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Survey Report

COVID-19 employee wellbeing – Virtual focus group overview

By Tom Wooldridge and Shazre Quamber-Hill | May 19, 2020

Based on input from 75+ employers from companies across the UK, the findings reveal measures companies are taking to support employee wellbeing as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
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Pandemic Risk and Response

Willis Towers Watson’s COVID-19 Employee Wellbeing – Virtual Focus Group was held on Tuesday, 12 May where we welcomed employers who came from a diverse range of roles including Rewards, Benefits, HR, Employee Experience and Wellbeing.

Together, we examined real-time impacts of COVID-19 and covered questions around physical, financial, social and emotional wellbeing as well as the employee experience.

The discussion gave participants an opportunity to have their say and vote on the responses of others.

Key takeaways include:

  • Managing cost is a priority and benefits are in focus. Employers are looking for ways to offer valuable benefits and employee assistance programmes that support employees through this crisis. But they need to do it efficiently.
  • Job security and instability are affecting financial and emotional wellbeing. Employers need to re-establish their total rewards and ensure employees are making informed decisions around benefits.
  • Emotional intelligence is the most critical skill managers need to be equipped with right now. Employers know they need to do more to equip managers.
  • Employees are worried about returning to work, but 85% of participants had roles that couldn’t be done remotely. Employers’ return to work strategies need to consider all aspects of employee wellbeing in order to be successful.
  • The rules around the social experience of work are being rewritten.

You can download a synopsis of the report below.

To access the full report or to find out more about virtual focus groups contact Tom Wooldridge or Shazre Quamber-Hill.


Tom Wooldridge
Associate Director – Change Management and Communication

I support clients to deliver effective engagement strategies that improve employee wellbeing, raise awareness of benefits and improve understanding of pensions.

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Shazre Quamber-Hill
Senior Associate - Change Management and Communication
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