellbeing into their business and talent strategy
  • The survey revealed that 26% of wellbeing programs in Canada are performing exceptionally or above average, and 60% only meet expectations.

The survey also discovered that company culture is the number one driver in developing a business case for wellbeing. Beyond financial resources and investment, one of the biggest challenges to starting or expanding wellbeing initiatives is employee engagement and interest (ranked as a challenge by 42% of survey participants globally). Leadership is key in setting the tone for culture and wellbeing; with 89% of companies surveyed agreeing that the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) is the biggest supporter of wellbeing initiatives, followed by the CEO (78%).

“Wellbeing is a long-term people and performance strategy, using resources to achieve resilience goals over a sustained period”, said Erin Murphy-Sheriffs, Senior Consultant, Health Solutions, Aon Canada. Companies should assess if their organizational culture is helping or hindering them in their wellbeing and resilience efforts. Leadership support and buy-in are critical factors in creating a culture and a wellbeing strategy that can positively impact workforce resilience and overall company performance.”

The impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest and a changing economy has highlighted the importance of emotional wellbeing. The survey found the top conditions impacting company performance in Canada are stress (69%), anxiety (49%) and musculoskeletal conditions (48%).

Mental health and work-life balance were the top wellbeing issues in Canada by some considerable length, chosen by 72% and 69% of respondents, respectively. This was followed by burnout (52%), virtual work environment and working environment/culture (both at 39%).

Methodology
The survey was conducted among 1,648 companies in 41 countries, including 140 firms in Canada. Responses were weighted to produce a statistically significant representation of organizations globally, regionally and by country.

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