Cultivating Resilience in the Workforce

“Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

– Nelson Mandela

Life is full of ups and down, and the part of our life devoted to the workplace is no different. Your employees will struggle with setbacks both personal and business in nature. The successful ones will be those who are able to bounce back from difficult times. You can help them by cultivating resilience in the workforce.

Build supportive teams.

Competition can be a great motivator, but people also need to know that they can trust their coworkers. If your company is too cutthroat, your employees won’t have anyone to turn to when things get rough. Without support, problems will fester and grow instead of being resolved.

You can help by developing a supportive workplace environment.

  • Praise employees who help each other in times of need, rather than seizing on the opportunity for their own personal gain.
  • Dedicate time to team-building activities so that employees understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses and know how to help.

Encourage a work-life balance.

The right amount of pressure can make a branch bend, but too much pressure will make it break. People are the same. They may flourish in a challenging environment, but they will suffer psychologically and physically if the stress gets out of control.

Your employees need a workplace culture that respects them as real people who have lives outside of work.

  • Employees should be encouraged to use their time off. They should not feel bad about it.
  • Flexible hours and work-from-home options can help employees find work-life balance.
  • Workloads and hours should be reasonable. Many employees won’t mind doing extra work to meet a big deadline or deal with a crisis, but they’ll burn out if it’s always expected.

View mistakes as learning moments.

If your employees are afraid to make mistakes, it might be because they’re actually afraid of you. Think about it – how do you react to errors? Do you get angry? Or do you focus on making things better?

No one is perfect. The true test of character comes from how we handle our mistakes. We can try to hide them and blame others, or we can learn from them and become stronger. Encourage your employees to do the latter.

  • Provide employees with training and mentorship opportunities.
  • Focus on solutions rather than engaging in the blame game.

Make work meaningful.

It’s much easier to persevere when we see purpose in what we’re doing. If your employees enjoy their work, they’ll be more willing to try their best, even when things get difficult.

  • Remind employees of the company’s big-picture goals. Even when there are setbacks, these big goals remain in sight.
  • Encourage volunteerism. Organize volunteer days or give employees time off to volunteer for the cause of their choice. Community work helps put things in perspective.
  • Show gratitude. Everyone wants to be appreciated. Make sure employees feel valued.

Provide quality resources.

Approximately 20% of U.S. adults deal with mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Mental health and substance abuse problems are very common, and your workforce is not immune from the issues.

Your employees may need additional help. You can provide it by offering wellness programs that focus on mental health. An Employee Assistance Program can also provide important services to employees who are dealing with personal or work-related problems.