Why Employers Need More Resilient Employees

1st September 2015

Posted In: WMB Careers
Mairead Griffin

Resilience is the difference between surviving, thriving or crumbling in periods of stress, and flux.

The current pace of change in international business means that having talent that can adapt to change and endure increasing pressure is an extremely valuable asset.

Indeed, according to Right Management’s research paper ‘The Flux Report’, 91% of HR decision makers think that people will be hired based on their ability to deal with change and uncertainty in the future.

Words: Mairead Griffin, Cpl Director (pictured)

Resilient organisations depend on the collective resilience of its employees, which is why resilience is a key concern for HR. It is a highly beneficial skill and the good news is it can be taught.


Why do companies care?

Another important factor explaining the drive for resilient culture is the myriad of talent management challenges that companies have to deal with. Stress, burnout and presenteeism are all on the rise. On top of this, employees are becoming increasingly disengaged from their work. A resilient workforce is more engaged, more productive and better able to handle increased workloads and stress.

HR departments are introducing measures to help their staff become more resilient. For example, flexible working arrangements give employees the freedom to set their own pace and control their schedule, easing stress and burnout. HR also provide opportunities for ongoing learning to support staff in managing stress, time management, acquiring new skills or finding job fulfilment. All of this is designed to help staff to develop behavioural preparedness for times of uncertainty and disruption. Increased internal communication from employers also assists resilience in keeping staff aware of changes while also keeping them aligned to organisational values and goals.


How resilience can benefit employees

It’s important not to dismiss resilience as solely an organisational or HR concern. Mentally tough people prosper and are generally more successful; rising to higher ranking positions within companies. According to research from Robertson Cooper, resilient people are more productive – 80% compared to 61% for less resilient people. This is because resilient people are inspired by the value in their work – their jobs mean more to them than a monthly pay cheque. With this kind of motivation they are able to avoid burnout and stress.


4 steps to building resilience

If you are looking to become more resilient there are four key ways to develop this skill. Firstly, it’s important to have a good support system around you. Build high-quality connections by offering recognition, support and guidance. Trust and respect are essential foundations for a support network that will help you in times of stress. Secondly, it’s important that you stay authentic to your values and true self. Resilient people are positive in themselves and their abilities. Remember that your core skills – the things you are really good at – will see you through times of stress or major change.

Thirdly, find purpose in your work. This is a vital component; the more you care about what you are doing the easier it will be to focus on the end result rather than the challenge. Being able to re-frame negative work thoughts and find that silver lining is crucial for keeping yourself engaged. Finally, when things do go wrong, focus on the things that you have influence over. Worrying about the rest will only impair your ability to effectively problem-solve and take purposeful action.

Companies are increasingly determined to build a resilient culture. Make this work for you. Take on opportunities for learning and development – it will help you to manage stress and prevent burnout. When challenges present themselves; meet them head on. Successfully managing major change or project overload will highlight your value to the business and ensure that you don’t just cope with stress, you thrive instead.

Mairead Griffin is a Director at Cpl Resources plc and leads the HR recruitment division. With over 20 years of recruitment experience, Cpl HR are dedicated to sourcing top talent across the entire HR job family. Cpl is Ireland’s largest recruitment agency, and a global provider of recruitment, staffing and outsourcing services, with 36 offices worldwide. Contact Mairead at Mairead.griffin@cpl.ie or on 01 9476203. www.cpl.ie/HR