Life is full of adverse situations and setbacks that can affect us physically and psychologically. Without resilience or the ability to bounce back from the stress of our daily lives that can be brought on by personal and professional matters, there can be significant effects on our emotional and physical states which can lead to chronic stress.
Simply put, resilience is one’s ability to recover quickly from a difficult situation. However, certain people are just naturally more resilient than others while there are those who struggle with adapting when faced with trauma, adversity or threats.
Resilient people approach life with self-confidence, optimism, and often, a sense of humor. They easily stay focused under pressure and don’t feel defeated when they fail and even translate negative experiences into meaningful lessons.
Benefits of resilience in the workplace
At work, we take on more and more responsibilities, leading to an increase in pressure and anxiety. The workplace can be challenging as we try to navigate through multiple channels of relationships with colleagues while adapting to constantly changing work processes. We struggle with grasping the seemingly elusive work-life balance.
When an organization cultivates resilience in its workforce, you can expect the following:
When management rewards its workforce for their resilience, employees gain self-confidence. They are motivated, challenged and most importantly, interested in making a meaningful contribution to the organization.
When employees respond to stressful situations with resilience, their adaptability can lead to the discovery of alternative solutions to organizational problems. Because they are confident and are more equipped to make rational decisions, they have the ability to think strategically and creatively with an open-mind to adjust to potential shifts in structure and process.
Employees who are resilient are happier. Happier translates to healthier which leads to increased productivity and a decrease in absenteeism due to sickness. They perform better, stay on the job longer. They practice self-care and are more in control of their physical and mental health.
How to cultivate resilience in the workplace
Fostering resilience in the workplace should start from the management level who ensures that a culture of adaptability and resilience is developed through genuine connections while promoting positivity.
Those in leadership roles who make it a point to connect with their people on an authoritative and genuine manner are more likely to be respected, trusted, and therefore, followed. The workforce will then admire the leader’s mental toughness, and they will emulate this behavior.
When a leader can put a positive spin on an otherwise negative situation, employees will also begin to look at downward situations with optimism. When a ship is sinking, passengers always turn to the captain just as employees look to their managers during stressful times at work. In situations like these, leaders who choose to fight vs. flee will find that their people will charge by their side.
By highlighting the positives in both people and situations, the workforce encourages optimism and becomes less vulnerable to stress. When management develops a resilient workplace atmosphere, it can expect its people to be assertive, emotionally and physically healthy, and insusceptible to stress.
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