Six Key Considerations for Supporting Employee Wellbeing

Six Key Considerations for Supporting Employee Wellbeing
December 14, 2023 10 mins

Six Key Considerations for Supporting Employee Wellbeing

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By taking a 360o view of employee wellbeing, leaders can build the resilience of their organizations while improving workplace experiences.

Key Takeaways
  1. Data and a team-focused mindset can help organizations assess the wellbeing of their employees and, as a result, build a set of informed strategies.
  2. To support mental and physical health, employers should consider the value of rest and recovery.
  3. Making a habit of checking on the wellbeing of employees on a regular basis — not just in times of crisis — can strengthen workplace communities.


In recent years, the issues affecting employee wellbeing have changed, with struggles related to isolation and stress adding to worries about the economy and job security. The relationship between employee performance and engagement is becoming clearer, and organizations are seeking new strategies to support a happy, resilient workforce. A well-rounded approach to workplace wellbeing can include behaviors as straightforward as checking in with employees to more nuanced actions, such as assisting a colleague through a grieving period.

As part of the On Aon podcast, the Better Being series focuses on ways to support workplace resilience and wellbeing. Hosted by Aon Chief Wellbeing Officer Rachel Fellowes, each episode of the six-part series covers a different part of wellbeing and the methods employers can take to ensure employees are feeling supported. The following highlights from Better Being have been condensed and edited for clarity.

Data-driven Insights on Employee Wellbeing

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing number of global organizations have introduced wellbeing strategies, and leaders are increasingly recognizing the role of wellbeing in workforce resilience. But how can organizations assess the success of these strategies? Aon’s Human Sustainability Index uses data to measure the wellbeing and resilience of employees, teams and organizations, and this approach can help employers with benchmarking and planning.

Lisa Stevens, chief people officer and global head of Human Capital Solutions at Aon, explains that the data gathered by the Human Sustainability Index created an opportunity to measure the state of employee wellbeing at a given point in time, allowing leaders to determine actions for building resilience. “In the heart of COVID, the only thing we knew was that everything was uncertain. The opportunity for us to look at where we are individually and what we need to be focusing on from a mental, physical and emotional standpoint was super important.”

Listen to the podcast episode for more on organizational resilience and the Human Sustainability Index.

Recovery and Resilience

Daniel Scott, a former Aon partnerships marketing intern and current player for the Indianapolis Colts, says he maintains a “warrior mindset” to persevere through any challenge. According to Scott, this approach helps build a focused way of thinking that favors processes over outcomes. But warriors of all kinds need the space to recover, whether facing pressures on the field or in the office. “When someone is always on, they never have time to dial themselves back,” Scott says. “Rest is vital. It’s another piece of the puzzle, as we talk about it, when you look at a holistic approach [to wellbeing]. But I think it’s a lot bigger of a piece than many people think.”

Listen to the podcast episode for more on Scott’s experiences with resilience and building a positive mindset in athletics and at work.

Happiness, Teams and Measuring Wellbeing

When leaders ask their employees how happy they are, they might not be getting the full picture of their workers’ wellbeing. Physical, emotional and mental factors come into play. Nic Marks, CEO and founder of the happiness-measurement and analysis company Friday Pulse, explains that assessing wellbeing can include a variety of approaches. Asking employees about their level of happiness in the moment, developing detailed questionnaires and paying attention to the happiness of teams can be valuable ways to support wellbeing in the workplace.

“Our happiness and wellbeing are very collective, very group-based, and that can be misunderstood,” Marks says. “If you’ve got an organization that’s really happy, but an unhappy team, a person is going to pick up the unhappiness of the team and vice versa. If it’s an unhappy organization, but the teams are protected, they can get a really strong, good feeling of morale from that.”

Listen to the podcast episode for more on the role of happiness in team dynamics.

Grief in the Workplace

Some employees may struggle to process grief at work or feel that they need to separate their personal and professional lives. But organizations can play a pivotal role in helping their employees deal with loss, according to Julia Samuel, a psychotherapist, author and podcaster. “I think work and structure is actually a really useful and important part of how we manage grief. Work takes you into a place of agency. It takes you into a place where you can influence, where you know what you’re doing, you know what your remit is.”

Samuel adds that when organizations acknowledge loss and provide resources for dealing with grief, they build a sense of community and shared understanding. “When workplaces are really supportive, the people are very, very loyal, and you'll get more from them.”

Listen to the podcast episode for more on grief in the workplace.

Checking in and the Power of Kindness

Even if employers invest in wellbeing strategies, employee assistance programs and other resources for support, David Beeney, mental health consultant and founder of the mental-health consultancy Breaking The Silence, believes one consideration can make a world of difference in the workplace: kindness. According to Beeney, when an organization supports a culture that allows people to feel safe, heard and able to ask for help, it helps build a model of positive behavior and reduces the stigma around mental health.

Listen to the podcast episode for more on creating kinder workplace cultures.

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Being kinder at work is starting work conversations by not always talking about work, by literally saying to people, ‘How are you?’

David Beeney
Founder, Breaking The Silence

What Drives Wellbeing?

Academic research is giving leaders a more informed perspective on employee wellbeing, according to Sarah Cunningham, managing director of the World Wellbeing Movement, a not-for-profit social impact organization working with decision makers in academia, business and policy. Cunningham explains that measuring four key dimensions of workplace wellbeing can help organizations change their approach to wellbeing, identify areas for improvement, develop targeted strategies to support employees and elevate performance.

Listen to the podcast episode for more for more on data, company culture and measuring wellbeing.

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My great hope is that over the next five to 10 years, how employee wellbeing is viewed will have evolved — it really will be viewed as a critical part of any business strategy.

Sarah Cunningham
Managing Director, World Wellbeing Movement

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The information contained herein and the statements expressed are of a general nature and are not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information and use sources we consider reliable, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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