Building Personal Resilience

Building Personal Resilience

How to help your workforce build resilience to cope effectively in times of crisis and challenge

Many people and organisations are going through particularly challenging times at the moment. Building resilience in the workforce is one approach to helping managers and employees cope with adverse events, minimise the impact on performance (both individual and organisational) and keep people engaged and performing at their optimum.

People with low resilience often suffer high stress levels. It is not uncommon for senior managers who continuously work long hours, who appear to be highly engaged in their work, to suffer high levels of stress and low levels of resilience. They will, eventually, burn out. Others will eventually become ill with stress. Building resilience is a successful remedy against these situations.

Achieving high levels of personal resilience makes a major and substantial contribution to the reduction of psychological presenteeism, sickness absence, staff turnover and the hugely high costs that these incur.

Download 8 Tips for Strengthening Personal Resilience

Find out more about our Personal Resilience ELearning Programme

What are the benefits of a resilient workforce?

  • Improved engagement
  • Better able to cope effectively with change
  • Managers and staff will bounce back quickly in the face of challenges
  • Individuals will face challenges openly and with confidence
  • A determination to succeed will be maintained.

Resilience is all about the ability to cope with extreme, stress-provoking events without experiencing signs or symptoms of personal stress.

There are two aspects of resilience:

  • Personal control, and
  • Controlling the responses of others

Each of us has developed the skills and experience to build resilience in both of these aspects to a certain degree. Life events that we overcome without damage to ourselves influences our personal esteem in a positive way, and this raises our levels of resilience in the face of further adverse events.

Personal control is best achieved by linking personal values and beliefs to the personal activities of daily life. There is, also, a direct link to the type of personality we are, and our innate ability to be flexible or rigid in the way we do everyday tasks. We are not always very good at personal control and many people find that adopting techniques and approaches known to build personal resilience help to regain control over ourselves and the situation we are in.

Controlling the responses of others is necessary for our own survival. We cannot exist without engaging with others. In a situation where we want to build our resilience, our interaction with others and the strength of important relationships stand out as the principal features of being resilient.

So, how can organisations help their managers and workforce to be more resilient?

During the present climate, many organisations would greatly benefit from a programme of resilience training to improve coping skills under pressure and ensure that managers and employees are sufficiently resilient as a workforce to emerge stronger and more determined to succeed as the current situation changes for the better.

Such a programme should also provide immediate support and encouragement to those currently experiencing a particular time of crisis and low morale - maybe facing redundancy for example or the prospect of making others redundant.

A comprehensive resilience training programme should provide exercises, techniques and approaches to the seven elements of resilience. It should be divided between techniques to gain personal control, and techniques to control the responses of others.

The key elements of resilience:

pie chart of the elements of resilience


A resilience training programme will help individuals to:

  • have a clear idea of what they want to do,
  • build personal determination to get through and succeed,
  • form relationships with people who will help towards success, apply behaviours that encourage others to give us what we need,
  • help to solve problems along the way,
  • get better organised, and
  • build personal confidence.

Resilience questionnaire

Why not test your own resilience with our resilience questionnaire - it's a great way to identify the elements of resilience that require work.  If you would like to use this questionnaire in your organisation, please email us using the form below, or call Barbara Leigh on 01242 241882.

More information about Resilience

Interested in Resilience? Find out more in:

Professor Derek Mowbrays Guide to Personal Resilience and,
Professor Derek Mowbrays Guide to Corporate Resilience
Professor Derek Mowbrays Guide to the Managers Role in Resilience

In house resilience training

If you would like to discuss running our in house resilience programmes in your organisation, or even just a "bite-sized" awareness seminar, please give us a call on 01242 241882 or email us using the form below.

Personal Resilience ELearning Programme

Find out more about our Personal Resilience ELearning Programme - for individuals and for organisations.

Cognitive coaching, learning sets and facilitation

MAS also provides services to individuals and small groups of managers in Cognitive coaching, building personal resilience and developing the behaviours needed to provide a robust workforce.

Call us now on 01242 241882 or contact us to discuss how we can help build resilience in your organisation!


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