How to be more resilient at work

Resilience is the ability to recover quickly when challenges or struggles happen. People usually demonstrate resilience when they’re able to bounce back from stresses or challenges.

For many employees the recent work from home directive may have created a new and additional stress that they have not faced before. Not only adjusting to a new work environment, but taking on additional responsibilities like home-schooling and virtual meetings present new daily obstacles. Top it all off with uncertainty in the face of a global pandemic and it’s easy to see how your employees are facing a multitude of new challenges.

Employers have a unique opportunity to help cultivate resilience in their workforce – a key factor to supporting overall health and well-being.

Responding with resilience to day-to-day stress
Offering techniques and giving employees permission to focus on managing stress and building their resilience can be simple and effective. Here are some positive strategies that you can suggest to your employees:

  • Go for a walk, breathe deeply and enjoy your surroundings.
  • With eyes closed, think of a place that brings peace.
  • Listen to a favorite song, podcast or nature sounds.
  • Take a break and savor a cup of tea or coffee.
  • Call a friend, coworker or family member.
  • Turn on fun music for an impromptu dance party.

How to become resilient
Each individual employee may approach resilience building in their own way, as individuals handle stressors differently. Some will have a more natural ability to regain their shape when stretched while others may need to build the skills to get there. Here are some thoughts and guidelines that can help improve your employees’ resilience.

Realize it’s OK to struggle
As the saying goes, “The struggle is real.” As an employer, try to avoid shaming employees who present with struggle. Recognize that your people may be putting their energy into minimizing or hiding their struggles.

Remember past resilience
Reminding your teams that they have a track of record of making it through the hard days and while today’s challenges may be new and unforeseen or planned for, the skills that got your team through previous challenges are available.

Be as proactive as possible
Resilience is often about active coping. Setting goals with your employees and encouraging leaders to be proactive in addressing stressors and plans to address them.

Use your strengths
Identify the strengths on your team and encourage people to play to their strengths and share their skills.

Ask for support
Make your workplace a safe place for employees to ask for help. Perhaps you add additional communication around digital or telephonic resources that employees can use; partner with your wellness or EAP vendor to offer webinars on resilience and ensure that your teams are aware of the resources in the community that can help.

Give your mind and body a break
While vacation travel may be delayed or cancelled, time away from work is crucial to resilience. Encourage your teams to prioritize safe and accessible self-care during this challenging time.

Face resilience with self-compassion
Always remember, practice makes better and don’t allow perfect to be the enemy of good. It is hard for your employees to keep getting up when they feel like every time they rise another stress ball takes them down. But encouragement and compassion can give workers the support they need to rise up and take on what the next day may bring.



One thought on “How to be more resilient at work

  1. Thanks for publishing this content. Everyone has been affected by the pandemic. We’re all adjusting to a massive life changing event, and it has impacted family, work and community. Stoicism isn’t a cure for something so profound.

    Having pathways to assistance made clear is a great for leaders with staff that have been impacted. And compassion and understanding for your staff is key to helping everyone get through whatever the impact is for them.

Leave a Reply