A perfect work-life is a myth. Stress is a magical word that defines everyone’s professional life.
Even if they are doing what they love- obstacles and challenges are bound to appear along the way of work. And, these setbacks may test the patience of even the most cheerful employees. But, it is pretty normal. Here is where emotional resilience plays a significant role.
With such highly demanding work cultures and short deadlines, stress will remain, every second, every minute, every hour of the day. There is no running away from it.
When workers are under stress- they get distracted, demotivated, and this declines productivity. Work-life stress is much likely to affect personal and social lives- one always accompanies the other.
And, since, the nature of contemporary work life is not going to change anytime soon, we may as well adapt ourselves and fight through it.
To do that, we have to start building our emotional resilience skills, and these get stronger with use.
What is Emotional Resilience?
The ability to cope with work crises and stress is what we call emotional resilience. When your brain chants “Keep calm and Carry On”- that implies you are strong on resilience.
Managing people at the office or some misunderstanding between coworkers can often take place- and at times, receiving personal criticism can make one anxious. All these factors take a toll on your mental health.
To deal with this kind of situation, one has to build a high resilience; as they say, the higher the resilience, the calmer one gets. It teaches how to bounce back during tough times.
Being emotionally resilient gives you the capacity to handle stressful situations and navigate your life effectively. Because at the end of the day, only you can control yourself.
However, being resilient does not mean not failing but failing and still powering through the storm while taking care of one’s good functional capacities. If you don’t feel challenged severely, you will not have the urge to activate resilience.
Emotional resilient individuals can deal with major crises more effectively than minor ones. The skill of resilience is easily learned, but for it to be impactful, people must absorb the skill into one’s work style.
Work, competition, politics, and several other factors in the office can be very overwhelming. But, resilient people grow out of those disappointments and make sure to avoid actions followed by such circumstances.
Enhancing coping mechanisms is what emotional resilience does best. The good news is you can develop this trait and catch it pretty soon enough.
Traits of Emotional Resilience
Emotional resilience is not some default factory setting built-in to your system. This trait keeps developing with time and experience.
Not about winning but balancing, resilience is the ability to adapt with so much happening, in and out of the workplace that has never existed before.
There are certain characteristics resilient individuals possess, which allow them to roll with the punches.
1. Optimistic Behaviour
Seeing the positive side has helped people in every condition for ages. The belief to overcome adversity is fundamental if you do not want chaos in your work-life.
Suppose you are assigned a buttload of work, and you panic, the situation would go south. Instead, you need to be looking for ways to finish your job by utilizing your strength in the correct area.
2. Locus of Control
When you believe that you are the one controlling your work life and nobody else, who’s to stop you?
Resilient people usually take the realistic view approach, not act as victims- and are more solution driven.
Resilient people are aware of their feelings, and they understand the situation better than non-resilient people. When someone is consciously aware of their actions, they even try to understand other people’s opinions and thoughts.
Would you not want to understand why your coworkers have a certain shift in their attitude? If you are aware, you would know how to respond and cope with that, instead of just snapping back.
What do you do when you face a big challenge in your work and have not found out any means to solve it? Panic, much?
A resilient individual does not give up until they solve the problem. High on emotional resilience implies action-oriented.
5. Sense of Humor
As they say, laughter is the best medicine- well, they are not wrong. It indeed is.
Laughing at a difficult situation often makes it appear less threatening, and as a result, one can focus on finding a solution instead of running away from the situation and panicking at the same time.
6. Social Support
Resilient research says that these resilient people are such strong individuals. However, that does not mean they keep to themselves all the time.
Being alone is fine when you are mentally strong, but social support adds to mental peace. So, you will see emotional resilient individuals surrounded by supportive friends and family
Ways to Build Emotional Resilience in the Workplace
Building emotional resilience is extremely important for both the parties of a company- the employers and employees.
Therefore, we bring you various ways for employees to build resilience in themselves and how employers can help inculcate resilience inside the workplace.
