May 19, 2022
Burnout, physical illness, and waves of employee resignations continue to be one of the major issues impacting employers in North America. As an employer, resilience needs to be a priority not only for your staff, but for yourself.
In this issue of the Pulse, we take a look at resilience; what it is, and how you can promote it in your workplace.
What is resilience?
Resilience is essentially the ability to recover from adversity. How quickly and how well can you bounce back? Resilience doesn’t mean we aren’t hurt or don’t struggle – but that we can move through it and adjust over time.
Psychologist Susan Kobasa says there are three elements essential to resilience:
The past few years have certainly been a test of resilience for many of us, adjusting to new ways of living and likely significant changes at work.
Resilience can be built.
As explained by the American Psychological Association (APA), “resilience isn’t necessarily a personality trait that only some people possess. On the contrary, resilience involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that anyone can learn and develop. The ability to learn resilience is one reason research has shown that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary.”
While it can be learned, it takes time and intent to do so – and it may just be a worthy effort to commit to if you find yourself struggling with different workplace or personal challenges.
Resilience is a part of our mental health.
Since our capacity for resilience isn’t fixed, it’s natural that our mental wellbeing will impact it. If you’ve ever felt like you just can’t weather things the way you used to, that’s normal. And it’s not necessarily always going to be that way, either. Sometimes, we’re in a great place to roll with the punches, and other times, the slightest gust can knock us over.
This is because our resilience is connected to our mental health. This goes to say, if employers want their employees to be resilient and avoid burnout or illness through challenging times, they must prioritize their employees’ mental health.
Action is necessary.
While adopting a mental health-conscious mindset is good, action is also needed. In fact, there seems to be a disconnect between these two concepts.
Data from 2021 found that 86% of employers see mental health, stress, and burnout as a top priority — yet only 25% have implemented a wellbeing strategy.
So, whether you’re an employer in the process of developing a strategy or an employee in a workplace without a concrete plan in place to protect your mental health, working on building your own resilience may be necessary for your wellbeing and success.
Strategies to build resilience.
While this list is by no means exhaustive, it includes some helpful practices you can adopt to build your resilience:
Resilience is needed to adjust to and overcome adversity in the workplace, or any walk of life. While resilience isn’t a fixed quality, and can be reflective of our mental health, it’s important to remember that there are steps and strategies we can take to improve it.