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Resiliency in the Workplace

April 04, 2020

Resiliency in the Workplace

Wherever you work you will eventually find yourself in a stressful situation.  Having bounce back potential, or resilience, is a key element to coping with it.  Resilience is a person’s ability to adapt and grow after stressful events.  When life hands you an unfortunate circumstance or a setback, are you able to adjust?  Resilience is also at work when an individual chooses to follow through when there is pressure to give up or quit.  You are able to see past the obstacles in your life, even if the problems don’t go away.  Resilience is necessary in the workplace for employees to cope with people, events within the organization, and with outside events that impact the organization. 

Resilience Threats

Workplace stress threatens our wellbeing from a variety of angles.  The work culture, interactions within our jobs, and issues in our own personal life may cause serious stress.

  • Work culture- Anything that happens in the organizational culture of your job can increase stress levels. This includes policies, mergers, growth and expansion, layoffs, etc.
  • Interactions within your job- Events such as bullying, intimidation, and being overworked can make the interactions within your organization difficult. Other stressful situations might involve accidents, a coworker’s death, a workplace loss (i.e. demotion, reassignment, retirement, etc.), and the fear of supervisors. 
  • Personal lives- How we behave toward other people can threaten our ability to adapt in the workplace. Stress and anxiety from other aspects of our lives can be a factor as well. 

Resilience Benefits

Being a resilient person does not make you a superhuman.  You will still face physical and emotional reactions to life’s traumas and setbacks.  However, the ability to bounce back allows you to continue functioning while also reaching out for help if needed. 

 

The benefits of resiliency on the job extend to both the employee and the internal workplace dynamics.  The employee enjoys increased job satisfaction, less stress, greater happiness, motivation to perform well, and lower risk of anxiety and depression.  Your workplace atmosphere will also benefit from resilience through higher productivity, more motivated employees, increased morale and creativity, and less staff sickness and turnover. 

 

Building Resilience:

While resilience is not necessarily something you are born with, some people do have a natural bounce back ability.  As a learned skill, here are some tips to growing in resilience and retaining that expertise.

  • Clear vision- Workers have a greater hope for the future when they can articulate the projects and goals before them. When stressful times arise, a clear vision can help guide you to the next step.
  • Self-confidence- Believing in yourself to meet challenges when they arise is called self-efficacy. You clearly accept that there will be challenges, but you maintain the conviction that you can overcome them.
  • Organization- Chaos, clutter, and a lack of organization cause the psychological stress that threatens resilience. When an individual’s workstation is organized, he or she will feel more in control when stressors arise. 
  • Interpersonal intelligence- The ability to empathize with your coworkers and understand their point of view is a key component to managing relationships. When we are socially aware in the workplace it helps us monitor our own reactions to problems, and seek resolution to a workplace conflict or interpersonal confusion when it arises.
  • Problem solving- Resilient people see problems as an opportunity to find new solutions in the workplace. Rather than dreading or avoiding problems, a person with a bounce back ability will face them openly. 
  • Learn from mistakes- When you do make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up for it. Learning from mistakes and moving forward will build your resilience. 
  • Remaining active- A resilient person does not shut down when adversity comes their way. They speak up for themselves and their goals.  Assertive and active in teamwork, this individual also takes a self-directed approach toward problem solving. 
  • Proactive- Successful employees will identify potential problems and take action to prevent them. These individuals won’t wait until a disaster occurs before they clean up a mess and work toward a solution. 
  • Value relationships- Feedback from others is considered invaluable to resilient people. They are not interested in always flying solo; they look to others for feedback about their ideas and goals.  Resilient people reciprocate by offering problem solving solutions to their coworkers.
  • Self-care- A work environment that values employees who take care of themselves will be more productive in the long run. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and a regular exercise routine are keys to maintaining resilience.  In addition, spending time with family and friends eases stress and helps us bounce back faster when times are rough.    

If you are struggling to bounce back from the stressors in your life, be courageous and ask for help when needed.  Talk to your human resources staff about what supports are available for you within your organization, or consider meeting with a licensed mental health professional. With the right plan and attitude, you’ll learn to bounce back better when the next problem arises.  

 

Want to talk to a counselor today about this? 

Call Amplified Life at 800-453-7733 and ask for your “Free 15 Minute Phone Consultation" with one of our licensed counselors. We’ll listen, answer questions you may have, and help you plan next steps.

 

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/resilience/art-20046311

http://www.hr.wa.gov/more/EAPResiliencyProject/Pages/ResiliencyInWorkplace.aspx

 




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