Earlier, things were relatively simple in the workplace. Stress existed but not the way it is, in the present scenario.
All the factors are changing with each day and we have to change ourselves accordingly.
Here are some of the ways through which you can rise on your emotional resilience skill.
1. Learn from the Mistakes
Many times, you might be at the receiving end of criticism from your manager.
What do you do then?
Well, if you give in to the despair, that is going to crush your self-esteem.
You should rather process the whole situation for a moment. Be in that zone, not for long, though. Doing so, you will witness a shift from reaction to response subconsciously.
Reaction after a criticism is obvious; one is bound to get upset or angry, but how to turn that reaction into something productive is what resilience teaches you.
Imagine working on a project and trying to approach companies for partnership, and they do not respond to your mails and calls and your superiors have also swiftly pointed your mistakes out. You would get frustrated, but deep down, after all the ranting, take some time out and reflect that maybe this was not worth the deal, anyway.
Try to take a lesson from everything good and bad. Brainstorm ideas, see where you went wrong and how you can make a strong comeback from it.
2. Socialize and Reach Out
Socializing takes you pretty far in terms of your networks. If you believe that you will survive this cruel world alone, you are just in denial.
Especially, when it comes to the work environment, there is a minimum of 1-2 people you should trust. If you are having a bad day, you can obviously speak to your loved ones, but they can do little from a faraway place.
Due to this, it is a bonus to have a set of mindful ears in the form of colleagues whom you can call acquaintances or friends, for that matter.
You need some people at work you can rely on- who can help you look things from a new perspective and build resilience.
Extend your network and call for support whenever necessary. Also, make sure to provide the same support to others.
3. Balance Personal-Professional Life
A very important topic to discuss is maintaining a balance between work and life. I agree it gets tough, but however difficult it may be, it is not worth costing your personal life.
Give time to yourself out of work, explore new things- helps in minimizing stress levels.
Go to the gym after a long day of work or maybe go out with friends- all these will keep your mind engaged in other light activities. And, you will see the transition yourself once you maintain the balance.
You must not tie your purpose of life to just one thing. Because, in such a condition, you are caught up in a single task.
Give yourself something to look forward to; this, in turn, will build a strong resilience for after work you can just dump your stress at work and move on.
4. Maintain Good Health
The physical and mental health of a person is correlated. One always affects the other.
If you are prone to some disease or the other, your mental peace will jump off the window, every few days. You will be miserable, and this will also harm your efficiency.
Likewise, when you have a lot of pending work and you are getting anxious for the same, you might lose your appetite and work till late. As a result, your physical health will deteriorate as you will be low on mental strength.
So, if you start maintaining a healthy routine in terms of food and exercise- you will start building a high resilience as the body will stay fit. There will be no issues of chest pains or cold to drag down your spirit.
Thus, make sure you eat healthy, exercise, and drink loads and loads of water for poor health issues come at the cost of your productivity.
5. Grow some Compassion
Find me an individual who has not made a mistake in life like ever.
It is tough, isn’t it?
Mistakes are a part of life; it only makes us human. It is also normal to mess up some data or not to be able to deliver the assigned task on time.
Besides, you are free to be upset or angry at times. However, beating yourself about it does not have a point.
Which is why it is wise to take breaks often.
Feel bad as your boss humiliated you for something? Just go on a walk.
Too much stress with the load of work? Take leave for a day and gear up for the challenge ahead.
Blaming yourself for some mishap at work will not do any good. But, getting ready to face the hurdle and overcome it, will surely do.
As an HR professional, you must have your own workload to deal with. But at the same time, the additional responsibility to keep the employees stay focused in their work and motivated require quite a handful of efforts.
Employee retention becomes difficult if employees are under constant stress they are not able to deal with. It leaves you to be their saviour.
So, bringing you some of the ways on how you can build emotional resilience in the workplace.
1. Health Profile
Knowing the health status of the employees is very significant on the part of the employer.
