Organizations plan for major disruptions — consider winter storms, hurricanes, technology failures, etc. But as much as those occasional catastrophic events can cripple businesses, employees’ individual disruptions and personal disasters impact business goals every day.
Business Continuity Numbers at the Individual Level
We recently completed a survey of more than 4,000 employees and learned that people are dealing with a lot more than just weather. Consider, in just a six month period:
- 28% of employees experienced anxiety or depression,
- 14% saw a major change in the health or behavior of a close family member
- 11% had a major change in their personal financial situation
The full results of that study will be published soon. We know that, just as we can’t prevent obscene amounts of snow from falling, we can’t prevent difficult life events from befalling our employees. So what’s the recovery plan?
Weathering All of Life’s Challenges
A robust, well-subscribed set of employee supports makes a difference in how well employees weather the hard times and how quickly they bounce back. Here’s the proof: we compared employees with low benefits utilization (the bottom third of our study) to those with high utilization and found significant differences on a number of important outcomes.
Employees who use work/life benefits often have higher levels of resilience. This group had much higher scores on statements like “I tend to bounce back from problems,” “I’m good at finding solutions at problems,” and “I’m generally optimistic about life.” It doesn’t stop there — these same people:
- Reported significantly higher work quality and productivity in the two weeks prior to the survey
- Were more likely to report that they consistently had the energy needed to manage their work responsibilities
- Reported feeling more control over their work
- Reported higher job satisfaction
- Were more likely to recommend their employer
- Were less likely to consider leaving in the coming year
- Reported significantly better health
This presents a compelling case. It’s important not only to add benefits to your company’s offerings, but also to better market the benefits you have.
The takeaway? To create an effective business continuity strategy that accounts for individual life disruptions, employers should do everything possible to give employees programs they need, and find the most effective possible ways to get them to utilize those programs.