Resilient Organisations: Sense of Belonging at Work, Wellbeing and Performance During Recession

Chidiebere Ogbonnaya, Kevin Daniels, Nik Steffans, Alex Haslam

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


For a thriving country and workforce, we need to understand what can help organisations maintain economic performance and workplace wellbeing in turbulent times.
Past evidence shows that a sense of belonging and identity in the workplace is associated with higher wellbeing1. In an experimental study simulating a prison environment, there is evidence that in groups with a strong sense of identity, people are likely to help each other during times of adversity2.
This study explores whether a sense of belonging also contributes to organisational resilience. To do so it looks at UK data from before and after the 2008 recession to show that a sense of belonging in the workplace may help maintain wellbeing and organisational performance through adversity.
Workplace belonging is gauged by asking whether employees share the values of the organisation where they work, and how loyal and proud they are of the organisation.
We found that workplaces that had been hit by the recession, but where employees had a strong sense of organisational identity were:
● More than four times more likely to have withstood negative effects of recession on employee wellbeing than workplaces with a weak sense of identity. ● Almost four times more likely to have maintained high levels of organisational performance. As with any study, there are limitations to these findings: for example we were reliant on managers’ reports of organisational performance, and we were not able to follow employees over more than two time points.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherWhat Works Wellbeing
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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