The Resilience Advantage: Why Your Workplace Needs These Skills Now

Posted by Seraine Page on Mon, May, 22, 2023

ResillanceAre you looking to improve employee resilience in the workplace?

You’ve come to the right place.

Luckily, there are many ways to build resilience skills that benefit workers professionally and personally. Life can be challenging and having the tools necessary to handle it emotionally and physically can make it easier to see the light on the other side.

Helping your team build these skills benefits everyone in the workplace as it helps individuals better cope with traumas, setbacks, failures, and disappointments.

Below, learn more about what workplace resilience is, the skills needed to bounce back from hard times, and tips to help your employees be more resilient.

Workplace Resilience: What is It?

How does your workplace handle turbulent times? Even if you have a successful and robust organization, it’s important to note that uncertain times happen. How your company rebounds back is dependent on how resilient your workers are.

Researchers define resilience as being able to maintain and/or regain mental health after a stressful experience. Essentially, it’s how quickly someone can bounce back after hard times.

That means for workers, it’s their ability to withstand and manage challenging work circumstances or situations. A 2020 Workplace Resilience Study found that 19% of workers are “highly resilient,” leaving around 81% in the “vulnerable” category.

What Are Resilience Skills?

Whether it’s trauma or stress, humans exhibit and experience grief, anger, and pain, but it’s the ability to continue functioning that determines resilience. According to Positive, several characteristics make up resilience:

  • Patience
  • Commitment
  • Self-efficacy
  • Sense of humor
  • Engaging others’ support
  • Recognition of limits to control
  • Viewing change as a challenge or opportunity

Other researchers might say that self-care, mindfulness, positive relationships, purpose, and self-awareness are more in-line with resiliency.

Why Does Resilience in the Workplace Matter?

The 2020 Workplace Resilience Study concluded that an employee’s personal resilience level is “closely related to their immediate team leader” as well as senior leaders. The study found three sources of workplace resilience:

  • The employee
  • An employee’s team leader
  • An employee’s senior leadership

When your employees have the skills they need to better handle stress and overwhelm, it makes it easier for them to bounce back and perform better. Those who are resilient tend to take charge and are more willing to learn new skills, too. Their can-do, keep-going attitudes can also inspire others in the workplace when work becomes challenging.

7 Tips to Help Employees Become More Resilient

There are a variety of ways to increase resilience. For some people, it comes more naturally; others must work at feeling resilient. Some of the best ways to build better resilience skills include having a good self-image and maintaining healthy, positive relationships. It takes a bit of practice to get better at it.

Here’s a look at how you can encourage your workers to be more resilient:  

Tip #1: Offer Stress Management Workshops

If you want your employees to do better under pressure, give them the tools to do so. Teaching resilience isn’t necessarily natural, but it can be done. Bring in a psychologist or other mental health professional to discuss how resiliency skills can help with well-being.

Tip #2: Address Stress Levels

Stress is a part of the workplace sometimes. Work with your leadership teams to help them better detect when stress levels are too high. Pushing stress under the rug leaves the issues unaddressed and doesn’t help anyone. When your workers can trust that you understand the amount of pressure they’re under, they build up more respect and are willing to open up about individual and work pressures more easily. That means being able to openly discuss solutions, which is a win for everyone.

Related: Stress Management in the Workplace 

Tip #3: Encourage Deep Connections Among Colleagues

High-quality relationships can make all the difference during difficult times. With a supportive network, individuals can better manage emotions. In a work environment, this type of support can make projects easier and also life as a whole more enjoyable. Consider incorporating team-building activities, retreats, game nights, and other ways for colleagues to build trust and friendships.

Related: Team Building Activities That Your Employees Will Actually Like

Tip #4:  Laugh During Hard Times

It feels good to laugh, doesn’t it? The benefits of laughter include improving focus and alertness, easing distressing emotions, and reducing stress. If you’re looking to improve the mood in your office, stream funny videos or podcasts, spend time with people who enjoy laughing, and consider bringing in a laughing yoga instructor to teach employees to let loose.

Tip #5: Offer Soothing Workplace Activities

Calming both the mind and body intentionally has a massive impact on mental well-being. Have your staffers list out activities that could help them relax both at work and home — encourage the use of on-site resources like the gym, quiet room, game room, etc. Encourage them to use all five senses to engage in relaxing activities when stress levels are running high.

Tip #6: Promote Daily Positivity

What the brain focuses on is what can help it thrive. Positive thinking is known to lower depression levels. It can also reduce distress and pain and overall helps with better physical and psychological well-being, according to Mayo Clinic. Read positive news before staff meetings, email funny videos, and share positive company news — all of it will help build resilience in the workplace.

Tip #7: Perform Acts of Kindness Together

When was the last time your team participated in giving back together? Research indicates that acts of altruism improve mental and physical health. It can lower blood pressure and create emotional warmth as well as feelings of being calmer, according to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. Consider volunteering at an animal shelter, a library, a school, or even doing a community roadside clean-up near your workplace. 

Work to Build a More Resilient Workplace Today 

Despite the fact that only 19% of workers feel empowered with resiliency skills, there is hope. Workers themselves and leaders can take charge to increase resiliency in the workplace. Before times get tough, be a leader in showcasing what an attitude of resilience looks like.

As a leader, here are a few more thoughts to consider:

  • Manage your emotions well - It’s important for employees to see you as level-headed and willing to handle strong emotions well. Move on with purpose and focus.

  • Remember what you can control - So much of the world is out of our control. How you react to situations in the short and long term can make a big difference.

  • Skip the victim mentality - Things happen. Sometimes bad things do happen to good people, too. It can be hard to accept but know that sometimes life throws curveballs.

  • Lead by example - Allow employees to trust you, and show that you’re planning for the company's (and your team’s) future success. Bring on excitement often about the company mission and values that its leaders have. Doing so will keep your workers engaged in work while also feeling confident that leadership has everyone’s backs.

Help your team see the silver linings often so they can do it in their own lives — professionally and personally. When you do this on a regular basis, you’ll be able to grow a stronger team that’s mentally fit to handle whatever challenge life throws its way.

How does your company encourage employees to be resilient? Share your thoughts below!

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Topics: Healthy Workplaces


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