Employee Satisfaction Surveys

How to Build Employee Resilience, Even in a Recession

Aim for employee engagement and emotional connections to the workplace.



Trusted Experience Management Partners

Employee resilience has never been more relevant. Resilient employees are key to your organization anytime, but they are especially valuable in today’s depressed market.

Resilient employees show the following characteristics:

  • They can adapt quickly to new situations.
  • They have the confidence to manage pressure and stress.
  • They can maintain focus—even during difficult times.

Aside from the emotional lift resilient employees bring to your work environment, they also increase productivity and profit. This is because they are “fast, friendly, flexible, and focused,” as Harvard Business School’s Rosabeth Moss Kantor says.

Even your perkiest employees are likely to experience increased stress as the economic meltdown continues. Educational psychology professor Shane Lopez says long-term stress “wears us out, and it undermines our health and well-being.” Dr. Lopez also suggests, “Managing this fear has to happen in a big way at the beginning of a crisis, and then it needs to be mini-managed every day. You can't be on high alert forever. You have to go back to kind of a normal way of protecting yourself and managing your life.”

To ensure that you empower your employees to be as resilient as possible, make sure your lines of communication are open. If you don’t already have such procedures in place, consider adding mechanisms to keep your employees up-to-date on company information and gather employee feedback on those items and other internal issues.

Here are a few more suggestions for promoting employee resilience:

  • Be as honest as possible as you discuss company cutbacks.
  • Emphasize employee recognition.
  • Monitor your work teams to make sure that your employees are enjoying rewarding cooperative experiences.
  • Promote well-being. This could include seeking group rates for gym or yoga studio memberships, providing healthy snacks, and researching discounted public transportation options for your employees.

Above all, aim to engage your employees. Engaged employees are emotionally connected to their workplace. They are confident that they are appreciated at work, and that their boss honestly cares about their well being. As Tom Rath, the author of Strengths Based Leadership says, “We can't necessarily control pay or job cuts or workflow. Engagement is one of the only things that a manager can influence, and it's also one of the best ways to increase productivity and profitability.”

Chat with one of our experts and get smart about your customer experience.

Top photo by Jesse Kruger.

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