March 24, 2022

Look for these 10 traits of resilience in your workplace

Take a moment to look at your workforce, and you’ll probably start to spot signs of employees struggling or feeling stressed out and over-taxed. These might include a sharp uptick in employees taking sick days or personal days, late arrivals, interpersonal conflicts, or an overall dip in productivity and engagement. Worse yet: you may have multiple cases of employee burnout on your hands.

By the time these issues start popping up frequently and across the company, employers are overdue for acknowledging the problem and fixing their workplace culture. People leaders looking for a long-term solution that will keep employees happy, engaged, and committed to growing with the company are shifting their focus to resilience in the workplace.

But what does resilience even look like? Here are 10 traits to look out for:

1. Resilient employees forge strong connections with others. 

Resilient employees know that they’re not alone, even when they’re far apart geographically. They depend on each other, feel a sense of belonging, and expect to be depended upon as well. These employees make great connections with their peers and thrive in group settings.

2. They have high-quality, high-communication relationships.

In part because of their strong connections, resilient employees boast excellent communication skills, leading to productive discussions and an overall ability to resolve conflicts–thereby diminishing the workload of HR.

3. Resilient employees are team players.

“What will it take for us to get this done?” A resilient person isn’t dwelling on setbacks or roadblocks. Instead, they’re ready to do what it takes to succeed. These folks are great at finding the silver lining in uncomfortable situations, knowing there is more than one possible “win-win” solution, even if it’s different from the one originally envisioned. 

4. Resilient employees earn others’ trust. 

The win is always sweeter when shared, and resilient people are eager to share success. They don’t hog credit; instead, they look out for each other–including making sure everyone who played a role gets recognition. They build trust with others and are instrumental in enabling peers to reach their goals. 

5. They can change direction in response to shifting client needs and priorities.

Has a project hit a snag? Have client needs shifted? No problem. Resilient employees can change directions without pain and without taking it personally. The ability to pivot is particularly important when so many organizations are undergoing restructuring due to COVID-19, from rebranding to leadership changes to shifts in workplace models. Even when they’re not thrilled about changes, resilient employees can weather them with calmness and clarity.

6. Resilient employees develop a spirit of play within the workplace.

In the show Billions, performance coach Wendy Rhoades reflects that the “fun” is lacking at Axe Capital–so, she invites WWE wrestler Becky Lynch onto the trading floor and stages a spontaneous wrestling match, much to the shock and delight of her team. The appropriateness of the stunt is questionable, but you can’t deny that Rhoades knows the importance of injecting levity into the workplace. Resilient employees do, too: they foster a spirit of play and understand that a positive atmosphere is as crucial to productivity as simply showing up.

7. They avoid burnout with active self-care. 

Resilient employees prioritize self-care as an important component of productivity. They go to therapy, meditate, do yoga, run marathons. They maintain work/life boundaries, such as shutting off their work phones at EOD and not checking work email on weekends. These employees are also good at being their own advocates–communicating authentically about their concerns and seeking help when needed. 

8. They’re authentic and act in alignment with their highest values. 

Resilient employees strive to create environments wherein they firmly believe in the mission and are proud of the part they play. When the business goals and these individuals’ high standards are aligned, the company, the clients, and the employees all benefit.

9. They have a positive focus at work and actively monitor their thoughts when under stress.

We can all better monitor our stress levels, and resilient folks have honed this skill. They are mindful of their thought processes and engage in self-checks to ensure they’re not getting overwhelmed. These employees proactively hit the pause button before finding themselves in a burnout crisis. 

10. They’re vocal brand ambassadors and act in accordance with company values.

The best brand ambassadors are those whose personal values are both actualized and well-aligned with those of the company. They are passionate about pursuing company goals, persevere against difficult odds, and feel the thrill of accomplishment when they have succeeded. 

Creating employees who thrive

So, where do you find employees with resilience? 

Good news: You already have them. 

Resilient employees aren’t bought–they’re built. By teaching the skill of resilience in the workplace and maintaining a positive and human-centered company culture, companies can foster a happy, engaged, and motivated workforce. You may even want to start from day one of each employee experience with an inclusive onboarding.

If you’d like to dig deeper into workplace resilience, then we’ve got you covered. Together, we can make recognizing and supporting workplace resilience the new norm!

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