CEO and Leaders’ Well-Being: 2021 Pulse Survey Report

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In July 2021, the Found Consulting team surveyed our network of CEOs, Senior Managers and HR Professionals to determine what well-being success means to them.

We received an overwhelming response to the survey, allowing us to summarise a number of key themes and recommendations based on our findings.

> Download our CEO and Leaders’ Well-Being: 2021 Pulse Survey Report

Key insights

1. Focus on the well-being of your team

An overwhelming majority of the leaders surveyed believe the key to well-being success stems from the health and happiness of their team.  If a team is cohesive, communicate regularly, are happy and healthy (both physically and mentally) and can achieve a work/life balance, they will be motivated and productive, resulting in low absenteeism and turnover.

The leaders of the organisations surveyed believe this is achieved by creating a better work/life balance through increased flexibility, and ensuring their employees’ safety and well-being is their number one priority.


  • Invest in resilience training to assist employees to cope in times of stress.
  • Initiate yoga and meditation classes to help employees develop a relaxed and calm mindset, and achieve a good nights’ sleep.
  • Establish other appropriate preventative and support treatment supports.

2. Improve communication

The big takeaway from the COVID crisis for a large number of the participants surveyed is that it has led to an overall improvement and increase in communication between leaders and their teams, particularly when staff are working remotely.  For employees, this has resulted in a greater sense of empowerment and trust from their managers to get their work done.

Communication has also extended to more genuine and open conversations that don’t just focus on work tasks but on how individuals are managing on a personal level.  This has required leaders to be more innovative about how they stay in touch with their team and keep them engaged, and required them to improve their skills around active listening, empathy and compassion.

And while some Managers have commented that the COVID has made them more fatigued as a result of the extra work placed on them to get through the crisis and stay connected with their teams, 47% of respondents cited only somewhat of an increase in their stress levels.


  • Create more opportunities for staff to interact with one another either face to face or virtually. This could include fun activities like virtual drinks night on a Friday, trivia afternoons etc.
  • Invest in training programs for managers to further develop their communication, listening and empathy skills.
  • Continue to maintain open and regular communication even when everyone is back in a face-to-face environment, and get to know your team on a more personal level.

3. Prioritise regular exercise

It was encouraging to see from the survey that high numbers of respondents (69%) have been exercising regularly as part of their wellness strategy, with a further 50% taking time out for themselves.  And while many leaders are actively doing something to look after their own well-being, they also recognise that they could be doing more and that this is something they need to prioritise.

Almost half of the organisations surveyed have utilised or invested in an EAP program or service to assist employees with the mental toll of the crisis, with many leaders recognising the need to develop a specific work well-being program for their organisation.


  • Introduce exercise programs into your workplace.
  • Consider developing a comprehensive and structured well-being program for your organisation.
  • Introduce a paid well-being day for leaders to allow them the opportunity to reflect and recharge.
  • Conduct regular training and webinars specific to well-being.

> Download our CEO and Leaders’ Well-Being: 2021 Pulse Survey Report


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