4 min read

Why Should Employers Prioritise Employee Wellbeing During Recession?

By CHOYS Community
13 Sep 2023

Whether it’s due to the Russia-Ukraine War, a resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic, or a rise in inflation— 2023 teeters on the brink of an economic recession. As global quittings rise alongside the demand for work-life balance, a dual challenge has emerged: How should employers deal with the economic downturn? Additionally, how can they ensure their workforce's wellbeing during recession?

The world saw a drastic change in employees’ sentiments about their jobs worldwide during and after the pandemic. As burnout became more common than ever, an overwhelming number of people even quit their jobs. Around 11.5 million employees in the US resigned between April and June 2021, following global events like the COVID-19 pandemic, social movements, economic downturn, and job losses in various sectors.

Source: World Economic Forum

As for Singapore, over 78% of employees will consider changing their jobs for higher salaries. While 75% desire a workplace which offers optimum work-life balance according to LinkedIn.

Source: The Strait Times, CNBC


In these changing and turbulent times, it is only a forward-thinking leader who understands that investing in employee wellbeing can have a significant positive impact on the company's resilience, productivity, and overall success.

Why Should Employee Wellbeing Be Prioritised During Recession?

There has been a significant shift in employees’ approach to work after the pandemic. 75% of the workforce is now prioritizing a better work-life balance. While 44% of GenZ employees are on the verge of quitting their jobs due to burnout.

Source: Singapore Business Review


These statistics give out a clear message: Employee wellbeing is a cornerstone of effective retention strategies. Beyond short-term incentives, companies must invest in fostering an environment where employees feel valued, supported, and motivated to contribute their best.

In fact, simply creating an environment where employees are recognised for their contributions can boost employee engagement by 40%!

Source: Human Resources Online


These statistics demonstrate that employees are not solely driven by monetary concerns; instead, they seek an environment that nurtures their professional growth, prioritises their mental and financial wellbeing, and recognises their contributions.

Also read:

Strategies for Workforce Retention During Recession

Ever wondered how industry giants like Google and Microsoft maintain their unwavering stride, even in the face of economic storms? The secret lies in their ability to foster a resilient work culture that not only weathers uncertainty but thrives in it. Now, picture your organisation walking down the same path, embracing challenges, and emerging stronger than ever.

Let’s dive into the three game-changing tactics that have propelled these titans to leadership status:

1. Clear Communication is Key

Drawing insights from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) article "The Cost of Poor Communications," there is compelling evidence that reinforces the impact of communication competence on an organisation's bottom line.

According to research presented in the article, inadequate communication can impose significant financial burdens on organisations. For instance, a survey encompassing 400 companies, each employing 100,000 individuals, revealed an alarming annual average loss of $62.4 million per company due to insufficient communication among employees and to employees. Even smaller companies with 100 employees bore a substantial cost, averaging $420,000 per year!

According to Microsoft, leveraging technology tailored to your organisation's needs is a vital aspect of improving communication. By utilising cloud-based email clients, collaborative workspaces, and workflow and task management solutions, you streamline communication processes, enhance collaboration, and mitigate confusion. This tech-driven approach, tailored to your team's preferences, leads to a more cohesive and engaged workforce.


Furthermore, engaging employees in shaping communication strategies reinforces a culture of inclusivity. Providing platforms that allow staff to express their opinions and preferences fosters open dialogue. This approach empowers HR professionals to gather insights, identify areas for improvement, and establish an environment where employees feel valued and fulfilled.

Effective communication is a cornerstone of a vibrant and productive workforce, leading to improved engagement and contributing to organisational growth.

2. Cultivate a Strong Organisation Culture

Cultivating a robust organisational culture significantly impacts employee retention, as exemplified by Google's success story. A clear and compelling purpose serves as the cornerstone of a thriving culture. Google's culture is exceptional due to its unwavering commitment to its mission: "To organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," a purpose that resonates throughout the company.

A well-defined mission statement provides a guiding light for employees, offering a sense of direction and unity. This clear purpose aligns teams toward common goals, instills a sense of belonging, and fuels motivation. The case of Google showcases how a purpose-driven culture contributes to its standing as a leading company.

When employees feel a deep connection to their organisation's mission, they are more likely to stay engaged and committed, thereby creating a positive workplace environment and enhancing employee retention.


Employees need to feel a sense of belonging and support, akin to being part of a work family. This connection bolsters collaboration and collective unity as everyone prepares to face potential economic challenges together. Leaders should reinforce existing policies, programs, and benefits that highlight the company's commitment to its employees' wellbeing.

By understanding employees' needs and introducing measures such as flexible work or wellness programs, businesses can create an environment where employees feel valued and engaged. Employee assistance programs (EAPs), financial wellness initiatives, and personalised support can further contribute to building a confident and dedicated workforce.

Source: Forbes

3. Provide Unique Financial Wellbeing Support

Compensation and benefits are like the heartbeat of employee satisfaction and loyalty, but in times of uncertainty, a little extra effort can go a long way.

Think about it – beyond the usual pay check, what if your company stepped up with something extra, something that genuinely makes a difference in your employees' lives?

This is where those unique financial perks come into play. Microsoft, a true trailblazer in this arena, reminds us that offering competitive compensation and benefits shows that your company is not just about business, but about your people too. It's like saying, "Hey, we've got your back, especially when times are a bit rocky."


Imagine the impact of rolling out tailor-made financial benefits that go beyond the usual. Lump-sum financial benefits to help with health insurance, travel insurance, or even tapping into sponsoring wellbeing activities – these perks are like a big warm hug for your employees' wallets.

And you know what? When employees feel valued and understood, they're more likely to stick around. It's a win-win. They're happier, you're happier, and the positive vibes translate into better productivity, which, you guessed it, adds up to improved revenue.

How Can CHOYS Help?

In the midst of economic uncertainty, employee retention takes center stage. To address this challenge head-on, CHOYS offers a dynamic set of strategic solutions designed not only to prioritise employee wellbeing but also to significantly contribute to bolstering retention rates.

Beyond conventional benefits, CHOYS introduces personalised insurance plans (health, dental, and travel) that extend a safety net beyond the confines of job roles. This distinctive approach allows businesses to demonstrate their genuine concern for employees' overall wellbeing, resulting in heightened loyalty and amplified job satisfaction.

Recognising the importance of mental and physical wellbeing, especially during economic downturn, CHOYS provides employees with access to Calm and ClassPass. This inclusivity promotes stress relief and physical wellness, nurturing a stronger bond between employees and the organisation.

The CHOYS team believes that when it comes to employee wellbeing, if you have a will they have a way. All you have to do is delegate your employees’ wellbeing responsibility to this digital Chief Wellbeing Officer, and it will churn out custom-made wellbeing strategies for your business.

Contact us or schedule a demo with CHOYS to get a free workforce wellbeing consultation!


  1. Reuters: World Bank warns global economy could tip into recession in 2023
  2. World Economic Forum:Is there a doctor in the boardroom? 6 health chiefs...
  3. The Straits Times: Over 78% will consider switching jobs if their pay rise is lower...
  4. CNBC: Recession fears won’t stop ‘the big quit’ in 2023...
  5. Singapore Business Review: More than 1 in 2 Gen Z Singaporeans are ‘quiet quitting’
  6. Human Resources Online:Increasing the frequency of employee recognition to...
  7. Society for Human Resource Management: The Cost of Poor Communications
  8. Microsoft: Improve communication in the workplace to grow your business
  9. Forbes: 13 Reasons Google Deserves Its 'Best Company Culture' Award
  10. Microsoft: Keeping talent happy: Strategies and plans for effectively retaining employees