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Increase Employee Resilience with These 3 Tips

Posted by Sandy Yu on 11.28.2019


According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 75% of workers believe there is more on-the-job stress now than a generation ago, with 40% of that group placing themselves at the high end of the stress spectrum. In tumultuous times, leaders must know how to encourage employee resilience to combat the resistance that builds and hinders potential.

Limiting thoughts and beliefs fuel employees’ fear of failure. And when the fear of failure looms so large that it inhibits progress, it’s classified as a diagnosable phobia -- atychiphobia.

When your team improves their ability to adapt to adversity, threats, and other stressors, they increase their resilience against the consistent onslaught of negativity -- whether self-imposed or externally caused. As a leader, there are three key actions you can take to help your team tackle stress and create a resilience-building workplace.

1. Understand what they’re actually afraid of

Before you can help your team work through their fear of failure, you first have to understand exactly what they’re fearful of. When all-encompassing fear is driving your team’s actions, it can be hard to pinpoint the true root cause of the issue.

Help build employee resilience by working with your team to pinpoint what has them feeling stuck. Past failures or lack of experience are two major underlying issues, but financial strain, workplace dynamics, personal problems, and imposter syndrome can all get in the way of meeting goals.

Sit down with each member regularly to air out grievances and discuss pain points. When you establish a solid level of trust with your team, they’ll feel at ease opening up to you about the stressors that could affect their work.

2. Promote growth from failure

World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 found that when companies adjust their workplace mentality in regard to mistakes, employee confidence grows by a whopping 30%.

That doesn’t mean that mistakes should be overlooked or unaddressed. Instead, openly acknowledge errors and use them as teaching moments to help employees learn ways in which they can improve. It’s not the feedback-sandwich version of hiding criticism in between praise. It’s the conscious and thorough exploration of what went wrong and what can be done better next time.

First practice changing your perception of mistakes, then encourage your team to do the same by displaying your new attitude through action. You’ll cut back on their stress and nurture their resilience.

3. Encourage optimistic but realistic thinking

Mindset is everything. In a study reported in "The Happiness Advantage," researchers found that insurance agents who approached their work with an optimistic mindset were 37% more successful than their pessimistic counterparts. Additionally, those who focused on positivity were half as likely to quit.

Optimism will directly impact employee resilience and success, as will your guidance in helping your team set and achieve realistic goals. Fight resistance by helping your team realize the small wins they achieve. Set up touch-point meetings on a weekly or monthly basis and be sure you’re following a review system that takes an annual, holistic look at the progress your team is making -- both as a unit and individually.


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Topics: employee experience

Human Resources Today