fbpx Enhancing Workplace Resilience
Authored by Nexus Family Healing on February 1, 2024

Currently, a quarter of all employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The World Health Organization describes stress as the “global health epidemic of the 21st century.” We work in a constantly connected, fast-paced, always-on, rapidly changing work culture where stress and the risk of burnout are widespread. It is not necessarily the amount of stress we experience at work, but how quickly we recover from the effects that is important to our health and wellbeing. Navigating through these challenges requires skills and strategies that can be developed. 

What Is Workplace Resilience?

Workplace resilience is the capacity of employees to bounce back and even thrive from major challenges in the workplace. The development and sustainability of workplace resilience is an equally shared responsibility by both the organization and the employee. Resilience is the key strategy that helps employees effectively tackle stress, workplace conflicts, and the unique and ever-changing challenges of the job.

Resilient people:

  • Look for opportunities in problems
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Practice self-care
  • Focus on what they can control
  • Overcome difficulties
  • Learn from mistakes

A strong commitment to building a more resilient workforce is essential in today’s competitive job market. Here are a few factors to consider in building a more resilient workforce.

Get to know your employees: Resilient employees make resilient organizations. People who are supported, motivated, and well trained are best positioned to overcome obstacles and distractions. 

Engage Leadership

A resilient workplace requires strong leadership buy-in and modeling of resiliency skills. Employees are more likely to participate in resilience programs or training when the organization’s leaders are involved. Leadership is key in establishing priorities, setting goals, and allocating resources to strengthen workplace resilience. 

Train Employees on Resilience

Teach employees the importance of self-care and resiliency through standardized training, self-assessment, and the routine integration of this learning into 1:1 supervision meetings.

Create A Resilient Work Culture

Building or improving a resilient culture is strengthened by a company-wide statement showing support for employees and a commitment to addressing resilience. Promote an open and trusting supervision style and train supervisors to understand the importance of supporting the mental wellbeing of staff. 

To build a resilient work culture, consider the following:

  • Allow autonomy whenever possible, and let individuals do their jobs.
  • Reward good work and invite feedback.
  • Share control and offer choice whenever possible.
  • Provide access to services and supports when needed to maintain good physical and mental health. 
  • Allow flexible schedules when possible. If shift work is required, be lenient in offering adjustable shift rotations, whenever possible so that employees stay rested.
  • Be reasonable about work expectations. The drive to succeed that can result in pushing personnel to increase workloads can backfire and undermine productivity and results.
  • Focus on relationships. The most resilient workplaces are rooted in strong and trusting relationships.

Finally, several studies have demonstrated that a broad set of skills and behaviors that enable resilience in the workplace are a good return on investment – with the return coming in the form of lower health care costs, higher productivity, lower absenteeism and decreased turnover. The ability to build resilience is a skill that will serve employees well in an increasingly stressful work world while also equally benefitting the entire organization.

This blog article was contributed by Heather Simonich, Operations Director of Nexus-PATH.

Nexus Family Healing is a national nonprofit mental health organization that restores hope for thousands of children and families who come to us for outpatient/community mental health servicesfoster care and adoption, and residential treatment. For over 50 years, our network of agencies has used innovative, personalized approaches to heal trauma, break cycles of harm, and reshape futures. We believe every child is worth it — and every family matters. Learn more at nexusfamilyhealing.org