A new study finds that employees’ resilience is strengthened by upfront and honest communication from management.

The Society for Human Relations Management (SHRM) cited the report from Marcus Buckingham, head of ADP Research Institute. The survey included 26,500 employees from 25 countries. 

“The main conclusions were that workers’ resilience levels around the world are low— just 17 percent of workers overall from the surveyed countries were shown to be highly resilient—but resilience increases with direct, personal experience with the coronavirus.”

The countries with the highest percentage of highly resilient employees were India (32 percent), Saudi Arabia (26 percent) and the United Arab Emirates (24 percent), followed by the United States (16 percent).

Direct experience was also a factor. 

If someone responded that he or she had had COVID-19, cared for a loved one with the virus, or knew a friend or work colleague with it, that individual was three times more likely to be highly resilient than someone who didn’t. If the respondent answered “yes” to all the COVID-19 impact questions, he or she was four times more likely to be highly resilient.

Experiencing workplace changes and disruptions, such as the use of protective gear, sudden remote work, and layoffs or furloughs, also led to high resilience.

“We humans do better psychologically when we deal with reality head-on,” Buckingham said. “We do not need senior leadership to sugarcoat things and pretend that things will go back to normal. People need facts, not blithe reassurance. Their well-being is preserved, not diminished, when they can see the reality of the situation and respond to it, rather than when it is hidden from them or unknown.”