Resilience In The Workplace: Are We Bouncing Back?

Updated August 18th 2023


Did you know that since 2015 serious and common mental health issues have been in the top four most cited reasons of taking sick leave from work?


According to RTE (2020), the highest incidence of sick leave was due to stress in 18-24 year olds with 22% having to take time off. 


How do we stop this? 


Developing your own RESILIENCE is one thing that could help these shocking statistics.


For many of us, there is nothing better than knowing that our colleagues feel content and fulfilled at work.  We believe that Covid-19 has made many people realise that our number one priority in the workplace needs to be employee wellbeing and resilience.  We have certainly seen this in the workshops, programmes and immersive learning tech projects we have been working on with our clients.


What is Resilience?  


Resilience is our ability to become strong, healthy or successful after something bad has happened. It is the bounce back ability from difficult challenges These challenges can also be positive such as bouncing back to work from a really good holiday. The concept of resilience also involves the ability to regulate your thoughts and emotions and the ability to observe a challenging situation as not a set-back but an opportunity to grow and improve. Resilience involves enabling better problem-solving skills and helps maintain motivation in the workplace. These challenging situations could be mental health issues, job changes or loss and of course, the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Misconceptions of Resilience


A common misconception of resilience is that a person that is resilient DOES NOT experience psychological stress. Most if not all resilient people have gone through psychological stress. Often, the road on the way to becoming resilient involves emotional pain. Some people possess traits that make them more likely to be resilient than others. 


And indeed a really interesting fact is that some people thrive from these challenges and changes. “The old understanding of stress as a unhelpful relic of our animal instincts is being replaced by the understanding that stress actually makes us socially smart — it’s what allows us to be fully human.” – Kelly McGonigal


An individual’s resilience is based on a combination of genetics, personal history, environment and situational context. Professor of psychiatric epidemiology in Harvard’s T.H Chan School of Public Health, Karestan Koenen said that “there are temperamental or personality characteristics that are genetically influenced [on resilience] such as risk-taking or whether you’re introverted or extroverted”.  So this means whether you’re introverted or extroverted or a risk taker plays a part in how you develop your resilience and how much resilience you have already developed due to your genetics.


Why is resilience so important in the workplace


There are many reasons why resilience is so important in the workplace:


First of all, it gives the employees a better ability to handle changes and challenges. Resilience reduces negative thoughts and stops them clouding judgement and logic meaning employees will be better able to handle challenges and changes in the workplace.


Next we have improved communication. Employees who encompass higher levels of resilience than others are usually more self-assured and confident. This means they have the ability to speak up and contribute to discussions and can express their needs and their ideas more constructively and logically. If ideas are shared in a business it allows for opportunities to explore all avenues and encourages creativity among the workforce.


The third reason why resilience is important in the workplace is that employees who feel resilient will be more open to upskilling and development. 


A study by CV Library showed that 40% of employers see value in the skill “willingness to adapt”. Resilience promotes a growth mindset where employees will seek out new opportunities to upskill. If a business aids growth in employees then the business will grow.


See our next blog where we share some tips on how to build a resilient workplace…


Are you interested in helping your team find and develop their resilience? Reach out! You can find us at We love hearing from you, and we would love to discuss how our one to one or group training programmes can help.


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