Washington, DC, June 10, 2021
A growing body of evidence points to a positive relationship between employee wellbeing and productivity and documents it as a causal effect: A healthy and happy workforce is a more productive workforce. A third of U.S. companies say that wellbeing is extremely important (36%), compared to 39% globally. Nearly two in five (38%) say that wellbeing is currently fully or slightly integrated in their company's overall business and talent strategy. Globally, a third say wellbeing is fully or slightly integrated (34%). Regarding employee wellbeing issues, top issues are work-life balance (61%), mental health (61%), work environment/ culture (47%) and burnout (43%).
A strong majority of companies in the U.S. have wellbeing initiatives. Of those with a wellbeing initiative, two thirds are very familiar with those initiatives, compared to 57% globally. Wellbeing initiative performance in 2019 largely met expectations (62%) while three in ten (29%) say that they had exceptional or above average performance.
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The questionnaire took on average 38 minutes to complete online. It was drafted by Aon in North American English and translated into 24 additional languages.
The survey sample was drawn from Aon’s global contact database, Aon Connect, which includes organizations who are and who are not current Aon clients. Aon Connect covers 190 countries and over 500,000 contacts. A random selection process was undertaken by IPSOS to produce the survey sample focused on the largest countries and those who use common languages. In total, 41 countries were sampled, and the survey was carried out in 25 languages.
An important but unforeseen challenge for the research phase of this study was the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. The survey was set to field in March 2020 which, as we know now, coincided with major lockdowns around the world. A phased global electronic mailing of the questionnaire by region began on March 12. However, after the first questionnaires were sent to APAC and EMEA, it was quickly decided to hold the entire process until a later date. The research phase was restarted six months later in September 2020. The questionnaire was modified slightly to account for fundamental changes caused by the pandemic.
At the global level, 540 interviews were completed from the March mailing (wave 1) and 1,139 interviews were completed from the September mailing (wave 2). Thirty-one people completed the survey in both waves and have been excluded from wave 1 data in this report (i.e. final counts).
The questionnaire was slightly adjusted between wave 1 and wave 2 for COVID-19 caused changes. The study is designed to be a global representation of Aon’s Connect database. In wave 2 of the study, it was decided to shift from inviting all Connect database members to only inviting human resource representatives.
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