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5 Proven Ways to Build Resilience in the Workplace

Company Culture
June 7, 2022
Rad time: 10min
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In increasingly demanding work environments, resilience in the workplace proves to be incredibly important and beneficial. That’s why so many employers and employees will look for how to build resilience at work because it can make all the difference in the company culture, productivity levels, and employee engagement. 

Resilience is a character trait that must be honed by individuals in order to show up as resilience in the workplace. In this article, we will answer “Why is resilience important?” We will also share resilience at work examples.

What is Resilience in the Workplace?       

Merriam-Webster defines resilience as “the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” As the definition states, resilience is an ability, which is good news because it can be strengthened and learned (i.e. a skill). 

Resilience in the workplace refers to how employees react to change in the workplace, as well as challenges. It is the dynamic process by which employees bounce back or power through hurdles and overcome challenges. 

Since their livelihoods are at stake on the job, their reactions have the power to make or break their longevity with a company. Their state of mind and actions also impact the company’s functioning, and ultimately, the customer experience. 

Resilience is closely tied to employee mental wellbeing. Hard situations cause stress, which is a test of resilience. As such, many organisations are supporting their employees by implementing employee wellbeing tools that are equipped with resources to develop mental fitness and resilience.

What are Examples of Resilience in the Workplace?

Let’s take a look at resilience at work examples to get a better idea of how this skill shows up in everyday situations. 

Staff Turnover and Deadlines

Consider a manager who has their star employee quit ahead of a big deadline. Rather than being overwhelmed by the frustration or fear of not having said employee, they get to work on recruiting and hiring someone to replace them. 

More importantly, they have a team that they can rely on to still accomplish its goals despite the increased workload from the missing employee. Workplace pressures like these can happen at any time.  

With an employee wellbeing tool, your employees have tools and techniques to better manage stress levels and maintain an optimistic (and in turn, productive) mindset. The rest of the team can shift into being problem solvers and find ways to still get the job done despite the challenges.

Remote Work and Colleague Connections

With workplaces shifting to working remotely, many employees have begun to feel isolated. Feelings of isolation can lead to depression, loss of focus, and insomnia, to name a few outcomes. 

The sudden shift has affected employees mental wellbeing. Resilience is what empowers employees to overcome such feelings and connect with their peers in healthy ways, even if it happens digitally. 

By focusing on employees’ mental wellbeing and making use of an employee wellbeing platform, employees have tools that enhance their emotional and social intelligence. They are better able to build deeper connections remotely by understanding their emotions and needs.

Why Being Resilient is Important at Work?   

The ability to be resilient in the workplace changes the dynamics and work environment. There are multiple benefits that come along with having employees who possess resilience, including:

1. Ability to Handle Challenges 

Resilience reframes negative emotions into ones of action and understanding so that employees can deal with situations rather than allow thoughts to cloud their judgement. 

2. Better Communication 

With more resilience comes more confidence. Confidence is required to speak up and express oneself clearly.

3. Lower Absenteeism

When stress gets out of hand or employees feel burned out, they may be absent from work. With the ability to overcome challenges and properly manage stress, employees are more likely to be present.  

4. Increased Competitiveness 

Businesses that can adapt to change and remain agile are more competitive and likely to survive. 

5. Ability to Set Realistic Expectations 

With resilience, employees can better understand their needs and the needs of others to manage expectations. 

6. Strong Peer Relationships

Resilience tends to reduce friction between employees because employees know not to take business personally. 

7. Desire to Grow 

With resilience comes a growth mindset, or the desire to develop and upskill oneself to achieve business and personal goals. 

8. Proper Time Management 

Resilient employees focus on the future and use their goals to plan realistically. This promotes efficient time management. 

9. Willingness to Provide and Ask for Support 

Employees with resilience are open to feedback to develop and improve. They are also able to express when they are in need of extra support. 

10. Manage Ambiguity

When operating with greater resilience, individuals are more likely to face uncertain times with more optimism and be able to manage ambiguity better.

What is Emotional Resilience in the Workplace?   

Emotional resilience is required to maintain stable mental wellbeing. It is the skill that grants people the ability to handle situations that can cause stress, anxiety and depression. 

Without emotional resilience in the workplace, employees may be unmotivated and dwell on problems. With this state of mind, it becomes hard to meet their truest potential and be focused on work. Instead, employees may seek unhealthy ways to forget about the undesirable emotions.

Employee smiling during meeting
By Emily Underworld from Unsplash

How to Build Mental Resilience in the Workplace?       

