Resilience in the Workplace
There is a lot of noise around resilience training. Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. In the context of the workplace, resilience refers to the ability of organisations, teams and individuals to “bounce back” from difficulties and is most often concerned with the mental rather than the physical aspects. To my mind, resilience training is the new name for stress management training.
Resilience (or stress) levels are important because they link directly to the health of employees.
According to the literature, resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and therefore explains the recent increase in demand for resilience training amongst corporate audiences.
Enhancing resilience can brought about through basic business staples such as:
• Offering a pleasant workplace environment eg lighting and comfort
• Promotion of healthy behaviours eg eating and exercise
• Promoting ‘good work’ eg employment security, task variety, strong working relationships
• Making available support services for those staff who experience mental health difficulties
While academic studies to show the business return on formal resilience training are still rather thin on the ground, it must make sense to attend to these aspects to promote good health and resilience in the workforce.
Dr. Bridget Juniper is an employee well-being consultant at Lockton Employee Benefits. She is also head of Work and Well-Being Ltd which specializes in the measurement of employee well-being. www.workandwellbeing.com