It’s often said that life never gives us more than we can handle. When it comes to work, that sentiment get tested and pushed to the limits on a regular basis. From the minor inconveniences to the major obstacles — and everything in between — tackling challenges or setbacks with composure has positive benefits that manifest in how we feel and function throughout life.
Resilience is formally defined as the ability to endure and bounce back from adversity and to adapt to changing and stressful life demands. Being able to withstand hardships and rebound from them allows for growth and opens the door for opportunities to flourish in the workplace and beyond.
People who perceive themselves as being resilient report feeling more at ease when managing job-related tasks.
Practicing resilience at work reminds us that our careers aren’t defined by the challenges and difficulties we face in the workplace.
Being resilient improves work quality and helps to attract positive attention from management.
Why resilience at work is important
Practicing resilience is vital to how we feel and experience life because it reminds us that the challenges and difficulties we face don’t need to define us. Exercising resilience can increase feelings of general satisfaction and actively decrease feelings of sadness and anxiety. When the Limeade Institute looked into employee mindsets, we found that 98% of those who experience so-called intangibles like openness, purpose and resilience at work also have well-being in their lives — compared to just 44% who don’t. The 54% differential indicates the value of embracing a mindset that coincides with well-being.
Managers have the unique opportunity to help their employees develop resilience through intentional action. As one of many experience activators to improve the employee experience, building resilience requires trust, communication and the right tools. To help you and your team thrive not matter what comes your way, we’ve compiled a list of ways to improve resilience at work.
Actions for improving resilience at work
1. Show support for the individual
The way people respond to trauma and stress varies from person to person. It’s important for managers and leaders to approach resilience response in ways that fit the needs of each individual employee. Offering personalized support in times of need can help mangers earn the trust of their employees — and it lets employees know their well-being is a priority at work.
2. Measure resilience at work to maximize its impact
Use a Well-Being Assessment to measure resilience. These assessments gage levels of whole person well-being metrics such as optimism, job satisfaction, energy level and sense of team. Well-Being Assessments offer a good starting point for understanding your own resilience, the collective resilience of your team and identifying areas of improvement.
3. Make a difference with resilience training
Consider implementing a well-being program that offers structured activities around building employee resilience. Resilience training may include learning the following:
How positive thinking helps people overcome challenges
The difference between acute and chronic stress
Recognizing and managing tendencies and emotions during conflict
4. Practice resilience to reward employees and employers alike
Prioritizing resilience is associated with favorable outcomes such as organizations reducing turnover and increasing retention and employees improving performance and gaining recognition. It’s a win-win scenario.
5. Build supportive relationships at work
Relationships based on respect and trust offer encouragement and support for resilience. Regardless of your role, you have the opportunity to build a rapport with coworkers that empowers mutual growth in resilience.
Want to learn more about experience activators? Check out the other elements for a positive employee experience.