The world as we know it is one of constant change, requiring employees to face increasing variability both at work and at home.
Whether it’s looming stress and fear, tight deadlines, or the challenges of working from home, workers are constantly navigating stressful situations while trying to reach their goals. Identifying an employee’s capacity for resilience can help determine their suitability to the demands of your work environment.
As a leader, you may be searching for ways to support your team, retain top employees, and reduce absenteeism. This article will help you understand resilience to build teams that maintain or exceed expectations despite demanding circumstances.
What is Resilience?
Resilience is an individual’s capacity to constructively adapt to stress and adversity. Specifically, resilience moderates the relationship between workplace demands and individual or organizational outcomes.
In other words, high resilience buffers the negative effects of stress and adversity so workers can maintain their previous levels of wellbeing and performance. In contrast, low resilience exacerbates the effects of stress that lead to adverse outcomes.
As pressure builds in the workplace, understanding a worker’s resilience will help predict if they will thrive and survive.
Why is Resilience Important?
Research has shown that workers with higher resilience are more likely to experience positive outcomes in the workplace, including:
- Performance – Highly resilient workers have increased supervisor-rated job performance¹ and extra-role performance².
- Mental & Physical Health – Workers with low resilience are more likely to experience burnout and emotional exhaustion3,4.
- Work-Related Attitudes – Highly resilient employees have higher job satisfaction5, work engagement6, and organizational commitment7.
- Change-Related Attitudes – Employees with high resilience are open and committed to change in the workplace8,9.
Predict Resilient Traits:
Having highly resilient employees can increase positive workplace behavior and lead to productive outcomes. Finding resilient workers may be your next hurdle.
Resilience is a complex topic that is predicted by an interplay of personal and environmental factors10. One well-researched driver of resilience is an individual’s traits and characteristics.
To help, we have mapped the traits that are highly predictive of employee resilience to TalentClick’s dimensions from our Attitude-Values-Personality (AVP) core bundle. Here are the top 6 traits to look for when searching for highly resilient workers:
1. Reactive/Anxious vs. Calm (WPP & SQ)
Highly Calm individuals are, by nature, less affected by stress, changing circumstances, and high-pressured situations. These individuals are naturally resilient to workplace stress. Where they fall in this dimension will also help inform how an individual’s other traits interact with their ability to be resilient.
|From the Research: A person’s tendency to remain emotionally stable and balanced is positively related to general resilience in the workplace11.|
2. Positivity (WVA)
Individuals who are high in Positivity maintain an optimistic outlook and generally experience positive emotions at work. Highly positive individuals tend to be more resilient because they easily see the upside when facing new situations.
|From the Research: Maintaining a positive attitude12 and experiencing positive emotions13 fosters resilience during an organizational crisis.|
3. Responsibility (WVA)
Individuals who are high in Responsibility are driven to meet expectations and timelines. These individuals will continue to stick to a schedule and work hard to follow through on commitments despite obstacles.
|From the Research: The tendency to be conscientious (i.e., responsible, hardworking, and organized) is positively related to general resilience in the workplace11.|
4. Conventional vs. Open-Minded (WPP)
Highly Open-Minded individuals enjoy innovative ideas and new experiences. During stressful or uncertain times, they tend to remain agile and adapt easily to changes arising. They enjoy finding creative solutions to problems and are more likely to view obstacles as an opportunity to innovate.
|From the Research: Openness to experience positively predicts resilience11.|
5. Coachability (WVA)
Individuals who are high in Coachability have a stronger sense of self-awareness and the tendency for self-reflection. These individuals tend to actively seek feedback and ask the questions needed to positively adapt to adversity in the workplace. They enjoy learning and are more likely to use adversity as an opportunity to improve personally.
|From the Research: The tendency for self-reflection14, feedback from others15, and propensity for learning9, have positive relationships with resilience.|
6. Open Communication (WVA)
Individuals who are high in Open Communication readily share thoughts, feelings, and opinions with others. These workers are more likely to reach out to others during times of stress and foster the social support and collaborative work environment that, in turn, predicts resilience among workers.
|From the Research: Social support is positively related to resilience9 as it provides the opportunity to talk about and work through stressful experiences with others16.|
Resilience is complex. Understanding which traits an individual relies on to overcome adversity is critical. TalentClick can help you predict whether a worker will thrive in your challenging, dynamic work environment.
Let us know what you think! Do your highly resilient employees have these traits? When have you seen an employee’s personality help them navigate adversity and come back for more? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
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