Is it possible to teach emotional resilience to employees?

One of the most positive traits any employee can possess is resilience. People who are emotionally resilient can better cope with challenges at work by getting through stressful situations rather than letting themselves get side-tracked with negativity, worry, or frustration. These are the workers who seem to effortlessly bounce back after a difficult situation, whether it’s an issue with another co-worker or a client, or an unexpected workflow roadblock.

As a result, they also tend to be your most productive employees. They are the ones who keep other workers, and sometimes their own boss, on a positive track with their can-do attitude.

Without emotional resilience, even the most capable, experienced workers can struggle dealing with adversity, making this trait an essential piece of the puzzle for success.

The question is, can you teach your employees to be emotionally resilient, or is this an innate trait that people either have or don’t have? Can you increase the level of resilience in your workplace?

Investing in your psychological capital

Resilience, along with traits like optimism, perseverance, and confidence, all fall under the category of psychological capital, or PsyCap. When people have a lot of PsyCap, they’re willing and able to take on challenging tasks, face adversity, and find creative solutions to reach a goal. To resilient workers, it’s not about if they can accomplish something. It’s more a question of how. If plan A fails, they bounce back and figure out how else they can reach their goal, now armed with the knowledge gained from their mistakes.

The key to increasing emotional resilience in your employees is through investing in psychological capital. Just like you would invest in a highly skilled employee (human capital) or new equipment (capital), you can also invest in psychological capital to create a more productive and effective workplace.

Teach your employees emotional resilience

There are two ways to boost PsyCap within your team. One is to begin training specifically for emotional resilience. Training may help workers control their emotions by teaching them what triggers lead to negative emotional responses.

Yvonne Brunetto, Professor of Management and HRM at Southern Cross University, is one of the leading experts in emotional resilience at work. Yvonne’s learnings focus on teaching people how to acknowledge their emotional responses and to then determine where those emotions may be coming from. For example, people often react with anger because something triggered their sense of fear. That then leads into teaching employees how to change their habitual responses. For example, instead of responding with anger, Yvonne then recommends being conscious of emotions and choosing to respond with empathy instead.

Teach your managers to foster emotional resilience

The second part of teaching emotional resilience focuses on everyone in a leadership position. It is integral that managers, supervisors, and anyone in a leadership role also demonstrates good coping skills and a positive attitude to draw those traits out of workers.

Also, by teaching managers about PsyCap and its benefits, they can work toward rewarding and encouraging emotional resilience, as well as optimism and confidence at work.

What are the benefits of teaching emotional resilience?

With a more resilient workforce, you’ll encourage greater productivity and engagement. People with high levels of psychological capital tend to have higher levels of job satisfaction, better performance, and are more energised at work. They are also more open to change.

On an organisational level, greater resilience is linked to higher performance, less turnover, reduced stress at work, and even fewer worker compensation claims.

Investing in PsyCap isn’t an overnight solution – without a high level of emotional resilience throughout your workforce, and unless management is setting the example, employees will have an uphill battle to maintain their can-do attitude. If, however, you can upskill with PsyCap from the top down, the potential for creating a better work environment and a high-performing organisation is immense.

For workplace training for your team, and to find out more about the advantages of taking a preventative approach to mental and emotional health in the workplace, get in touch with Bodycare.