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What is the role of resilience in the workplace and how to improve it?

Nowadays, people can face a variety of difficulties in their work such as meeting deadlines, working hard, trying to maintain a balanced work-life time, and so on. These kinds of challenges at work can easily create stress in employees. In fact, work is listed among the top stressors according to APA’s 2010 Stress in America survey. Resilience cause employees to better adapt to these challenges and cope with work stress better. Resilience can be defined as the ability to recover from difficult conditions quickly. Resilient individuals do not let adverse situations hold them back, they can easily “bounce back” and carry on. These individuals have a higher level of adaptability and a high tolerance for negative affect. Resilience and well-being are two concepts that are strongly connected. Well-being consists of an individual’s life experiences in connection with their overall functioning, well-being comprises emotional, physical, and mental components. Since resilience is a great skill for good stress management, its role in helping individuals to manage adverse experiences and stressful situations prevents possible negative effects on well-being. Therefore, building resilience skills has a positive effect on well-being as well.

According to the 2022 Global Resilience Report, adverse situations stimulate resilience. Their study revealed that even during the pandemic despite the negative impact it had on our lives, people were able to build resilience and bounce back in months. Resilience skills promote well-being, mental and physical health even in a pandemic.

Resilience has many other benefits at the workplace including improved communication and better relationships among colleagues, reduced burnout, and increased productivity. In today’s adverse, highly demanding work environment, understanding resilience in the workplace is important to build resilience skills in your workplace for the employee and the company’s benefits including employee’s mental health, organizational commitment, and managing difficult situations more easily.

There are a variety of things employers can do for creating a resilient workforce, here are some of them:

1-Resilience Training: Employers can consider delivering Resilience Training for improving resilience skills in the employees. This can lead to a group understanding, with more positive team coordination and communication. Leaders can also focus on improving their resilience skills since the way a leader leads heavily depends on their stress management and communication style which is affected by resilience. Special training can be designed for the leaders of the company only to focus on the specific relation between resilience and leadership style. Resilience training can be delivered in different forms depending on the needs of the company including online training, group-based training, and one-to-one training. A well-designed training with thought-provoking scenarios and simulations might be very beneficial for the team. Resilience training was found to enhance psychosocial functioning and improved performance as well as a positive effect on mental health and subjective well-being in employees (Robertson et al., 2015).

2-Creating a Positive Work Culture: Having a work environment that is supportive, and well-connected with trusted and respected relationships can ease the development of a resilient workplace. A supportive social network in the workplace empowers employees to manage their work stress better. Culture at work has an important role in promoting resilient behaviors. Leaders’ behavior may encourage or discourage the team to behave in a resilient way. Leaders should encourage employees to speak up freely about their concerns and seek support when they need further help with the challenges at work. Employees should feel that they are not alone and that they can receive support from others including their coworkers, supervisors, and leaders. Through this kind of relationship, employees can be guided when they are facing work stress and they can also receive feedback for improvement and learning. As a team seeing difficult situations as challenges and opportunities for growth can be effective in creating a resilient workforce as well.

3-Supporting Physical and Mental Health: Physical health and mental health are all connected. An individual’s physical condition plays an important role in their mental state and vice versa. Therefore, to build resilience; employers should pay attention to their employees’ physical and mental health. Employers can encourage employees to stay active and eat healthy by offering gym memberships, planning sports activities as a team, and having a kitchen with healthy food. Exercise is known to have great benefits psychologically, exercising makes stress management easier because of the certain hormones released while exercising. Sleep quality was listed as the top factor that differentiates high levels of resilience from low by the 2022 Global Resilience Report. Quality night sleep is also known to have positive effects on physical and mental health. Therefore, maintaining a good work-life balance is also crucial for people to become resilient by getting enough quality night's sleep daily. Also, some people may need access to certain health services that can be because of their physical and/or psychological condition. Employees should be supported to receive the care they need from specialists.

Are you planning to develop a resilient workforce? We can help you with it! You can contact us at


Hartmann, S., Weiss, M., Newman, A., & Hoegl, M. (2020). Resilience in the workplace: A multilevel review and synthesis. Applied Psychology, 69(3), 913-959.

Robertson, I.T., Cooper, C.L., Sarkar, M., & Curran, T. (2015). Resilience training in the workplace from 2003 to 2014: A systematic review. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 88, 533-562.

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