Building employee resilience in the workplace

Building employee resilience in the workplace


Absorb LMS


What is employee resilience?

Employee resilience refers to the ability of employees to bounce back and adapt in the face of challenges, stress, or setbacks. It’s important because it helps employees maintain their mental well-being, cope with workplace pressures, and perform at their best even in difficult circumstances.

For many employees, the workplace presents a wide range of stressors that affect their lives inside and outside of the office. To combat these issues, organizations focus on building employee resilience and agility. Agility is a worker’s ability to respond quickly and effectively, adapting to these changes.

Why is resilience in the workplace important?

Resilience in the workplace is not just a desirable trait; it's a crucial aspect for both employees and organizations to thrive in today's dynamic and often unpredictable work environments. Here's why resilience matters:

  • Adaptability to change: In today's fast-paced world, change is inevitable. Employees who demonstrate resilience are better equipped to adapt to changes in their roles, responsibilities, and work environments. They can bounce back quickly from setbacks and embrace new challenges with a positive attitude.
  • Stress management: The workplace can be inherently stressful, with deadlines, tight schedules, and demanding tasks. Resilient employees can effectively manage stress and maintain their well-being even in high-pressure situations. This not only benefits their mental and physical health but also enhances their productivity and performance.
  • Problem solving: Resilient individuals possess strong problem-solving skills. They approach obstacles as opportunities for growth rather than insurmountable barriers. Their ability to remain calm and focused enables them to find creative solutions to complex problems, driving innovation and progress within the organization.
  • Enhanced collaboration: Resilience fosters stronger interpersonal relationships among colleagues. Resilient employees are more empathetic, supportive, and understanding towards their peers during challenging times. This creates a positive work culture where collaboration thrives, leading to increased team cohesion and productivity.
  • Continuous learning and development: Resilient workers embrace employee growth, viewing setbacks as valuable learning experiences. They actively seek out opportunities for self improvement and skill development, continuously striving to enhance their capabilities. This not only benefits their own career advancement but also contributes to the organization's overall growth.
  • Maintaining motivation and engagement: During periods of uncertainty or adversity, it's easy for employees to become demotivated and disengaged. However, resilient individuals remain motivated and focused on achieving their goals, despite facing challenges along the way. Their positive attitude and determination inspire others, creating a ripple effect of motivation throughout the workplace.
  • Increased job satisfaction and retention: Employees who feel equipped to handle the ups and downs of their work environment are more likely to experience job satisfaction. By investing in building resilience in the workplace, organizations can improve morale and employee retention rates. When employees feel supported and empowered to overcome obstacles, they are more likely to remain committed to their roles and the organization.

Understanding the significance of resilience in the workplace is paramount for creating a thriving and sustainable work environment. By prioritizing employee resilience, organizations can cultivate a workforce that is adaptable, productive, and capable of weathering any storm.

Common workplace stressors and the importance of employee resilience

A report by the American Institute of Stress (AIS) found that more than 50% of workers are not engaged at work because of stress, leading to a loss of productivity. Likewise, companies spend around 75% of a worker’s annual salary to cover lost productivity or to replace workers. Because such a high volume of employees experiences this pressure, organizational leadership must understand what stressors are most commonly plaguing the well-being of their workers and how to actively mitigate these issues moving forward.

Some of the most common stressors in the workplace are:

  • Negative organizational culture
  • Poor management
  • Heavy workload
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Gaps in recognition or appreciation
  • Lack of support
  • Poor interpersonal relationships
  • Organizational change
  • Juggling work and personal life
  • Job security

The impact of stressors on your workforce

Employers and managers must fully understand the gravity of workplace stressors on their employees. According to Colonial Life, 41% of workers reported being less productive due to workplace stress, 33% were less engaged and 15% admitted to looking for a new job. These troubling statistics are detrimental to the operational efficiency and retention rates of any organization.

More than the adverse effects on the business, these stressors aren’t limited to affecting employees at work. Unfortunately, workplace aggravation and inconveniences often bleed over into their personal life as well. According to a study by The American Institute of Stress, 83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress, with 25% saying their job is the number one stressor in their lives. Additionally, about one million Americans miss work each day because of stress and 76% of US workers report that workplace stress affects their personal relationships.

