Workplace environments are reaching a breaking point. Employees are under enormous pressure to continuously adapt to new technologies, shifting priorities, and ways of working—and they aren’t equipped to keep up.
First off, let’s define resilience, then what it means to have a resilient workforce. Resilience refers to a person’s capacity to handle difficulties, demands, and high pressure without becoming stressed.
What does it mean to be resilient? The following 4 skills are essential:
The ability to “not sweat the small stuff” – Resilient people are the opposite of Drama Queens. They don’t get worked up over little things like whether there are no Doritos ™ in the company vending machine or whether their stapler jams. They maintain their good cheer despite the frustrations and hassles that are part of everyday work life.
The ability to perform well under pressure…i.e. when it’s “Big Stuff” – Resilient people handle pressure well. They don’t become testy or sharp-tongued in difficult situations. They don’t come unglued when confronted by difficult situations or high pressure. Resilient people are the ones you can count on to come through when the stakes are high.
The ability to respond flexibly and adapt to changing circumstances – This is perhaps the most important reason to have a resilient workforce. Resilient people respond resourcefully to change. Rather than fight change and hang on to old, outdated ways, they respond to change with confidence and flexibility. In day to day life, if their current approach to a situation no longer works, they’re able to quickly and gracefully adjust their plans and actions without getting upset.
The ability to bounce back from defeat and disaster – This is typically the quality of resilience people think of when they hear the term. The more resilient a person is, the more quickly they’re able to recover from a setback, make the best of the new situation, and become a “new and improved” version of themselves because of it. In the workplace, resilient individuals don’t dwell on failures, requests denied, or dark chapters in their employer’s past. They move on.
Lack of resiliency training can have a negative effect on the mental health of your employees. As a result substance abuse cost US businesses between $80 and $100 billion annually. Another study showed that serious mental illness, which is a result of poor mental health training, costs America up to $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year
Depression is thought to count for up to 400 million lost work days annually
Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S – that’s 18.5% of the population – experience mental illness each year
How Boost helps:
In today’s organizations, resilience has become a key human capacity required for peak performance, and an increasingly important characteristic for organizations to cultivate in employees.
Research shows that resilience can be a powerful buffer that enables organizations to remain profitable and competitive, even during turbulent times. In their book, The Agility Factor, Williams, Worley and Lawler highlight that organizational agility is highly correlated with organizational resilience and together, both factors determine the adaptive capacity of an organization. This adaptive capacity enables organizations to quickly perceive and respond to changes, whether it’s grabbing hold of a new business opportunity or addressing a potential threat.
Resilience is also associated with increased work engagement, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment. This is likely because people who are better able to bounce back from stress and adversity apply those skills to the workplace as well. Rather than giving up due to the inevitable setbacks they encounter in the course of their work, they’re able to carry on and focus on the big picture.
Research shows that resilient employees engage in three behaviors that help them remain focused and optimistic despite setbacks or uncertainty:
Emotional Regulation. This skill involves the ability to monitor, recognize, and respond to our emotions effectively, so they don’t impede with our functioning. Developing strong emotional regulation skills helps build resilience by allowing us to continue functioning through a wide variety of internal personal experiences, including those that are difficult.
One example of this is having the ability to notice when you are triggered by something a coworker says. This awareness provides an opportunity to pause and make a decision about how to respond. Storming out of the room or responding in anger may be less desirable than taking a few deep breaths and readdressing the issue after a night to sleep on it.
Self-compassion. This behavior focuses on bringing mindful, kind, and forgiving attention to our experience, rather than harsh self-criticism. It can help support resilience because it helps us soothe difficult emotions and harness powerful sources of motivation during challenging times.
Cognitive Agility. This skill involves recognizing when our thinking about a situation has negative results and shifting how we think about it in a way that benefits us. It helps support resilience because it allows us to continue functioning regardless of the situation.
Resilience can also be a huge benefit for mental health. As people who sail through difficult times seemingly unscathed, that doesn’t mean the difficult times don’t exist. Resilient employees have developed ways to handle setbacks and stress well, instead of folding.
Aside from an ability to bounce back, resilient employees also tend to be ready and willing to learn new skills or take on new roles. This allows them to maintain an attitude of flexibility and openness to corporate changes and improvements.
Resilient employees also perform better under pressure. They aren’t easily fazed and will find a way to focus and do more with less when the situation calls for it. Resiliency is a trait that allows employees to keep a steady head even if the world around them is a bit shaky. These employees can draw on their mental toughness to thrive in difficult situations and bounce back quickly from setbacks.
In the ebb and flow of corporate America, it’s true what they say, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.” Resilient employees embody health on multiple levels. They avoid illness, maintain productivity and operate with mental toughness. Resilient employees are a true asset to any company, and every company should explore ways to nurture a resilient workforce.
Teaching resilience can be tough, but there are some ways that companies can foster resilience in the workforce but Boost training can show you how
How Boost helps:
Boost provides innovative, affordable and accessible training that helps disengaged employees in a multitude of ways. Our innovative courses train employees on how to be more present, confident and in control of their professional and personal lives by understanding and improving in the following areas
Mindfulness at work
Improve mental health and wellness
Proactive communication (responding instead of reacting)
Research shows that simply doing just 15 minutes of mindfulness-based meditation and emotional intelligence training such as concentrating on breathing can lead to more rational thinking and improved resiliency.
People who display mindfulness on the are typically much happier and often more resilient personally and professionally
Mindfulness is associated with higher degrees of resiliency because mindful people are fully present and therefore more able to adapt. More responsive instead of reactive. Employees can usually tell when their managers are zoning out or daydreaming–possibly indicating they don’t want to be at work with them. Whether they realize it or not, employees pick up on this disengaged behavior, and feel not only peripheral, but also allowed to be just as disengaged at work.
When managers are fully present, not just physically but with their entire being in their interactions with employees, employees feel valued and respected. Feelings of value and respect translate into a sense of interpersonal justice in the workplace, the studies found. This leads to higher job satisfaction and organizational commitment
Boost training reduced staff disengagement by 25%
Improved confidence by 40%
Increases sales by 39%
Motivation increased by 20%
Improved Focus by 30%
Mitigates risks and liabilities within the organization
“My experience with Boost has helped me a lot! My self-confidence has gone up. It made me think outside of the box a lot. I used to struggle with me being the hardest person on myself, but I don’t do that anymore. I had a great experience with Boost & I hope we do it again next year!” – Rosa M.
“Why resilience is a top skill needed in today’s workplace” – Shonna Waters – upskill.com
“Latest suicide data show the depth of the mental health crisis” – https://psychiatry.uchicago.edu/
“The cost of ignoring mental health in the workplace” – Carley Sime – forbes.com