Building resilience may seem like an individual task since, in order to do so, we must care for both our physical and mental well-being, learn to change our mindsets, and develop new mechanisms in order to cope with stressful or challenging situations.
However, for most of us, doing inner work alone could perhaps be a daunting task. If companies want to foster resilience in the workplace, they must first create a psychologically-safe environment that offers support and guidance to vulnerable employees.
In return, the employees of organizations with a psychologically-safe work environment are more confident to speak up and ask for help and have less fear of being judged. Moreso, they can reap the benefits of having resilient employees, which include higher levels of productivity, strong leaders, and the adaptability of their workers.
There are several steps companies can take to begin creating an environment that helps build resilient employees:
Resilience Training: Conduct training or seminars with the aim of teaching employees healthy ways to cope with stress, how to perceive obstacles as challenges rather than threats, and other appropriate skills that could help build resilience among members.
Open Communication: Leaders can take a part in aiding employees to build resilience by checking up on their members from time to time, asking what their needs are, and offering help in order for them to improve their skills.
Offer Incentives: When given difficult tasks, many may feel intimidated and unmotivated to take them on. By offering incentives, some employees may feel more motivated and up for the challenge which results in building resilience as they learn to handle challenging work.
Providing Safe Spaces: Safe spaces could simply be an office or unused room in the workplace that is turned into an area where employees can go to relax. When work becomes too stressful, employees can take a short break and go into the designated “safe space” to relax, read a book, call a loved one, and so on.
Recognizing Failure: Leaders and managers who recognize and accept their members’ failures without punishment encourage a psychologically-safe work culture. Instead of being afraid of taking on challenging tasks and being punished for failing, employees are more likely to feel motivated to work through them because they know they will receive support rather than consequences. This enables workers to learn from their mistakes and use failure as motivation to do better next time.
With these easy steps, companies can help their employees work on building resilience, especially for those who find doing inner work alone difficult. Resilience is mostly earned when we get used to handling tough situations, thus supporting employees who struggle with this can greatly help them improve.
Darley, E. (n.d.). Workplace Mental Health - Resilience: A Strong Workforce Needs It. Center for Workplace Mental Health. Retrieved from: https://workplacementalhealth.org/mental-health-topics/resilience
Indeed. (2021). Resilience in the Workplace: How To Build It in 6 Steps. Retrieved from: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/resilience-in-the-workplace