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How to build emotional resilience

How to Build Emotional Resilience in the Workplace


Time to Read: 3 Minutes


What is Emotional Resilience?

The ability to bounce back from adversity and move forward is a hallmark of someone who has developed emotional resilience.

It’s easy to focus on all the things that can go wrong in the workplace, but what’s more important is what employees do when things go wrong. The ability to handle stress and bounce back from setbacks is key for people who want to succeed in business. When faced with adversities such as the pandemic, an increase in interest rates, job loss, changes in the work environment, and a constant sense of uncertainty, emotional resilience is vital.

The Importance of Emotional Resilience in the Workplace

Businesses can foster and encourage emotional resilience in their employees by creating the right culture. Companies with an emphasis on emotional resilience have better retention rates, more engaged employees, and higher productivity—which means they’re more successful as well.

Here are 9 ways resilience can positively impact the workplace:

  1. Improves job satisfaction

Employees can better deal with stress and eliminate work-related anxiety.

  1. Builds employee self-esteem

Employees will have a higher sense of self-worth because they can face challenges at work with confidence and optimism.

  1. Fosters employee engagement

When faced with difficulties at work, employees are aware that they can turn to their coworkers for support. By building strong relationships at work, employees can handle stress better.

  1. Opportunities for growth

Employees see difficulties as chances to enhance their skills and reduce errors. They see challenges as opportunities for growth.

  1. Improves communication

Employees are able to resolve conflicts with their coworkers and take constructive criticism well. Resilience fosters an atmosphere that encourages honest conversations, which can help in resolving conflict.

6.   Promotes innovation

Employees who are resilient are more accepting of failure. This might encourage workers to take more calculated risks by trying out new ideas, sharing their own, and leading team projects throughout the workplace.

7.    Improves productivity

Having a resilient work environment will promote a happy, healthy workplace and make employees more confident and productive. 

8.   Develops leaders: 

Emotional resilience is a key skill for leaders. It helps them to recover from setbacks, bounce back after stressful events, and maintain their optimism even in difficult situations.

9.   Encourages adaptability: 

Individuals who are resilient are better able to accept and adjust to change. Employees who possess this skill can quickly adapt to changes at work and resume their full duties with minimal disruption. For instance, workplaces that foster resilience may efficiently transition from in-person work to remote work. 

Leadership’s Role in Boosting Resilience in the Workplace

Investing in your employees’ health and well-being creates sustainability, which allows the business to thrive. However, these must meet the needs of a diverse workforce. Resilience in the workplace means that companies provide physical, social, emotional, professional, and financial support to their employees.

If you want to create a culture of resilience within your organization, here are some effective ways to do so:

  • Lead by example 

Businesses that encourage resilience may find it useful to have leaders who provide examples of resilience. Observing this trait embodied daily can teach an employee this positive trait.

Leadership skills and resilience can be demonstrated by setting workplace priorities, overcoming challenges confidently, and managing stress constructively.

  • Offer resilience training

Offering resilience training in the workplace can help you and your staff cope with stress, deal with challenges professionally, and return to work after a difficult time.

Talk about resilience, its importance at work, and how employees can build it during training.

  • Understand the needs of each team member

Leaders can help team members build resilience by understanding their needs and struggles and learning how to assist their team members in overcoming obstacles, distractions, and challenges. One way to do this is to schedule one-on-one check-ins and/or employee surveys to learn their needs. 

  • Acknowledge failures

Leaders can help their teams recognise and accept mistakes and issues by acknowledging failures.

Encourage your team to use disappointment as motivation and an opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Accepting and working through failures increases self-resilience.

  • Motivate employees to volunteer

 Volunteering offers individuals an opportunity to challenge themselves and step out of their comfort zones. When leaders offer incentives, they may feel more motivated to take advantage of these opportunities.

  • Provide stress relief outlets

Stress is a part of life, but it’s important to make sure that your employees are able to recover from stress in order to retain their resilience. By providing them with stress-relieving opportunities, you can help them become more resilient since this gives them time to recover between projects.

Be an Advocate of Emotional Resilience

One of the most important things you can do as a leader is to foster emotional resilience in your workplace. Talk about it with your team and make sure they know why it matters and how it will help them succeed in their jobs.

It is easier to build a team of advocates who can champion the message of workplace resilience when you provide employee training about the connection between well-being and resilience.

If you need help reviewing your organization’s training and wellbeing strategy, please contact the Catalyst Central team at