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Workplace Resilience: The Key To Employee Productivity and Engagement

Resilience might be the word of the year for 2021. Read on to hear how you can help your employees increase productivity and thrive in the new normal.

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High angle view of creative team sitting around table discussing business ideas. Mixed race team of creative professionals meeting in conference room.

We often talk about things like employee purpose, increasing productivity, and reducing stress. But one thing that isn’t talked about as much is workplace resilience. 

The workplace often demands tight deadlines, budget constraints, and increased workload. Some employees may thrive in this type of environment, but for others, it can be overwhelming. So how do we counter-balance that and help employees continue to thrive?

About 40% of workers report that their jobs are “extremely stressful.” Stress can lead to poor health, including increased anxiety, increased risk for heart disease, and substance abuse.

A resilient workplace can help employees better manage their stress, respond to conflict, and handle difficult situations. Read on to learn more about building resiliency within the workplace. 

What Is Resilience?

Resilience is the capacity to recover from difficult situations. Often, we associate resilience with tragedy, trauma, or adversity. However, having resilience skills can also help us in our everyday lives, including the workplace. 

Employers increasingly recognize the need to take care of their employees’ mental well-being. This ensures that employees can be their best selves at work and also reduces employee turnover. 

Skills of resilience include:

  • Believing that we can cope with difficult situations
  • Staying connected with a support system
  • Able to talk about what we are going through
  • Being helpful to others
  • Channeling positive emotions
  • Having an attitude of survival 
  • Finding meaning and purpose in what we do

Being resilient doesn’t mean avoiding challenges. Instead, we are able to see ourselves as part of a larger journey rather than focusing on what is causing stress at that particular moment.

How Resilience Impacts the Workplace

If employers address mental health and well-being, employees can develop skills to protect themselves against the impacts of stress. This will lead to greater job satisfaction and engagement. 

Resilience also leads to improved self-esteem and a sense of control over one’s life. Too much stress can make a work environment feel chaotic. Resilience can also positively impact interpersonal relationships.

It is essential not only to provide support for employees but encourage them to seek outside support when they need it. One of the skills of resilience is having a support system. Employees need to know where they can find support if they feel stuck or are struggling.

Tips for the Workplace

It takes commitment to build resilience in the workplace. Leadership needs to establish priorities and allocate resources with a commitment to resilience. If leaders are not on board, employees will be less likely to make use of any resources available.

Here are some tips for fostering resilience in the workplace.

Understand Employees

Knowing what motivates employees helps with the resilience skill of finding meaning. Workplaces need to determine what stressors impact their employees the most. Leaders can provide satisfaction surveys to dive into more details. 

Employees that feel supported will feel more equipped to face obstacles. 

Reduce Chaos Through Planning

Some organizations fly through their days with little preparation. In turn, this can lead to reactive workplaces rather than proactive ones.

Organizations can try to schedule as much as possible. Whether these are client meetings, annual content calendars, or specific metrics that are set, planning can help employees anticipate what is to come. Employees can know what targets need to be hit and feel less stress. 

Recognize Strengths of Employees

Sometimes stress can come from employees trying to “do it all.” They are pulled in too many directions and don’t have the right skills to complete specific tasks or the amount of time needed.

Work expectations are necessary but should also be reasonable. Sometimes employees can’t do it all, and organizations have to be prepared to address these issues.

Organizations can look at each of their employees and their job functions. In some cases, outsourcing certain weekly tasks might better serve employees better. From IT functions to marketing services, the stress on employees can be reduced if they can focus on where they excel. 

Create a Culture of Resilience

When employees are empowered, they will thrive. They know that they are trusted to make the right decisions. This means that when challenges arise, they can meet those challenges rather than rely on someone else. 

Workplaces that provide autonomy to their employees will build a more resilient work culture. By allowing flexibility, employees can also achieve a greater work-life balance, which will, in turn, reduce stress.

This doesn’t mean that employees are not accountable for their actions. On the contrary, accountability is a sign of trust. The expectations are set, and the employees are given the tools to meet those expectations. 

Provide Resilience Training to Employees

Workplaces can also consider formal training to help employees learn resilience. It can be better to let a professional guide employees and provide them with coping mechanisms. 

Training may include any of the following techniques:

  • Remaining calm
  • Avoiding burnout
  • Improved communication
  • Overcoming challenges
  • Dealing with difficult people
  • Learning healthy sleep habits
  • Prioritizing physical health
  • Coping with stress
  • Managing emotions
  • Readiness to take on new challenges

Resilience training is not necessarily a “one-time” event. New employees should receive the same training, and existing employees provided with an occasional refresher. Providing resilience training shows leadership’s overall commitment to a resilient work culture.

Workplaces can also provide access to mental health resources. This information should be readily available and provided often.

Improve Employee Well-Being with Workplace Resilience

Our workplaces will become stronger and can grow more with a resilient staff. A committed team can better serve customers and the needs of the company.

Click here to read more tips on prioritizing well-being.

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