What Is Resilience? (With Essential Tips and Core Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 22, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Companies spend resources annually to help build resilience among staff in the workplace. This is because resilience helps to increase productivity in the workplace by increasing employee confidence. Understanding resilience enables you to cope better at work and can help you maximize productivity, either as a leader or team member. In this article, we answer the question, "What is resilience?", explore why it's vital in the workplace, explain its impact, provide tips for developing resilience, and discuss related skills.

What is resilience?

Understanding the answer to, "What is resilience?", can help you apply this ability in your personal and professional life. This skill allows you to adapt when encountering challenges like trauma, health issues, or relationship stress. It's also the ability to recover from challenges and learn from them, and this also applies to problem-solving in the workplace. For instance, as an employee, you may encounter some emotional challenges that cause you to miss a deadline. As a resilient person, you respond by making corrections, working through your issues, and managing them without reducing productivity.

Resilience allows you to take control of your life and determine the outcome despite your experiences. It helps you to better handle disappointments without seeing them as setbacks. Resilient people typically have an optimistic outlook on situations and self-confidence when experiencing difficult situations. The more you overcome complex problems, the more adept you become at handling them. Resilience can either be an inherent trait or a learned ability. Some employers help build resilience among staff through soft skills training about building resilience and mental health sessions.

Related: 9 Adaptability Skills in the Workplace

Why is resilience essential in the workplace?

Employees with resilience manage stress better when facing challenges. Here are some of the reasons resilience is essential:

  • Improves your self-esteem: Resilient employees generally handle challenges better. They're also confident and optimistic such that it builds their self-esteem.

  • Gives positive perspective: With resilience, you learn to see workplace challenges as opportunities for growth. You also use the lessons from experience to build and improve your skills and prevent future mistakes.

  • Aids job satisfaction: When you build resilience in your workplace, you may feel more satisfied with your job. The reason is that it teaches you how to handle stress and anxiety-related issues better.

  • Supports innovation: As a resilient employee, you're more comfortable with the possibility of failure, although you try to avoid it. Consequently, you're more comfortable making more informed risks, sharing new ideas, and trying new tasks.

  • Increases employee engagement: Building positive relationships helps other employees cope with and handle stress better. Staff are more inclined to interact with each other if it helps them build resilience through difficult times.

  • Improves communication: Resilience helps you build a positive environment to communicate openly with minimal conflicts. Such an environment encourages increased communication and collaboration, as you can accept constructive criticism and learn lessons to reduce similar mistakes in the future and develop your skills.

How does resilience impact the workspace?

A workplace comprising resilient staff typically fosters a healthy work environment that improves staff performance and drives growth. Some affects of resilience in a workplace include:

Encourages adaptability

Resilience helps you adjust quickly to any situation in which you find yourself. When there are significant disruptions or minor changes in a workplace, resilient staff are more likely to adjust easily. For instance, a company may transition from a fully remote work system to a hybrid one, and it takes a resilient team to adjust their work methods and schedules to the change. In addition to adjusting their work style, it also helps to ensure that the quality of work doesn't reduce.

Increase productivity

Staff in a workplace who are resilient are more likely to lean on and assist each other overcome individual and mutual challenges. This collaboration positively affects the overall productivity levels in a workplace. In addition, employees can improve productivity when they help each other complete tasks.

Creates leaders

Resilience is one of the most critical skills you usually find in leaders. It's essential for a leader in a workplace to be resilient because they set an excellent example for others to follow. Resilient leaders recover quickly from mistakes, overcome challenges, and help maintain motivation among the team.

Related: A Guide to Self-Motivation in the Workplace

Tips for overcoming challenges in the workplace with resilience

Here are some tips to improve resilience in a workplace for employees:

Initiate resilience training

Some businesses organize resilience training for its staff periodically to teach them how to handle stress better, overcome challenges, and seamlessly transition back to work. These businesses hire experts to make presentations and inspire staff to build resilience. They also discuss the three types of resilience and develop them for different practical scenarios in the workplace.

Provide stress outlets

Providing stress relief outlets helps you recover appropriately from stress before starting another project. The different relief outlets that a company may provide for staff include:

  • Coordinate support groups: Support groups are an avenue for individuals to share their challenges and use the lessons learnt to support others. Realizing that other people face similar challenges helps individuals cope better and develop more confidence.

  • Offer wellness training: Some companies may organize exercise sessions and wellness training to help staff relieve stress. They may manage these sessions during lunch breaks, at the close of work, or during the weekends.

  • Encouraging affirmations: You can share periodic affirmations with work colleagues to build optimism and confidence. These affirmations may include weekly emails or posters through the office.

Acknowledge failures

When managers acknowledge failures in the workplace, they help employees recognize their mistakes and make corrections. In realizing their mistakes, managers help employees to see disappointment as motivation. In addition, by assisting employees in seeing their mistakes as an opportunity for improvement, they help them build resilience.

Embrace healthy thoughts

Your mindset is a significant determinant of how you react to specific challenges you experience. For example, when you feel overwhelmed or defeated, the first step is to think positively. Next, you can identify any irrational thoughts and replace them with more realistic and balanced thinking patterns. You may not be able to change the situation, but you can change how you respond.

Seek help

Part of being resilient involves realizing you may need support when overcoming challenges. You can contact friends, families, or colleagues to help you sort out that problematic situation. When people in your life are going through their own challenges, you can offer your support in return.

Resilience skills

Here are some soft skills that may help you build resilience:

Optimism

When you're optimistic, you typically focus more on the positive aspects of every situation. For instance, your superior might return your project based on errors or inconsistencies. Instead of dwelling on the rejection, you can see it as an opportunity to learn and improve in subsequent projects. You understand it can only improve when you put in the required time and hard work.

Self-awareness

Being resilient means being aware of your typical emotional response to challenging situations. It also involves being aware of your unique strengths and weaknesses and developing both personally and professionally. Being self-aware helps you control your impulses better and improve your life.

Self-confidence

As a self-confident person, you trust in your abilities to succeed and overcome challenges. In a professional setting, self-confidence helps you initiate and take on new projects which you may not have experience in as you believe you can learn new skills and perform well. It also allows you to identify your strengths and use them to solve problems.

Patience

Patience helps you control your emotions while working through difficult periods. A patient person knows how to ignore present challenges and focus on the goal. They also understand the idea of delayed gratification and prioritize future goals over current needs.

Responsibility

When you become more resilient, you realize the consequences of your actions and inactions and are able to take responsibility for it. Taking responsibility helps you build a strong work ethic and motivates you to do better and achieve results. As a responsible person, you also believe that your actions can counteract your present circumstance.

Flexibility

Flexibility is a soft skill that ensures you effectively handle pressure while still being productive. It also helps you adjust quickly to changing situations at the workplace. For instance, being flexible enables you to adjust quickly when your project supervisor changes the objectives of your project at short notice. It also helps you effectively balance new work responsibilities with old deadlines.

Related: Top 11 Essential Skills Employers Look For

Communication and teamwork

Resilience can make you an adept listener and communicator. For example, these communication skills may allow you to ask for and understand the full details of a work assignment. Communicating effectively also helps you convey workplace challenges to others to gain support and accept advice.

Explore more articles