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Resilient Workforce

WellBeing and Performance Agenda - Item 6

The Resilient Workforce

The Resilient Workforce (sometimes referred to as the Adaptive Workforce) is made up of individuals who are sufficiently resilient, they can overcome challenges successfully and without experience harmful stress.

A resilient individual is someone who has ‘flexible strength of mind’ to rise up to a challenge and successfully overcome it. Such resilience is active resilience, as it requires the person to have a positive attitude and motivation to tackle the challenge.

Personal Resilience can be enhanced by a structured process, which we have called the Resilience Development Framework, the outline of which is described in the image below.

Resilient Workforce - its role in the WellBeing & Perfomance Agenda

All the previous elements of the WellBeing and Performance Agenda are concerned with the ‘envelope’ within which the workforce does its work.

By implementing the WellBeing and Performance Agenda it is expected that the workforce will feel an enhanced sense of psychological wellbeing, and if suitably motivated, will perform at its peak. For this to happen, the workforce will become adaptive to internal and external pressures for change, and be able to adapt without any diminution in performance.

It follows, therefore, that this element should be the last on the Agenda. It focuses on the individual.

Definition of an Resilient Workforce

The Resilient Workforce is made up of individuals who are sufficiently resilient, they can overcome challenges successfully and without experience harmful stress.

A resilient individual is someone who has ‘flexible strength of mind’ to rise up to a challenge and successfully overcome it. Such resilience is active resilience, as it requires the person to have a positive attitude and motivation to tackle the challenge.

People who work within the cultural environment, described by the WellBeing and Performance Agenda, will possess both a positive attitude and be motivated to rise up to and overcome challenges.

Ideally, of course, the WellBeing and Performance Agenda will eliminate the events and behaviours for which personal resilience is required. However, practical reality suggests there will always be events and behaviours occurring in the workplace for which personal resilience is needed.

Flexible strength of mind requires individuals to be in mental control, to feel psychologically healthy and well, so that they can think about the options for tackling a challenging event or difficult behaviour. Resilient people will, also, have a wide range of ideas of how to tackle challenges, and this leads to their flexibility.

Benefits of an Resilient Workforce

An resilient workforce will continue to perform at its peak when faced with challenging events. An adaptive workforce will exhibit active resilience because their attitude to challenges will be positive as a consequence of the implementation of the WellBeing and Performance Agenda. All the Agenda items are focused on creating enhanced psychological wellbeing and performance, so that individuals come to feel a strong sense of commitment, trust, motivation, kinship, concentration and social engagement with the organisation and their work.

As a consequence, performance is increased, and the costs attributable to psycho-presenteeism (people coming to work in body but not in mind) are largely eliminated. Other benefits include a thriving organisation with a workforce that is energised, innovative, enthusiastic and determined to make the organisation a greater success in the future.

Implementation of an Resilient Workforce

Implementation is a consequence of implementing the other elements of the Wellbeing and Performance Agenda.

It is, also, desirable for individuals to strengthen their personal resilience by undertaking training and development activities.

The framework for development is below:

There are several sources of help – Derek Mowbray’s Guide to Personal Resilience; workshops on Strengthening Personal Resilience, and the eLearning Programme on Strengthening Personal Resilience, are all designed with exercises to help individuals keep in control of themselves, their responses to events and other people.

Further reading

We continually update our article library with content from as wide a source as possible. If you would like more in-depth information on this subject or other subjects discussed in these papers on the WellBeing and Performance Agenda, please click here to visit the library where you will be able to both read and download as many papers on this and related subject on leadership as you wish.

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