How to build resilience at work

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Building resilience at work is not just about weathering the storm, it's about fostering a culture of adaptability, growth, and wellbeing.  Everyone's reaction to stressful and upsetting situations is different, but their resilience can be built and developed over time. Businesses and organistaions play a pivotal role in cultivating resilience within their teams.


The modern workplace throws a lot at us. Deadlines loom, projects shift, and unexpected challenges can occur without notice.  In this environment, fostering resilience at work is no longer a nicety, it's a necessity. Resilient teams bounce back from setbacks faster, maintain morale during tough times, and ultimately achieve better results.  

Studies show that resilience helps employees adapt, cope, gain resources, and thus protect and recoup from resource loss stemming from stressors in the workplace. In addition, the review indicates that self-protective resources such as self-efficacy, positive affect, work-related sense of coherence and social resources such as social support from co-workers and a high-quality leader–member exchange are strong predictors of employees’ resilience. [1]

5 key strategies that show how to build resilience at work

  1. 1
    Build a support system: People are social creatures, and feeling isolated only magnifies stress. Promote a collaborative environment where team members feel comfortable asking for help and offering support. This can involve regular team check-ins, mentorship programs, or even creating buddy systems for new employees.
  2. 2
    Find Your why: A strong sense of purpose fuels motivation and resilience. Help your team understand how their individual contributions tie into the bigger picture. This could involve setting clear goals with measurable outcomes, or even incorporating team-building exercises that emphasise collaboration towards a common objective.
  3. 3
    Embrace the pivot: Change is inevitable. Instead of fearing it, empower your teams to adapt and find solutions. Encourage brainstorming sessions when faced with obstacles, and celebrate creative problem-solving. Highlighting past successes in overcoming challenges can also boost confidence in tackling new ones.
  4. 4
    Trust is a muscle: Building trust takes time and effort, but the payoff is huge. When team members trust each other, they're more likely to communicate openly, admit mistakes, and learn from them. Leaders can set the tone by being transparent in their communication and fostering a culture of psychological safety, where team members feel comfortable taking risks without fear of punishment.
  5. 5
    Optimism with a dose of reality: A positive outlook is important, but blind optimism can lead to disappointment. Encourage a healthy balance. Celebrate wins, but also acknowledge challenges and develop realistic plans to overcome them.

mental health awareness in the workplace 

Increasing awareness of mental health during the week of the 13th to the 19th May will help break the stigma and misunderstanding in the workplace, and help build resilience at work and a positive wellbeing culture. The focus for 2024 is movement and in this booklet, we highlight why building a foundation of movement is essential for our wellbeing.  Download your copy here.

Remember, resilience is not just about enduring, it's about evolving.  By implementing these strategies, you can create a work environment where your team feels supported, empowered, and ready to tackle anything that comes their way. And a resilient team is a high-performing team – a win for everyone involved.

resilience at work

why is resilience at work so important for the individual?

  • Bounce back from setbacks faster: When you're resilient, you don't get bogged down by life’s challenges and/or mistakes. You can learn from them, adapt, and get back on track quicker, minimising disruptions to your work and home life, and keeping you productive.
  • Handle stress better: Resilience equips you with better coping mechanisms for stress, particularly in the workplace. You can manage pressure more effectively, preventing burnout and maintaining a positive attitude which contributes to overall happiness.
  • Increased confidence and motivation: Overcoming obstacles builds confidence and a sense of accomplishment.  Resilient employees (and individuals) are more likely to see challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, keeping them motivated and engaged in their work, and at home.



Discover why building a foundation of movement in the workplace is essential for not only our physical but also our mental wellbeing.

References and further reading

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