The Resilience Advantage: Why It’s Key to Reducing Employee Stress

Workplace stress is at an all-time high due to issues ranging from balancing hybrid work schedules to worries about inflation. In an average workday, one in two American workers will suffer from stress for a significant portion of the day, which has a negative impact on employee engagement, workplace culture, and productivity.

Employers Have a Role to Play in Developing Workplace Resilience and Reducing Workplace Stress

Building a resilient workplace culture and ensuring that employees are equipped to deal with everyday stress at work can seem daunting. But the reality is that there are a variety of effective, accessible tools employers can use to boost resilience in the workforce. Employers can help their employees develop the skills to better manage stress and other negative emotions by proactively engaging and providing evidence-based mental health resources to all employees – whether or not they experience symptoms of a mental health problem. The benefits range from happier employees to increased productivity, to lower overall health care costs.

Anyone Can Learn to Be More Resilient

Everyone will experience personal adversity at some point in their life – but not everyone reacts to that adversity the same way. Resilience can make a difference. The American Psychological Association defines resilience as “the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility, and adjustment to external and internal demands”. Resilience can be learned and put into practice by anyone. Learning resilience gives people the tools they need to face challenges head on and can reduce symptoms of mental health problems like depression while improving physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Resilient individuals are more equipped to: 

  • Build and keep strong relationships 
  • Feel prepared to engage in difficult conversations  
  • Think optimistically  
  • Be able to recover from setbacks 

Resilient individuals don’t just bounce back from adversity – they take it as an opportunity for personal growth and learning. But for those who struggle with resilience, everyday stressors can have a negative impact on their personal relationships, work performance, and mental well-being. The good news is that anyone can learn to incorporate those habits into their day-to-day life.  

In fact, individuals who have been trained in the tools and techniques to respond to life’s stressors are more likely to stay in their jobs and be more engaged, and report improvements in all aspects of daily life including focus, self-control, sleep, and handling stress. A report published by the Resilience Institute on the impact of resilience training included some compelling results:

  • 32% reduction in disengaged behaviors  
  • 39% reduction in distress/anxiety symptoms  
  • 33% reduction in symptoms of depression 

Organizations that invest in personal development and resilience reap dividends including higher workplace satisfaction, improved performance, lower turnover, and stronger workplace culture. Resilience can even lead to lower health care costs. A team of researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital Benson-Henry Institute found that greater resilience reduces a person’s need for health care services. Those taking part in a program to develop skills to reduce stress responses, promote relaxation, and enhance resilience experienced: 

  • 43% overall decrease in the use of health care services compared to the control group 
  • A decrease in emergency room visits from 3.6 to 1.7 per year 

Help Your Employees Thrive

Life can be stressful but building resiliency can help individuals return to optimal functioning under stress. Resilience-based mental health tools provide your employees with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive at work, with positive impacts on every aspect of your organization.