Leaders in the workplace: Their role in employee’s well-being and resiliency skills

Once organizational leaders understand the far-reaching effects of workplace stressors, it’s equally important to accept their role in focusing on their employee’s mental health while building an agile and resilient workforce. In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management reports 84% of workers blame bad managers for unnecessary stress in the workplace.

Staff who report higher levels of workplace stress often experience:

  • Lower levels of job satisfaction
  • Increased turnover
  • Lower retention rates
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Lower morale and productivity

These negative experiences affect every facet of the business, like hiring, operational efficiency, and employee productivity. Ultimately, an unhappy workforce impacts the bottom line. To avoid poor business outcomes, leadership should focus on alleviating stress and building organizational and emotional resilience moving forward.

How to improve employee resilience and agility

As organizations continue to evolve, the need for workers with a resilient mindset will be essential for driving business growth and success.

Practices to build resilience and agility in employees:
  • Pay attention to employee mental health and physical well-being: Workers who are in good health are better equipped to perform at their highest ability. It’s critical to ensure your employees are eating healthy, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep. Not only did the National Library of Mental Health report people in good health are 3.5 times more likely to be resilient, but workers experiencing adequate sleep are 4.2 times more likely to overcome organizational challenges as well.
  • Practice reframing a workplace problem as a challenge to overcome: Times of uncertainty often lead to a troubled mindset. However, it’s possible to mitigate these feelings by reframing potential stressors as challenges to overcome. When you encourage a positive, results-driven approach to obstacles, it helps your workforce perceive problems as possibilities for growth and they are more likely to break the cycle of stress.
  • Foster a culture of social support: A supportive environment involves both leaders and co-workers. Ensuring employees have support from all angles can alleviate the weight of organizational issues and overwhelming feelings of stress. Implementing open lines of discussion, an open-door policy and opportunities to collaborate with co-workers can help create a culture of support in times of crisis.
  • Offer learning and development opportunities: Learning and development (L&D) opportunities provide a key element in employee satisfaction, engagement, skill growth, and productivity. However, L&D also helps build a resilient, flexible mindset that empowers your employees. This empowerment allows the workforce to feel energized and prepared to take on new challenges as they come.

Advanced solutions, such as a learning management system (LMS), can be a valuable tool to train employees and foster an agile and resilient mindset. With personalized employee training and easily accessible content, an LMS can help workers hone their skills, manage chronic stress, and actively improve their workplace resilience. Clear goals and expectations, along with gaining the right skills to do their jobs efficiently, ease the minds of employees and decrease feelings of being overwhelmed at work.

Read the blog: Empower employee development: Use your LMS to promote accountability

Moreover, cutting-edge software like Absorb LMS offers beneficial content partners to foster resilience in your workforce even more. Partners like Whil easily integrate with the platform to offer workplace mental health and wellness training to your employees. This program can adequately address your company’s largest healthcare cost drivers — including stress, emotional intelligence, mental health, and more. The culmination of advanced learning solutions and access to well-being training is an effective approach to building a capable, resilient, and agile workforce long-term.

The benefits of improved resiliency in the workforce

An agile and resilient workforce is not only highly beneficial to the well-being of your workforce but is also crucial to the success and growth of your organization. The host of benefits workplace resilience provides include:
  • Avoiding chronic stress and burnout
  • Improving employees' ability to adapt
  • Increasing overall productivity, job satisfaction, and employee engagement
  • Encouraging cooperation and collaboration among team members
  • Improving workers' mental health and morale

Organizational change and work environment stressors are common issues employees may face, but when equipped with training to improve agility and resilience, these problems can be avoided. Workplace leaders are highly influential in their employee’s ability to adapt to changes and bounce back from adversity, so it’s vital to utilize technologies and best practices to build these skills for the overall benefit of the organization and your workforce.

Learn more about how Absorb LMS can help improve the resiliency of your workplace by requesting a demo now.

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