Our most recent membership research study offers some good news about employee well-being, and in particular positive insights into how you can best support employees at this time. During these trying times, there’s no shortage of advice about the ways that employers can help support employees, from communicating openly and frequently to giving employees additional flexibility in work hours and location. We’re also frequently reminded to take care of ourselves before we care for others. What we haven’t heard much about is whether employer support or self-care makes any difference in how we are actually doing or how we show up to work.

So, where’s the good news I promised? Here’s the first piece:

#1) Employer support makes a huge positive difference for workforce well-being.

We took up the question of the value of employer support — among others — in our study of how more than 7,000 meQuilibrium members are coping with the challenges of the pandemic. The report detailing findings of the study, Impacts of COVID-19 on Workforce Resilience, highlights changes in motivation, burnout, stress, and more, among a large sample of meQuilibrium users between December 2019 and June 2020.

We asked members how well supported they felt by their employer. Perceived support proved to be powerfully protective against otherwise strongly negative trends in well-being. To give you an idea of just how valuable employer support is:

  • High job stress was up 33% among those who did not feel well-supported, but increased only 1% higher among those who felt well-supported.
  • Burnout was up 29% among the less well-supported vs. just 1% among those who felt well-supported.

You’ll want to check out the full report to see two other outcomes where employer support had a huge payoff. Here’s the second piece of good news:

#2) Self-care works and works powerfully.

Members who participated in the study had different levels of engagement with meQuilibrium’s digital resilience-building solution. When we compared outcomes between the top 25% most engaged members and the bottom 25% least engaged members, we found these astounding returns to using meQuilibrium as a self-care tool:

  • Job stress was up 21% among those with the lowest engagement, but up just 1% among the highly engaged.
  • Burnout was up 27% among the least well engaged but down 4% among those that were highly engaged.

Want to know more ways in which resilience-based self-care had powerful protective effects? Check out the full report.

I wish the report contained only good news about workforce well-being in the face of the pandemic, that everyone is resilient and unaffected by pandemic stress. However, the report also contains sobering findings about the depth of challenges faced by workers and how those challenges vary across industries and demographic groups. But, we’ll leave that for another day. For now, enjoy some good news. There is light. There is hope. Be encouraged that what you do now to help employees—and what you do to help yourself—really matters.

Impacts of COVID-19 on Workforce Resilience

Learn more about the top trends coming out of our recent research report from Chief Science Officer, Brad Smith, Ph.D.

Read the Report