Resilience in the workplace: changing the way we feel about change

Tue, 20/03/2018 - 09:28

‘Keep calm and carry on’ is the motto for 2018. In such an ever-changing, pressured working environment, it’s easy to lose sight of the end goal. Well, even more so when you’re stretched for time beyond your usual capacity. This is where resilience comes in: the ability to overcome change, quickly. 

Resilience in the workplace: changing the way we feel about change

Resilience is one of the most important skills you need to work efficiently and perform at optimum level. It’s an active process that refers to how employees deal with the stresses and strains of the modern workplace, and it tests your ability to prepare for (and bounce back from) emotional experiences.

A resilient workforce identifies the need for an environment where productivity and satisfaction meet. It’s a positive space where people are able to deal with complex demands that require mental flexibility. It’s not about having the skills or not, it’s about learning how to change your feelings towards life’s events, helping you to perform better under pressure and live a healthier life despite your circumstances.

Learning to handle your anxiety and stress in the workplace will help you cope with pressure, without dropping the ball. Being ‘okay’ with uncertainty and failure is where resilience starts, and it relies on developing behaviours, thoughts and actions. Anyone can learn these habits, but it takes a collaborative workforce to foster a culture of resilient individuals. Here are a few tips for building resilience at work: 

Encourage social support and interaction: Being socially active gives you peace of mind and helps you unwind. You’ll find that people who have more friends than others know exactly how to manage their stress better. In order to achieve that, you need to maintain positive relationships with people inside and outside the working space. Not only does this make you more content at work, but it gives you comfort in knowing that you have a strong support network.

Treat problems as a learning curve: Giving and receiving constructive criticism and constant feedback will help you overcome challenges with ease. Businesses need to develop a culture where employees seek positivity in change and take each challenge as an opportunity to better themselves and master a new skill. When teams initiate this kind of behaviour, it becomes easier for employees to grow and develop in moments that matter most.

Celebrate success: While it’s important to keep track of your own successes, take the time to compliment your team and congratulate them on their good work. This type of kind behaviour encourages positivity and it trains your mind to always look for success in yours and your team’s performance. Rather than dwelling on the negative, reward yourself when something goes right. 

Create a sense of purpose: According to Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why, it’s important to figure out your “why” in life. “Why do you get up in the morning? What do you enjoy about your job? What inspires you to be better?” These are all questions that can help you define your purpose and set strategic goals. At the end of the day, you’re here to live a purpose-driven life. If you don’t understand your “why”, you won’t be able to do the “what” and the “how”. 

Take positive action: Positivity inspires action. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to achieve greatness when you are inspired to do better. An environment which thrives on positivity and optimism will encourage everyone to be the change they wish to see in the office. This goes hand-in-hand with how you feel about yourself. In order to project positivity, you need to be confident in your own abilities. When you’re constantly faced with stressful situations, you’ll start to build your resiliency, which will help you believe in yourself. “Fake it till you make it” is the name of the game, and in order to survive setbacks, you’ve got to keep giving yourself those pep talks.

Keep a realistic perspective at all times: In modern society, there is no escaping stress. Whether it’s in the workplace, at home or in your personal life, stress occurs in every area of your life. The quicker you learn to react calmly in stressful situations, the easier it will be for you to think rationally and realistically in moments when you feel like panicking. 

Be flexible with your tasks: Flexibility is a skill that many of us struggle with. When you start becoming too familiar with your comfort zone, it’s difficult to change plans in the moment. If you learn to accept change and understand the need to put your clients’ best interests first, it will make operations run smoother. Resisting change only causes conflict and internal frustration. 

Take care of your physical and mental health: Taking care of your body is the first step to taking care of your mind. When you cannot control your stress and anxiety in the workplace, people tend to look to other vices to help them cove. Always keep your head up and remember to eat as healthily as possible, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep. 

Final thoughts 

It's a no-brainer that when you’re having an off-ish day, it’s hard to give anything if you’re not mentally, physically or emotionally healthy. If people aren’t feeling well, their levels of engagement and commitment will drop significantly, which leads to poor performance. Make sure everyone understands the importance of practising mindfulness in order to connect with themselves and restore a sense of purpose. 

Each person is different and responds differently to change, so make use of the above-mentioned tips to identify your own personal strategy for fostering resilience at work. When you strengthen the people who are important to you, your company will be equally strong in culture and performance.

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