What is resilience and why is it important in the workplace?

Resilience is simply defined as “the ability to ‘bounce back’ when encountering challenges”. It is one of many things that allows an individual to become successful at work. It is essentially what enables each and every one of us to cope with stress when it hits and those with the most amount of resilience can even learn to thrive off of stress. I say ‘everyone’ because resilience is a skill that can be learnt, practiced and honed.

It is so important in the workplace because of the world we live in now. We are faced with stressors, on a regular basis, throughout our days. Whether it be in the form of deadlines that must be met, company rivalry to win a bid or retain a client, the constant need as a boss to keep costs down or the fear as an employee that your job may be made redundant. From these few examples, it is clear that the workplace is somewhere that we all need to implement the skill of resilience, to stay focused and thrive in the world of business.

There has been a lot of research into resilience, what traits a resilient worker displays and how it can turn someone’s career around.


How to know how resilient you are:

There are some common behaviours that can be seen amongst those employees who have demonstrated high levels of resilience by rising to the top of their game off the back of a major setback. Some of these qualities include:

  • building strong connections and relationships with others
  • effective communication
  • help others to achieve success
  • team-players who aim for a win-win with their fellow employees
  • developing personal as well as professional networks
  • consistently building trust with others
  • engaging in self-care and nurturing themselves after a stressful incident, however minor, to avoid ‘burnout’
  • stay true to themselves by way of practicing what they preach
  • display grit and determination

If you are reading this and thinking ‘that is not me, I do not have these traits’ do not worry. You are already on the right path by simply reading this article. Although every individual is born with varying degrees of resilience, science has proven it to be a dynamic skill that can be enhanced.

How to build resilience?

“Resilience is a multi-dimensional construct, and consists of a cluster of factors: behaviours, thoughts, actions, attitudes, and skills.”

It is widely believed that personal resilience can be strengthened by developing a variety of effective strategies that reduce vulnerability and susceptibility to stress. Practicing mindfulness is quickly becoming one of the most reliable and successful resources to use.

Other strategies that can be implemented are:

  1. Positivity – this enables individuals to maintain a sense of control over their work and environment, which in turn encourages adaptability
  2. Developing emotional intelligence – being aware of both the positive and negative emotions and understanding how your own behaviour and reactions can change a situation for the better or worse
  3. Healthy work-life balance – by allowing time to relax, unwind and forget about the stresses at work, you will be more energised and more resilient against anything that arises throughout the day
  4. Find a meaning – this is the idea that those individuals who believe their work is providing a greater good tend to display more resilient behaviour
  5. Reflection – if you can reflect upon how you react in certain situations you can better prepare yourself for future reoccurrences which will enable you to ‘bounce back’ quickly and effectively

How can resilience training help?

It has been found that resilience in the workplace training is effective and beneficial to both employees and businesses alike and is something that should be promoted.

For employees, it has been found to have a positive impact on mental health, wellbeing and productivity.

As a business owner, it will prevent your staff from reaching ‘burnout’ and looking at the long-term picture, it will encourage loyalty and greater efficiency.


Learn more about the science behind resilience.

To find out more about how we can help you and your employees develop greater resilience and encourage a more productive team get in touch with us here.