Employers face many different challenges in improving employee engagement, performance, and the bottom line. But they are increasingly realizing that stress is the number one factor holding employees back. No longer just a health care issue, managing stress has become a top priority for organizations looking to increase productivity, build culture, and improve the bottom line.
Resilience is a predictor of important business outcomes from cost and absence to productivity, return-to-work, and turnover. Unlike traditional workplace wellness programs, our approach offers an unintimidating transition for employees to ease into resiliency over time. Resilience is a state, not a trait: it is modifiable and can be improved through well-structured interventions. It is the most effective strategy for dealing with stress and it’s resultant workplace cost, and can radically improve employee morale, productivity, and outcomes.
Resilience can be learned. We’ve got the program to teach it, and the numbers to prove it.
Stress and other emotional factors are the leading causes of productivity impairment and absenteeism, as well as contributing factors for heart disease, obesity, and insomnia. It is well established that the physical and mental health of employees influence health care costs, disability, workers compensation claims, absenteeism, and work performance. And yet, until recently, employers have done little to focus on the psychological and emotional aspects of health. They train employees to do their jobs safely, accurately, and efficiently and offer optional health improvement programs. Emotional wellbeing has conventionally been limited to those in desperate need and seen as the domain of crisis-based solutions. Actively cultivating resilience in your workforce isn’t just nice-to-have, but a business imperative. Because having a happier, less stressed, more engaged, and focused workforce means higher productivity, lower health costs, and less absenteeism- means better overall financial performance.
Resilience is defined as an individual’s ability to properly adapt to stress and adversity, or our struggle with change. Stress and adversity can come in the shape of family or relationship problems, health problems, or workplace and financial stressors, to name a few (1). Individuals demonstrate resilience when they can face difficult experiences and rise above them with ease. Components are:
- A positive self-concept and confidence in one’s strength and abilities
- Communication and problem-solving skills
- The ability to manage strong impulses and feelings
- The ability to make realistic plans and the capability to take the steps necessary to follow through
- Positive relationships- reciprocal support and caring
How Does Resilience Affect Your Employees
There are three main mechanisms through which resilience influences business outcomes:
- Resilience improves morale, improving engagement and retention
- Resilience improves job performance by improving effectiveness and efficiency
- Resilience mitigates stress symptoms and absenteeism, health costs, and the suffering that results
What is the ROI of Improved Resilience
Given the diversity of outcomes associated with resilience, research predicts that an increase in resilience would produce improvements in stress symptoms and illness rates, absences, disability rates and duration, turnover, work engagement, and productivity at a per employee rate (1).
A good resilience program will show about a 12% improvement in overall resilience and often higher. This level of improvement could improve topline performance by as much as $531,000 for 10,000 employees and lower absence and turnover costs by $178,000 annually.
Research shows that a 10% improvement in resilience equates to a 0.45% improvement in performance (1). Published research puts a value of two times the salary on worker performance (2). This means that a worker making $50,000 has a performance value of $100, 000, and at that level, a 12% improvement in resilience equates to an annual performance improvement of $660.
Studies show a significant association between resilience and absenteeism (3). However, given the common method of combining vacation and sick leave- which leads to a largely predetermined number of absences- it makes sense to focus on avoidable absences. If one assumes no more than one in every six absences is avoidable, that equates to a 2.45% reduction in avoidable absences for each 10% improvement in resilience. A performance equivalent value can be placed on absent days, where each day is 0.4% of all days performance (1/250 days annually). For a worker earning $50, 000, where the average number of avoidable absences is 6 days, a 12% improvement in resilience has a value of $71 (0.8 days of absence avoided).
Avoided Turnover Costs
Lastly, the estimated impact of a 10% increase in resilience is a 0.37% reduction in turnover (2). Assuming a conservative cost of replacing a worker is 20% salary plus the performance value of all the time it takes to fill the position, one can calculate the estimated value of improving resilience. Keeping the same salary of $50, 000 and assigning a 10% turnover rate with a 4-month average time to fill the position, the performance value of a 12% increase in resilience is $151.
We envision a community comprised of a workforce where individuals reach their full potential through physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Resilience training is the best-proven strategy for dealing with stress, and health coaching is the best-proven method for delivering resilience training. The best part? The impact of resilience has been shown to have large, measurable effects on a wide range of performance and health outcomes. When people can improve their coping skills and become more resilient, they become more engaged, more productive, and less likely to miss days or leave their jobs altogether.
Progressive Health Center offers an engagement and performance solution that harnesses the power of resilient people and teams through data driven insights, personalized training programs, and benchmarking to build team and employee skills. You can equip each of your employees to discover and master the skills they need to overcome any obstacle, increase agility, gain adaptive capacity, and transform your organization. To learn more about how improving engagement and performance through the power of resilience can help your organization, please reach out to directly to Sue Goodin, Chief Executive Officer, to take a tour or schedule a free consultation.