According to the American Psychological Association, resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, finances, or stress at work.
With so much going on in the world, resilience in the workplace is more important than ever. It sets the tone for a person’s life in and out of work. It’s a defining factor in how people address challenges and rebound from hardship.
10 truths about resilience in the workplace
Managers have the unique opportunity to help their employees develop workplace resilience through intentional action. This requires trust, communication and the right tools. To help you get started, we’ve compiled “truths about resilience” to help you and your team understand and develop resilience in the workplace.
Consider sharing these insights with your coworkers, direct reports and leaders today:
1. Resilience can be taught
Just like any skill, resilience in the workplace can be practiced and refined over time. Any source of stress — be it financial, emotional or physical — is an opportunity to practice resilience.
2. Resilience comes from many places
There are many ways to build resilience at work. Find a way to work one of the following activities into your daily routine, and encourage other employees to do the same:
Self-care (sleep, nutrition, exercise)
Optimism and positivity training
3. Resilience means adapting
An individual who demonstrates resilience in the workplace is one who can cope and adapt in the face of many situations, including traumatic or stressful circumstances. Resilience is not stoicism. It’s a healthy way of learning to express one’s frustrations, fears or anxieties, coupled with the ability to “get back up.”
4. Resilience can be measured
Use a well-being assessment to measure resilience at work. Prompts like “I give up easily” or “When I get negative feedback, it affects me for days” allow respondents to track their level of resilience. Well-being assessments address topics of change and disappointment and are a starting point for understanding your own resilience or the collective resilience of your team.
5. Resilience training makes a difference
Consider implementing a well-being program that offers structured activities around building employee resilience at work. Resilience training might include learning the following:
The difference between acute and chronic stress
Your tendencies and emotions during conflict
How positive thinking helps you bounce back from circumstances outside of your control
6. Relationships are key
Relationships that create love and trust, provide role models and offer encouragement to help support a person’s workplace resilience. Regardless of your role, you have the opportunity to build resilience in your coworkers by treating them with love, respect and authentic care.
7. Resilience is personal
Developing workplace resilience is a personal journey. People do not all react the same to traumatic and stressful life events. An approach to building resilience that works for one person might not work for another. It’s crucial for managers and leaders to use varying strategies based on the individual.
8. Resilience may require outside help
If you need help developing resilience, you’re not alone. A licensed mental health professional such as a psychologist can help. Just as you’d hire a professional to build a home, trained mental health professionals are equipped to help you build resilience.
9. Resilience brings better business results
According to Limeade Institute research, resilience is associated with better outcomes with regard to turnover, improved performance, and the cost of attracting and retaining talent.
10. Resilience brings multiple positive outcomes
Becoming more resilient not only helps you get through difficult circumstances like stress at work, but it also empowers you to grow and even improve your life along the way.
Resilience is an incredible asset that brings health and positivity to many aspects of life. We hope these thought-starters inspire you to double-down on resilience in the workplace. As you manage this process of change, consider investing in an employee well-being solution that provides actionable activities and growth tracking along the way.
Free burnout playbook
Learn more about how to tackle your workplace burnout challenges by visiting our ultimate guide for overcoming employee burnout.