Why it is Important for Employees to be Resilient
According to Positive Psychology, resilient employees aim for success and help others strive for it as well. They are authentic, have effective communication and listening skills, and building trust is important to them. Most importantly, though, resilient employees are able to manage their stress levels by actively engaging in self-care and nurturing themselves when they feel stressed. With the impacts of Covid-19 dominating the world news and stress, anxiety, and instability at an all-time high, it is critical that employees build their resilience.
What Really is Resilience?
In a recent Harvard Business Review article, the authors, Rasmus Hougaard , Jacqueline Carter and Moses Mohan, cite an old Buddhist parable that perfectly clarifies what resilience really is. They state, “The Buddha once asked a student: ‘If a person is struck by an arrow, is it painful? If the person is struck by a second arrow, is it even more painful?’ He then went on to explain, ‘In life, we cannot always control the first arrow. However, the second arrow is our reaction to the first. And with this second arrow comes the possibility of choice.’”
In summary, the first arrow is unavoidable, and we have all experienced the impacts of COVID-19’s first arrow in forms of travel restrictions, shelter in place orders, supply shortages, etc. However, the second arrow is something we can control – our stress and anxiety. While our emotional and psychological responses are completely human and natural, they often cause us unnecessary pain. Being able to manage those feelings of stress and anxiety is the definition of resilience.
How Can Employers Help?
While some people seem to have been born with more resilience than others, the good thing is, resilience is a skill. Just like any skill, with coaching, encouragement and practice, it can be learned. As outlined by WELCOA, there are three main ways employers can help their employees become more resilient.
- Encourage Physical Activity: Research shows that regular exercise leads to a measurable decrease in both stress and emotional exhaustion. During this time, it is important to encourage your employees to stay active at home. Send out resources for home workout options, suggest everyone do walking meetings around the neighborhood, or even do online workout classes in a virtual group.
- Cultivate Connections: Having strong social connections and friendships is an amazing defense against the negative effects of stress. With a large majority of employees working remotely now, they have a higher risk of feeling lonely and isolated. As an employer, you should be focusing on fostering online social connection. We have created several infographics, such as “How to Stay Socially Connected While Distancing” and “How to Stay Connected While Working Remotely,” that you can send out to employees and use as a creative guide to help you and your employees stay socially connected.
- Support Mindfulness: Living in the moment, having present-centered awareness, taking the time to appreciate the small wins or moments of happiness; these are all aspects of mindfulness. Employees that are encouraged to be mindful are noticeably less stressed, more creative, and overall more resilient. To learn more about encouraging your employees to be mindful, check out our previous “Tips for Practicing Mindfulness During Uncertain Times.”
To learn more about fostering resilient employees, visit WELCOA!