An efficient employee missing his deadlines, and not delivering his best might raise many eyebrows at work.
But, do you have the slightest idea of what must be bothering him?
If he is undergoing stress and not being able to cope with it, then it is a sign of weak resilience. This affects the employee’s mental health, which in turn, hampers the organization. This is why a company providing advices to its staff can be beneficial.
Before starting on the advice procedure, the employer should maintain a health profile for the entire workforce. Because, identifying the problem comes before finding the solution for it.
Through these health profiles, businesses can prepare a plan of action.
You must collect mental health information for all the employees, but at the same time, training should be given to the managers too, on how to understand if an employee is struggling with stress.
Or you could just try and introduce a digital platform; ask all your employees to register and update their health information on it for you to keep a record of their health profiles.
2. Positive Environment
The workplace environment is something which matters a lot.
A dull and gloomy work setting where every day is the same, is bound to make people frustrated. This is when you, as an employer, ought to introduce certain fun-filled programs in the office.
Also, fostering a healthy work environment can happen through rewards and recognition and an employment security that can promote trust and understanding between employers and employees.
Appreciating employees and motivating them for their good performance will make them work harder and understand better where they went wrong, when failed in any task. So, even if they make mistakes, they would start looking for a quick-fix instead of taking unnecessary stress.
With the assistance of above-mentioned activities resilience gets a major boost as employees now feel empowered and secured. Thus, you have to conduct programs which enhance stress management capabilities for staff.
3. Assistance Program
Employee assistance programs are very useful when it comes to supporting staff.
Employees suffer a lot of things during work. And, not all of them are expressive or comfortable enough to share the level of stress with one another.
During such crises, resorting to employee assistance programs prove to be the best for building emotional resilience as through these, advice and counselling sessions can be arranged for employees.
With the availability of counseling 24x7, reserved employees who cannot open up can get direct access to experts for counseling or advice over a telephone call by calling on a specified helpline number. For others, you can set up a designated cabin for face-to-face sessions.
These programs will allow the staff to let their heart out by speaking about everything that’s bothering them, at work. The best part about it being confidential is the fact the employees can be free enough to not hesitate.
4. Training Session
Building resilience is not that easy as it sounds. It requires a lot of effort.
You, as an employer, are responsible for your employee’s satisfaction level at work. As a result, if your workforce is in a difficult situation, you are entitled to get them out of it.
Stress is a common thing to face, but assisting your employees to overcome it is an example of a fulfilled manager or a company.
Resilience is a skill, and it is different for every individual. Learning to master it takes practice. However, you can offer several training sessions and workshops for your employees on growing resilience.
The resilience workshops can teach techniques on how to deal with stress and pressure. These will also make one proactive and confident, and in that way, the employees will see problems as challenges which they can overthrow.
Numerous breathing exercises, meditation will make the employees think straight and calmly rather than giving in to stress and increase anxiety issues.
5. Spiritual Strength
Spiritual resilience is often neglected, but it holds a strong point.
I mean, what can be stronger than a man’s values and goals?
If one is serious enough, the willpower and determination to achieve goals will overshadow the tendency to give themselves away to stress. There will be a certain level of enthusiasm when someone is motivated to fulfill their achievements.
This factor acts as a trigger in driving resilience within oneself.
If your employees believe that they have a sense of purpose and consider their work in high regard and meaningful, they will be ready to cope with whatever obstacle comes their way.
So, promoting spiritual resilience in the workplace through small group sessions where you offer a platform for your employees to vent out their frustration, with encouraging them to believe in themselves and have a proper aim in life, should do the trick.
Got everything you need? I’m sure you did.
Building emotional resilience is mandatory in the present world. Work will always be there but panicking or running away from problems with a pumped up heart rate will be of no use.
You ought to buckle up, pull yourself together and fight through the challenges. And, fighting through difficulties is only possible when you have resilience added to your skillset.
Similarly, if you are an employer and want a happy work environment, you should consider implementing the above-mentioned suggestions.