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The Wellbeing Imperative

How Manufacturers Can Make Progress on Employee Resilience in Turbulent Times

“Emotional and mental health issues are difficult for most operations-driven supervisors and managers to deal with because they’re not used to doing those kind of things. It gets even more complicated in a union environment. Any type of intervention or counseling help for an employee may be perceived as ‘selling out’ a fellow union member. So we try to drive home the message that it’s about showing compassion to someone who might be hurting.”

— HR Executive , Industrial Manufacturing Company

Executive Summary

Employees are experiencing heightened levels of stress in their lives right now. Financial worries, burnout at work, relationship tensions, illness, and a host of mental health issues are taking a toll. 

Over the past three years, manufacturing companies have seen an increase in cases of anxiety, depression, anger management, and substance abuse. While mental health and emotional wellbeing are the top concern to companies globally right now, many of these issues are interwoven with other dimensions of wellbeing, especially financial. Economic volatility is putting stress on mental health, especially among employees living paycheck to paycheck. According to PR Newswire, in 2022 61% of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck, up from 52% in 2021. Employees are seeking counseling services to cope, and 70% of employers report an uptick in utilization of their EAP (Employee Assistance Program), a historically underutilized benefit category. 

Workforce wellbeing, which encompasses physical, mental, social, work life, and financial health as well as belonging, purpose, and professional development, is top-of-mind for employers and employees alike. Manufacturers Alliance and Aon took a closer look at how companies in the industrial space are adapting to address these issues. While some organizations are more advanced than others, among all companies participating in our study, there is a strong desire to make more progress quickly. 

This report provides benchmarks for wellbeing in manufacturing and offers best practices and insights around how the workforce’s wellbeing is impacted. We share a few surprisingly easy fixes to build program effectiveness and lift employee wellbeing. Our goal is to give manufacturers a sense of how developed their wellbeing strategies are and how to make progress with data-driven approaches. 

View the Report

Wellbeing graphic

6 Key Takeaways for Manufacturers

  • Leverage data to develop an understanding of your company’s current state. Create a dashboard of metrics important for progress, such as utilization rates and feedback from employee surveys.
  • Train managers about wellbeing resources at their disposal. Get feedback from them on the effectiveness of the training and determine whether additional resources are needed.
  • Destigmatize mental health by taking opportunities to talk about it. Consider a drip campaign with small amounts of information spread out over a month or a quarter to bring mental health issues to the fore.
  • Meet employees where they are by making information easy to access and understand. Consider rebranding counseling options or offering life coach sessions to gain buy-in from employees.
  • Increase leadership engagement by mapping activities and content to the specific interests and passions of executive team members. Aim for authenticity.
  • Embed wellbeing into company DNA by finding ways to integrate wellbeing into all horizontal and vertical aspects of the company. Make wellbeing an integral part of company strategy.


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About Aon

Aon Corporation (NYSE:AOC) is the leading global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, human capital and management consulting, and specialty insurance underwriting. Through its 43,000 professionals worldwide, Aon readily delivers distinctive client value via innovative and effective risk management and workforce productivity solutions. Our industry-leading global resources, technical expertise and industry knowledge are delivered locally through more than 500 offices in more than 120 countries. Aon was ranked by A.M. Best as the number one global insurance brokerage in 2007 based on brokerage revenues, and voted best insurance intermediary, best reinsurance intermediary, and best employee benefits consulting firm in 2007 by the readers of Business Insurance.