With COVID, we’ve experienced a major, global trauma that has changed every facet of our lives. Usually, when a big adversity ends, so does the psychological fallout. But as we’ve turned the corner on the global pandemic, new threats to employee well-being continue to appear. A recent McKinsey study found that 60% of the global workforce is experiencing at least one mental health challenge, such as anxiety, depression, or burnout.

There is no question we’re living in a VUCA world – volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. We must move beyond false hope that change will end or even slow.  We can expect transformational change and the mental health challenges it causes to continue – or even accelerate. But, in 2023, there is an opportunity.  It’s time for CHROs to champion and invest in meaningful employee well-being to promote post-traumatic growth.


Developing self-efficacy can mean coming out stronger and wiser than before.

A lot of people go through challenging experiences but don’t learn the lessons of how they made it through. It’s a missed opportunity for growth. We could all come out stronger if we’re able to develop skills that support self-efficacy. Learning what we did well and what wisdom we gained during times of adversity will give us the ability to fare even better through the next challenge we’ll face.


Help one hundred percent of your people. 

We can mask up, isolate, or brace for a downturn, but our own individual actions won’t stop the problems the world faces today. According to the Edelman Trust barometer, people globally now believe that their employer is the most trusted institution to them—more than NGOs, governments, and churches.

The same organizations confronting a workforce struggling with a 44% increase in negative emotions, 28% of people having trouble concentrating, and 20% of people taking longer to complete work have an incredible opportunity to champion mental health and well-being. The past has shown us that only one third of people come out stronger after experiencing a trauma.  But, HR leaders with an effective post-traumatic growth roadmap can succeed in keeping one hundred percent of their people prepared, protected, and productive.

Critical values of a resilient organization.

Resilience isn’t just having a softer landing after a catastrophe.  It’s about  embracing change and accelerating through disruption. When your meaning, mission, and purpose are aligned, you’re looking after your people’s mental health and well-being – and they know it. With reduced turnover, decreased absenteeism, and improvements in depression, anxiety, and burnout, it’s easier to attract and retain talent.

Growing through change and coming out stronger as a result is as much about individual mindset as a collective mindset. The year ahead will challenge us to build on our strengths while facing uncertainty.  We have the science of resilience at our fingertips to empower ourselves, our managers, our leaders, to recover from trauma and come out stronger than ever before.

I discuss these issues in meQ’s on demand webinar, Economic Disruption 2023: Workforce Resilience During Uncertainty. Watch now.