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Now more than ever,


Leaders are quickly realising that employee health is the most important variable in the survival of their organisation. CEOs and boards have become direct decision-makers on health issues and programmes to protect the physical and mental health of their employees.


Arnaud Vaissié

Co-founder, CEO & Chairman, International SOS


COVID-19 has highlighted more than ever how workforce health can directly influence business performance. It needs to be recognised as part of the organisation’s overall strategy, as well as one of the main organisational risks. Workforce health is now one of the C-Suite’s key areas of focus.

As shown by the International SOS Foundation’s latest research on employer health professionals and experts worldwide, the scope and responsibilities within organisations are expected to increase in the next few years, with a significant shift towards the C-Suite. That workforce health and resilience is a growing leaders’ priority is also stressed by companies themselves, including but not limited to Swiss Re, ABB, Chubb, LafargeHolcim, Cotecna, IG Bank.


The COVID-19 pandemic made health and security topics a regular board-level discussion. Addressing the increasingly wide range of global risks required commitment at senior management level. Corporate leaders had to focus on what matters most: their people’s health and safety.

Previously health and security were often seen as 'someone else’s job'. The COVID-19 crisis has stressed their wider importance. Health and security advisors are now fully recognised as integral to leadership, not only during a crisis but also in ensuring business continuity.

There is no sign that such interest will tail off after the pandemic. According to research by the International SOS Foundation ‘CHO 2030: Addressing the employee health needs of the future’, the scope and responsibilities of organisational health and safety are expected to change in the next 10 years, and it is the leadership who will have to face the challenges ahead:

  • 25%

    of them sees the future role of health in their organisation being part of the C-Suite

  • 88%

    see the organisation’s health requirements continuing to increase in complexity.

  • +75%

    of respondents believe their investment in health will increase over the next ten years.

Such organisational shifts are mainly due to the new urgency with which decisions must be taken, as the C-Suite is usually best placed to quickly respond to issues, update policies, and cope with dynamic or critical situations. Employee health has become one of the main areas, where the C-Suite has expanded its responsibilities. More and more C-Level executives (about 80% according to a recent IBM research) are now supporting their employees’ physical and mental health.

International SOS itself has also observed, during the first year of the pandemic, a doubling in calls from C-Suite level people to our Assistance Centres.

It’s clear that C-Suite executives are now doing more to ensure that decisions account for the health and safety of employees. Specifically, employee personal health issues are no longer seen as separate from business concerns. Instead, the two are seen as increasingly interconnected, with employees being recognized recognised as organisations’ most valuable assets.


Dr Philippe Guibert

Regional Medical Director, Europe – Health Consulting, International SOS

Health management can indeed directly influence business performance, and health has become one of the main strategic organisational risks. 


The higher the health agenda is considered within organisations, the wider the benefits are in terms of employee engagement and retention. Never before has health become so material to organisations in the way it has impacted business growth, raised costs and increased risks.


Dr Pascal Rey-Herme

Group Medical Director & Co-Founder, International SOS


'Workforce Resilience: A Vision from Leaders'  is an exclusive series of webcast interviews with various C-level leaders from corporations such as Swiss Re, ABB, Chubb, LafargeHolcim Cotecna Inspection, IG Bank, and more to come.

Interviews are moderated by Cédric Fraissinet - General Manager Switzerland & Italy, International SOS – who is aiming at gathering key insights from these leaders into all dimensions of their workforce resilience.

The series assessed the impact of the pandemic crisis on the workforce and the future of health and security management. All the leaders interviewed agreed that health concerns have now become of prime importance to company leaders, as well as properly communicating with their people and always having a crisis plan in place. 

Fargo successfully finished filming season 4 during COVID-19

“Fargo Emmy-winning EP Warren Littlefield, 'The protocols are a 40-page document and we had International SOS as our consultant. Basically, with every department of our crew and with the actors, we went through a training session of ‘Here’s what it’s going to be like’ and ‘here are our responsibilities’. So, what we tried to do is get everybody to a place of what that experience would be, because we also knew we were the tip of the spear. There weren’t a lot of shows across the planet going back into production. So, we were at the top of that. In our final zoom, we had our directors and a lot of our crew. They were like horses at the gate, waiting for the gun to go off. They felt so ready and prepared. We found ourselves to be artistic and not comprised in the final two hours and also very efficient. I think we surprised a lot of people with our preparation. And the feedback from our actors is that they felt safe.”
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  • International SOS is the pioneer in its field and at the forefront to support leaders and their people from being caught off guard while ensuring their resilience and business continuity. Through our services of expert consulting, Workforce Risk Management, Intelligence, Workplace Solutions, Crisis Management, and COVID-19 support, International SOS can help protect your workforce from health and security risks while ensuring business operations.
  • Treating the health of your people as a priority will also allow you to meet other important requirements: Meet legal and governance requirements, always being compliant with your Duty of Care, Ensure employee and talent retention, attraction, and satisfaction, Protect your Business Continuity, and Protect your reputation and bottom line.
  • Focusing on health will enable you to address such needs and their related costs, mitigate risks, and minimise the potential negative impact of an incident or crisis on your operations and reputation.