Stress & Adversity: Building Resilient Organizations

Apr 19 2021 | Research
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Stress is not a new problem; rather it is simply one that we are learning to understand better. Stress not only results from large life-changing events, but also from constant, low-intensity issues. Adversity in the workplace is most likely to fall into the latter category, as problems such as lack of support or exhausting workloads are often ongoing.

Because of this, resilience has become one of the newest top skills to train for. A resilient person will handle adversity better, finding positive ways to grow and move forward. A resilient organization is better able to navigate sudden disruptions – such as, for example, a worldwide pandemic. Stress and resilience are two sides of the same coin however; someone who is more stressed, will be less resilient as they are likely to be struggling with the physical, mental and emotional effects of being stressed, which in turn makes them feel further negative circumstances more keenly.

In part, it is up to the individual to work on their resilience by taking note of stress and how it affects them personally, and finding ways to alleviate the symptoms. Workplaces can help by fostering a positive atmosphere of communication, empowerment and trust; not only does this ease some of the stress felt by employees, but it also shows that their organization values them, which makes them feel more positive about their workplace. Organizations are also well placed to encourage and arrange help from outside their company, for example from coaches and mentors that specialize in resilience.

It is also important to remember that building resilience is not an “easy fix” – it takes time and dedication, and is an ongoing process that can fluctuate. Neither is it always the answer; for some people, there may be deeper issues that are making it difficult for them to build resilience. In this situation, workplaces can support them in their search for professional healthcare assistance.’

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