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Newsletter Article

Member Benefit

The Wellness-Engagement Paradox

Published Mon Mar 29 2021

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One of the strangest data trends emerging as the pandemic winds down is the divergence between employee engagement and their well-being. Traditionally, there has been a strong link between the two—that is, reciprocal, which means one influences the other, and additive, which means they work together. However, in 2020, engagement and well-being disconnected from each other. During 2020 the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic negatively affected employee well-being, and the impact was even more severe for remote workers who also experienced feelings of loneliness and isolation. While you’d expect to see employee engagement plunge because of these issues, employee engagement steadily increased, even reaching record highs multiple times throughout the summer. In short, the numbers reflect the extremely polarizing work-life experiences between employees during the pandemic, but it is clear that well-being should be prioritized alongside engagement. They are two different metrics and need to be treated thusly.

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