Building resilience in the workplace

By February 17, 2020 No Comments

What is resilience in the workplace?

Resilience in its most basic definition, is the ability for an individual to persistently move forward in the face of obstacles and especially when the going gets rough. Within a workplace environment, it resembles much more than that.

Workplace resilience represents a level of trust and security in an environment of responsible risk-taking. It’s about having a good idea about your work direction and aspirations within a larger context with a positive appreciation of how your work slots in, even in circumstances of substantial change. It relies on a feeling of ownership and accountability over achievable projects both large and small. If workplaces don’t offer this and more, then employees are likely to become less resilient. In the article, our experienced team at The Amplify Group, explore the causes and effects, hindrances and solutions for various issues of staff resilience in the workplace.

  • What causes resilience issues and ways to improve it:


As espoused by Warren Kennaugh, a behavioural strategist and author; “ownership is very important”; “but you must also create an environment in which people don’t feel the need to hide from the fact that things aren’t working”.

“Keep the goals simple, making them things staff can focus on and manage. Let people know how their roles connect to the end game. Then support them and coach them. Empower them and hold them accountable. If they understand the connection to the big game and they’re supported and empowered, that creates a fantastic culture.”


Environmental Factors

The work environment is a major factor for the presence or lack thereof in resilience. Workplaces which encourage calmness, composure and wellbeing have highly positive effects on employees, but equally a sustainable high performance atmosphere must be visualised for employees to work effectively.

Personal control factors within the environment can alter how much an employee’s level of resilience can be. Individuals who can claim accountability and manage their own future outcomes in both short and long term projects as well as the delivery of their role, can enhance and build resilience.


Failure In The Workplace

Essential to any workplace environment are processes regarding failure and the consequences or absence of consequences. Leaders are able to measure failure in varying ways however, in successful work environments which stimulate resilience amongst employees, staff should have encouragement that in failing, there’s a chance to grow through learning experiences.

A balanced approach to negative outcomes is essential to helping with employee resilience. This type of outcome allows for individuals to have the confidence to go for things in ways that they otherwise might not. This gives staff an opportunity to innovate, problem solve, and work within a growth mindset, with all this tying back to the idea of employee control and ownership.

When mistakes are disallowed, this can kill off resilience, as employees will feel unable to attempt anything outside of the status quo which can prevent real positive innovation.


Management at a Personal Level 

Managers can insight and encourage resilience on a personal level which is different from the environmental level; but how is it done? Whilst a degree of autonomy, flexibility and ownership is highly important to employees in the workplace, equally so is it for employees to have strategic direction from managers.  Managers must ensure that expectations of individual staff members are grounded, realistic and achievable for resilience to result. As well as this, staff have to be provided with all the necessary resources and training to get the job done, being granted the chance to focus on attainable projects.   


Breaking big tasks into small tasks

Large tasks can seem daunting to individuals and it can be a massive dampener to motivation when goals seem unachievable and difficult to begin. This has a negative effect on employee resilience as the required result can be hard to visualise. It is vital that workplaces and managers keep their staff focused and this can often be through breaking up tasks into more manageable chunks that are digestible.


This method of breaking up projects into achievable parts with goals that can be easily envisaged, allows for people to see progress and persist through challenges with a more positive demeanour. The creation of this sort of short-term goal environment allows for issues to be found and resolved more quickly as small tasks are completed, because tasks are more controllable.  


Organisational Change

Vital to organisations is an emphasis on continuous change. Employee resilience during these periods can be hurt, as in-grained processes which begin to transform beyond recognition will affect the workplace environment. When other resilience factors are well managed by both employer and employee, people are happier to change their course as they don’t feel that there is a lack of control. Resilient leaders in changing circumstances are more willing to take the reins, exude confidence and inspire their teams.


Why resilience is important in the workplace & How The Amplify Group can help

Resilience is the determining factor to whether employees strive for success. Not only is it key to employee well-being and mental health, but also hugely critical to making businesses thrive. At The Amplify Group, our goal is to help your business to make the most out of your most important asset, your employees. Our specialised and professional exercises are designed to increase individual productivity and success, with the proven results of increasing your teams effectiveness whether in a big company or small. Contact Us Today to find out more about how we can help you increase your potential!

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