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Training in resilience

Resilience has become something of a buzzword when it comes to dealing with workplace stress and increasing mental wellbeing. It all comes down to employees having the mental toughness in place to cope with change and deal with setbacks.

Matt Smeed, psychologist at Robertson Cooper, says: “Resilience is something which can be built, proactively, over time. Almost all businesses face challenges in the current economic climate and on an individual level this means employees dealing with more stressful situations and having fewer resources. Training and development can allow managers and employees to reflect on how they adapt in these situations – maintaining a sense of purpose, getting social support and coping effectively with pressure.”

To train your people in resilience, Robertson Cooper suggests trying the following methods:

Use Fredrickson’s magic ratio: Maintaining the right balance between positive and negative feedback from managers and leaders has a big influence on resilience. Research shows a ratio of around five positive interactions to one negative is the ideal for productivity, and will help keep staff in the most resilient frame of mind.

Noticing the signs: Is your organisation good at spotting the signs of stress? Being aware of the symptoms – nervousness, inability to concentrate, taking less care than usual over appearance – will enable managers to intervene early and facilitate support.

Challenge and support: Encourage leaders to keep pressure positive among their teams. Employees who feel supported and able to engage with leaders during times of change or pressure are more likely to stay motivated and resilient without experiencing burnout. This requires leaders who can balance their leadership style between ‘challenge’ and ‘support’.