So what are the 5 proven ways to build resilience in the workplace? 

Let’s take a look at some of the popular methods and tools to do so.

1. Provide Training

As an employer, you can provide resilience training, as well as staff development and training. They are different types of training but both can pave the way to boost resilience. Here’s why: Resilience training consists of both physical and mental exercises in which challenges arise. 

You lead your team in thinking about the issue at hand and how they would deal with it. In this way, you are helping to train their mind for when an actual challenging event arises. 

Staff training and development is a separate idea but it can aid in building resilience because it provides employees with the resources, skills, and knowledge they need to succeed on the job. It also positions them to think about their own growth, focus on the future, and have a set goal that they are working to achieve (in which case, there’s a motivational factor for remaining resilient).

2. Focus on Emotional Wellbeing 

Mental wellbeing is absolutely essential to being resilient because resilience is a mental state of mind and lens by which people approach challenges. How exactly can you develop one’s emotional wellbeing and improve their mental fitness? The answer is simpler than you think – employee wellbeing platforms. 

Employee wellbeing platforms are designed for this exact purpose. They come with self-assessments that are expertly designed, allowing employees to take the time to consider how and why they feel the way they do at work. 

A platform like LUME also includes guided educational journeys to train one’s subconscious and develop mental fitness. The robust tool takes into consideration employees’ sociological, psychological, spiritual, and biological health because it all plays a role in overall wellbeing. 

The knowledge and skills taught through the platform help employees to overcome challenges and adversity because they are in touch with their emotions and the outside factors that affect their thoughts and actions. 

Employees who possess mental fitness are more likely to feel connected with their peers, aligned to achieve organisational and personal goals, and engaged to maximise their own potential because they take pride in their work.

3. Foster a Growth Mindset

Employees who have a growth mindset seek to move forward constructively. They are able to utilise constructive criticism to their benefit rather than be set back by it. From the employer side, you can foster employees to have a growth mindset by holding them accountable for their actions and roles. 

It also requires the promotion of critical thinking, which may mean you have to offer employees the time to approach a task or problem, offer solutions, and consider the potential outcomes before moving forward. 

4. Support Physical Wellbeing 

Emotional wellbeing is linked to physical wellbeing. While physical fitness is a personal choice, employers can support a workplace environment that prioritises physical health, too. 

This may look like ordering in healthy options for lunch in the workplace, financing gym memberships, hosting exercise classes like yoga, or letting employees work more flexibly in order to fit in their fitness regimen (for a healthy work/life balance). 

5. Promote Social Relationships 

Be aware of how employees interact with one another at work. While relationships are based on individual preferences and characters, employers can guide connections through team building exercises and hosting social events. This way, employees can get to know one another outside of just having to talk about work.

How to Improve Resilience in the Workplace?   

Wondering more about resilience in the workplace?

Here are a few things that it can look like: 

Additionally, with the aid of technology, resilience training can take on new forms. For example, some resilience training plans will incorporate biotechnology devices so that employees will self-regulate their own stress responses. This way, they can use biofeedback to see when a situation is creating a physiological response in their body to know how to react logically and calmly, despite the changes. 

From incorporating mindfulness training to employee wellbeing platforms, resilience training programs are designed to enhance the mental wellbeing of employees so that they can maximise their level of resilience.

How to Build Resilience During Layoffs?

When talking about stressful situations at work, it’s hard to ignore the potential of being laid off. When an organisation has to lay off employees, everyone will feel a heightened sense of stress and fear of the unknown. 

Resilience can help to ease such negative feelings and allow employees to deal with whatever their fate may be. 

Here’s how they can do so:

1. Be Prepared 

Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. This way, if the worst case scenario takes place, you will have a plan. With a plan in mind to bounce back and move forward, you can minimise stress levels. 

2. Preserve Relationships 

Despite not knowing what may happen, it’s always a good idea to maintain positive relationships within the workplace. Rather than worrying and talking about the potential of something bad happening, employees can spend that same time preparing and protecting their professional network. 

3. Outplacement Support

For employees who are laid off, consider providing outplacement services, which helps said employees to find new work.

Closing Thoughts 

Resilience in the workplace affects all aspects of doing business. When employees possess resilience and have what they need to take care of their mental wellbeing, they can be more prepared to overcome challenges and adapt to change. 

Since businesses are constantly changing and evolving, you’ll want a workforce that can thrive throughout the good and the bad. It’s no wonder why so many organisations are prioritising employee mental wellbeing (and physical wellbeing) in order to protect, sharpen, and develop resilience.

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