What is Resilience? And what does it have to do with work?

To get physically strong, we know we must exercise our bodies. But how often do we exercise our minds?  We can mentally train ourselves to persevere, recover and ‘bounce back’ when life gets tough – and this is resilience. Like any skill, resilience can be developed, it just takes some practice.

Resilience is the ability to

  • Bounce back after stressful situations
  • Adapt to change
  • Perform under pressure
  • Have an optimistic, realistic perspective
  • Be flexible in thinking and coping
  • See obstacles as challenges
  • Learn from experience


If you aren’t as resilient as you’d like to be you can build on your existing skills to become more so!


Why is Resilience Important?

Being resilient can:

  • Improve work performance
  • Improve learning and achievement
  • Improve social engagement
  • Improve physical and mental health
  • Improve recovery from illness
  • Lower absenteeism due to sickness
  • Lower presenteeism (at work but not being productive)
  • Lower alcohol and substance use, and can
  • Help people live longer, happier lives


What’s resilience got to do with work?

1 in 5 Australians have taken time off work in the past 12 months because they felt stressed, anxious, depressed or mentally unwell. The impact on the individual is heavy. But work-related stress also carries a financial burden due to:

  • Accidents
  • Absenteeism (off work) / Presenteeism (at work but not being productive)
  • Employee turnover
  • Diminished productivity
  • Direct medical, legal & insurance costs and
  • Workers’ compensation claims

Being able to cope, bounce back and thrive is essential for the health and well-being of the individual as well as the workforce. This is resilience.

Building resilience needs the right tools

Resilience is a set of traits and skills that can be developed to help you cope with the pressures and demands of work so that you can ‘bounce back’ and thrive when things get tough. Being resilient is about having the right tools to deal with different challenges.

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