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Why Employee Resilience Is Today’s Business Superpower

Increased resilience in employees means they are better able to tackle stress, conflicts at work, and address challenges on the job. At the very least, by improving resilience, employees experience better mental health and well being which leads to less absenteeism and an improvement in people’s performance.

It also leads to an improvement in some of the vital skills organisations will rely on more than ever in the future, such as:

  • Critical thinking

  • Problem solving

  • Teamwork and collaboration

  • Professionalism

  • Leadership

This topic should be more relevant today for employers than ever as we continue to face the great talent war. As leaders, we should be on the edge of their collective seats, looking for strategies that can be implemented to assist in creating a healthier workforce.

With single skill-set jobs declining, studies show that workers who successfully combine technical and interpersonal skills in the knowledge-based economies of the future should find many rewarding and lucrative opportunities.

This will require a level of resilience as soft skills like sharing and negotiating will become more crucial. People in roles that require predominantly social skills, such as childcare workers, for example, will benefit greatly from improved resilience as the pool of these workers grows and so does the competition for these jobs.

The exciting thing about resilience is that it is a skill. Like any skill, with practice, resilience can be learned.

Building resilience is very much a personal journey that takes self-reflection, time, and practice. However, team leaders and managers can support an individual’s development by providing the right tools and training.

Facilitating resilience from a senior level also promotes organisational resilience, making it a work-wide culture. This reassures and encourages staff to commit time for development.

3 Tips for Employers

1. Get to Know Your Employees

Resilient employees make resilient organisations. People who are supported, motivated and equipped are best positioned to overcome obstacles and distractions. Learning more about what work-related stressors impact your employees the most is a great place to start.

This can be done by including stress and resilience related questions in your work satisfaction surveys. Once you have data and know the impact of stress and other factors, you can develop a plan for building resilience and a healthy work culture.

2. Consider Resilience Training

In a dynamic work environment, resilience training elevates job performance and work engagement which is a great reason to consider putting this innovative strategy in your bag of tricks.

Training topics could include;

  • Managing Emotions

  • Guarding Against Burnout

  • Coping with Work Related Stress

  • Overcoming Interpersonal Challenges

  • Improving Sleep Habits

  • Remaining Calm

  • Dealing with Difficult People

  • Improving Communication Skills

  • Taking on New Challenges

  • Improving Physical Health

3. A Coaching and Mentoring Program

This strategy tends to be one of the most effective because it is personalised to the individual. Coaches can meet employees where they are and they are better able to understand the whole person and help them develop skills in the context of their unique work situations.

In a recent BetterUp article, Shonna Waters, PhD explained how coaches can work with employees in many ways to help them develop skills that increase their resilience such as:

Teaching reframing techniques. How someone views an event is a significant contributing factor in resilience. Coaches can teach employees cognitive reframing techniques to help them see the new possibilities in a situation. With this new perspective, employees are better able to bounce back, grow, and move through the challenge.

Providing social support. Social support is a critical factor in our capacity to bounce back from challenges, stress, or hardship. The trusting relationship between a coach and client can provide a source of social support for the client. Coaches can also help clients build or draw on social networks from within the organisation and outside support.

Developing strengths. Increasing an employee’s confidence and self-efficacy can create buffers against stress. Coaches help employees by highlighting their strengths and exploring how to use them to address challenges.

With all of today’s challenges, creating a resilient culture within an organisation is more vital than ever. Building or improving a resilient culture is a commitment that should come from the top through promoting an open and trusting management style and training managers to understand the importance of supporting the mental wellbeing of staff.

Managers should be trained first in understanding the importance of fostering a resilient workforce, and then in recognising ways to improve the way we work.

Organisations can help equip their employees with the skills they need to adapt and thrive, creating an agile workforce.

From being flexible with work environments and schedules to allowing autonomy whenever possible and being reasonable about work expectations, there are a myriad of strategies managers can be aware of that will yield results in terms of a more confident workforce and better overall business results.


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