Resilience 101 for Plan Sponsors

What Is Resilience?

Resilience is the ability to adapt well to stress and involves a series of behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be developed over time.

Why Is Resilience Necessary in the Workplace?

The World Health Organization has named stress the “health epidemic of the 21st century.” Stress can be found in almost every organization, and its consequences on employers and workers are significant. For employees, situations such as lack of role clarity, excessive workload, conflict with co-workers or leaders, organizational restructuring or lack of teamwork can all bring stress and uncertainty. Even situations that appear positive, like increased responsibility from a promotion or returning to work from a vacation, can bring stress. How workers are able to bounce back from stress can have a big impact on the productivity and efficiency of an organization, as well as on the mental health of the individual.

How Can Plan Sponsors Help Workers Build Resilience?

There are several ways employers can encourage resilience. Consider the unique needs of your workforce and what will be most impactful—and remember that support from your CEO and senior leadership is essential.

Encourage Physical Well-Being

Make your workplace a healthy place to be. Remove unhealthy food and drinks, and encourage physical movement. Small steps can help support your workers in living a healthy lifestyle.

Support Psychological Well-Being

Build a workplace that is fair and safe. Provide job security, allow autonomy and demonstrate to workers the value and impact of their work. Encourage regular breaks throughout the day to help employees mentally reset their energy and attention.

Promote Mindfulness

People who practice mindfulness have been shown to better cope with challenges without being overwhelmed—which can lead to better work performance and improved overall well-being. Simple exercises, such as guided breathing, can be done by anyone.

Encourage Use of the Benefits You Offer

Make sure your workers are aware of the employee benefits available to them. Do you offer wellness initiatives? Paid time off? An EAP? Make sure your staff knows what resources you offer and how to take advantage of them.

Build a Team Atmosphere With Open Communication

Research has found many benefits of positive relationships in the workplace. Encourage teamwork and social interactions, allowing employees to build a strong support network in the workplace.

Train Your Leaders and Staff on Resilience

Invite speakers, hold workshops or make online training available on topics such as overcoming challenges, dealing with difficult people or remaining calm under pressure.