Request a demo
Back to Blog

The resilient bounce back stronger

February 24, 2021 - 4 min read

Organizations and individuals have faced disruption and stress in unimaginable ways. But, on the other side of this, we can come out stronger.

Resilience is tightly coupled with personal agility and adaptability. More resilient individuals are better able to adapt their thinking in response to new information or stressors, rapidly address challenges, and are more creative and innovative at work. It’s likely for these reasons that since the pandemic began we have seen this benefit to well-being for those with high resilience: they bounce back even stronger. 

What the data says

Since the pandemic began, BetterUp has been tracking member well-being. We’ve seen the dips and rises across the year in response to national events (read more here). Our Labs team recently sliced the trend line data for well-being in a unique way: comparing those with the highest resilience to those with low resilience. Two unique insights emerged from this data view.

  1. The resilient have had higher overall well-being throughout the pandemic by 6% on average
  2. When the resilient took a hit to well-being, the size of the rebound was bigger by 1.2x

Based on BetterUp’s research, the resilient tend to be more regulated in emotions, self-compassionate, and willing to change course when necessary. It may be that we see higher well-being and stronger recovery lines for this group because of less intense emotional strain when facing setbacks and a willingness or openness to adapt and learn from change. The ultimate result is that the resilient stay productive even through uncertainty. During the pandemic, we’ve seen those low in resilience take significant hits to productivity levels, whereas those with high resilience have actually grown in productivity by 5%. 

But the value of resilience isn’t just important to individuals. On teams, individuals who have a team leader with high resilience report their entire work teams as more agile by 15% and higher performing by 31% compared to those on teams with a low resilience leader. 

Why it matters

Global pandemics create disruption and stress in ways many of us have never faced before. But, on the other side of this, organizations can come out stronger. The need for resilience at all levels of an organization is critical to help front line employees, managers, and senior leaders bounce back from adversity and allow them the mental and emotional space to care for themselves so they can then think strategically.

We know that organizations that focus on building resilience in critical roles have success because when you have teams led by highly resilient leaders, they model and teach the habits and behaviors that create that exaggerated bounce-back effect. As Maya Angelou once said, “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

New call-to-action
Published February 24, 2021

Erin Eatough, PhD

Sr. Insights Manager

Read Next

5 min read | May 11, 2021

What happens when organizations care about well-being?

Overall, when organizations care about well-being, the benefits return in the form of a more highly engaged workforce, that is more committed to the organization, better able... Read More
5 min read | December 23, 2020

The 3 big well-being drops (and recoveries) of 2020

BetterUp has been tracking member’s self-reported well-being across hundreds of thousands of coaching sessions with workers around the globe since mid-March of 2020. We might... Read More
5 min read | May 26, 2021

Why "fine" is good but not good enough

Our data shows that BetterUp Members are getting back to their previous level of well-being, pre-pandemic. But is that good enough? Many employees were struggling then, too.... Read More
6 min read | June 15, 2021

Did COVID-19 change us for better or for worse?

We asked people, “How much do you think the pandemic has changed you, as a person, for better or worse?” Here's what they said. Read More
9 min read | August 9, 2021

It's time to let go of the myth that pressure drives performance

It's not uncommon for people to push themselves to perform in high-pressure situations. But does it work? Read More
7 min read | December 24, 2020

How to make your employee mental health strategy better? Focus on growth

American workers today face psychological challenges on every front. Research has shown we can develop tools to prevent against the threat to well-being. Read More
6 min read | August 24, 2021

New data shows poor mental health impedes creativity

When we struggle, we can’t perform our best. We are less open and generate fewer and less-novel ideas. Stress and anxiety stall creativity and innovation. Read More
10 min read | January 28, 2022

Find out what the data reveal about the 6 key skills for managing stress

Stress is a inescapable part of our lives, but developing these six skills can help you mitigate its effects and improve your well-being Read More
7 min read | February 1, 2022

The significant upside of reducing and preventing burnout

Managing the effects of burnout not only prevents negative feelings, it promotes positive attitudes that have far reaching impact for both individuals and organizations Read More

Stay connected with BetterUp

Get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research.