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Resilient Companies Show Higher Revenue Growth, More Innovation and Less Employee Burnout, According to New Research From BetterUp

August 31, 2020 - 5 min read

New scientific study from BetterUp Labs quantifies and measures the business case for building resilience

SAN FRANCISCO -- August 31, 2020 -- Companies with a resilient workforce enjoy substantial bottom line benefits, including more than triple the rates of annual revenue growth, higher innovation and creativity and less employee burnout, according to research released today from BetterUp, the global leader in mobile-based professional coaching. 

These are just a few of the topline findings from the report: Resilience In An Age Of Uncertainty, a comprehensive, data-driven examination of the attitudes, motivations and behaviors of tens of thousands of American professionals studied before and during the current pandemic from BetterUp Labs, the company’s industry-leading research unit. 

The new research uncovers why certain organizations have fared better over others during this unparalleled time of uncertainty, illustrates the traits of highly resilient workers, and offers practical, evidenced-based strategies for companies to measure and cultivate resilience. Some of the key findings include: 

  • Resilience boosts the bottom-line. Companies with the highest growth in resilience demonstrated more than three times the annual revenue growth rate than those who grew the least in resilience.
  • Resilient managers retain talent, reduce burnout. Highly resilient managers have direct reports who experience 52% less burnout, are 78% less likely to leave the organization and report 57% greater purpose in their work. Demonstrating how resilience has a ripple effect on teams: the direct reports of highly-resilient leaders report more than double the levels of resilience as the direct reports of leaders low in resilience. 
  • Resilience is a hidden source of innovation and growth. The most resilient workers are also the most innovative ones, with 22% higher innovation than their peers, 19% higher cognitive flexibility and 18% higher team creativity. The skillset is rewarded monetarily as well: employees with the highest levels of resilience have 22% greater annual income than those with the lowest levels of resilience. 
  • Mental, physical and social well-being are key to building individual resilience. The most resilient individuals engaged in almost 40% more physical activity, had better quality sleep, and enjoyed 20% more social support. These behaviors helped bolster work productivity at a time when less resilient individuals saw a sharp decline. In fact, employees with the highest resilience during the pandemic reported 31% higher job productivity during the pandemic over their least resilient peers.

“Every company sets out to be resilient, but most don’t know how to define, measure or build this characteristic among their workforce. Our world-class team of behavioral scientists have mapped out the profile of today’s most resilient organizations and provided a framework for fostering resilience on a meaningful scale,” said Alexi Robichaux Co-Founder and CEO of BetterUp. “As the report demonstrates, the business case for investing in workforce resilience is clear: improved employee well-being, motivation and productivity, more creative and effective teams, and financial growth for the company.” 

With an extensive data set that tracks growth over time, the report found that resilience can not only be carefully measured, but — with the right type of support such as one-on-one professional coaching — resilience can also be learned. For example, with only three to four months of coaching, BetterUp saw more than double the growth in resilience for those starting with a low baseline. And even during the pandemic, there was 17% growth in individuals with coaching support, highlighting that, when supported properly, growth is possible even during a crisis.

"Right now, millions of people across the globe are experiencing adversity at unprecedented levels. In fact, our research showed more than two-thirds of workers reported they experienced a major disruption to their productivity during the start of the pandemic," said Dr. Gabriella Rosen Kellerman, BetterUp Chief Innovation Officer. "Resilient workers are better prepared to not only manage and work through such adversity, but also thrive through these uncertain times."

The research is the latest release from BetterUp Labs, which earlier produced widely cited research on  Belonging and Meaning & Purpose in the workplace. The full report, which includes deeper exploration into how organizations can cultivate resilience in their teams and leaders, is available here. See how BetterUp can help your company build resilience in this video here

About BetterUp 

Founded in 2013, BetterUp is the global leader in mobile-based, professional coaching. BetterUp’s personalized and scalable leadership development platform brings together a unique combination of expert coaches and behavioral science to offer a new way to develop talent to experience personal and professional growth. With a network of over 2,000 coaches, BetterUp offers 1:1 coaching at scale in 30 languages across 62 countries, along with interactive professional development content, analytics and insights to monitor the progress that employees are making. Used by leading Fortune 1000 companies, BetterUp drives transformational and lasting behavior change, resulting in improved business outcomes across organizations and inspires professionals everywhere to pursue their lives with greater clarity, purpose, and passion. To learn more, visit

Published August 31, 2020

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