Resilience at Work – Building a Strong and Healthy Team

This job aid for supervisors and managers at all levels provides strategies and tips on building resilience in the workplace and effectively adapting to change.

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Resilience is the capacity to withstand and manage stress. It includes being able to adapt to changing circumstances and rebuild well‑being through self‑care strategies such as maintaining supportive personal and professional networks.

Modern workplaces are continuously evolving. This constant change makes it necessary to incorporate and sustain resilience strategies to support individuals and teams.

Resilience at work helps team members and teams to:

  • embrace change and uncertainty as opportunities
  • stay engaged and promote innovation
  • maintain physical and emotional well-being

What resilience at work looks like

Relationship to self

  • Confident
  • Optimistic
  • Self-aware
  • Patient

Relationship to others

  • Appreciative
  • Helpful
  • Accepting
  • Collaborative and empathetic

Relationship to the environment

  • Goal-oriented
  • Growth mindset
  • Purposeful
  • Perseverant

Workplace realities that put your team's resilience at risk

Risk factors in your workplace that can have an impact on the resilience of individuals and teams include:

  • Being hyperconnected to work, responding to requests anytime, anywhere
  • Technological disruptions and evolving business models
  • Lack of motivation, poor utilization of skills or full potential
  • Scope, scale and speed of demands increasing at an accelerated rate
  • Schedules and information flow difficult to manage
  • Work-life balance unmanageable

Strategies to build team resilience

The 13 psychosocial workplace factors listed below can positively impact the mental health of individuals in the workplace. Using resilience strategies that correspond to these factors can enhance well-being and productivity.

Resilience strategies
  • Self-awareness
  • Optimism
  • Self-care
  • Self-regulation
  • Connection to colleagues and friends

Team resilience: 13 Workplace Factors

Provided by Guarding Minds at Work,Footnote1 the 13 workplace factors listed below align with the criteria of the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.

  1. Psychological support: A work environment where coworkers and supervisors are supportive of employees' psychological and mental health concerns, and respond appropriately as needed.
  2. Organizational culture: A work environment characterized by trust, honesty and fairness.
  3. Clear leadership and expectations: A work environment where there is effective leadership and support that helps employees know what they need to do, how their work contributes to the organization and whether or not there are impending changes.
  4. Civility and respect: A work environment where employees are respectful and considerate in their interactions with one another, as well as with customers, clients and the public. (Civility and respect are based on showing esteem, care and consideration for others and acknowledging their dignity.)
  5. Psychological competencies and requirements: A work environment where there is a good fit between employees' interpersonal and emotional competencies and the requirements of the position they hold. (Psychological demands of the job will allow organizations to determine whether any given activity of the job might be a hazard to the worker's health and well-being.)
  6. Growth and development: A work environment where employees receive encouragement and support in the development of their interpersonal, emotional and job skills.
  7. Recognition and reward: A work environment where there is appropriate acknowledgement and appreciation of employees' efforts in a fair and timely manner.
  8. Involvement and influence: A work environment where employees are included in discussions about how their work is done and how important decisions are made.
  9. Workload management: A work environment where tasks and responsibilities can be accomplished successfully within the time available.
  10. Engagement: A work environment where employees feel connected to their work and are motivated to do their job well.
  11. Balance: A work environment where there is recognition of the need for balance between the demands of work, family and personal life.
  12. Psychological protection: A work environment where psychological safety is ensured. (It is demonstrated when employees feel able to put themselves on the line, ask questions, seek feedback, report mistakes and problems, or propose a new idea without fearing negative consequences to themselves, their job or their career.)
  13. Protection of physical safety: A work environment where management takes appropriate action to protect the physical safety of employees. (Employees' psychological and physical safety is protected from the hazards and risks related to their physical environment.)

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