CMI Women Authentic Leadership - Building Resilience at work

12 October 2018

CMI Women: Authentic Leadership Conference - Thursday 29th November

Lisa Whittleton, Director & Mental Wellbeing Specialist at Illuminate will be speaking on "Resilience" at our Authentic Leadership Conference on Thursday 29th November at Woodland Grange, Lemington Spa.  Click here for full details and to book your place.

As a taster to the topics you will hear discussed on the day please read Lisa's article below "Building resilience at work: A top down approach"

Imagine a very resilient employee. This individual has developed their own coping strategies which keep them well and enable them to manage pressure before it turns to stress, they can overcome setbacks and they tend to adapt positively to change. Over time they are given more responsibility due to their ability to cope well under pressure. Their workload increases to an unmanageable level, and due to low resources and low staff numbers, there is little support from their team or manager. Also, work demands mean that there is little time for them to utilise their coping strategies. In this situation, would this individual be able to sustain these high levels of resilience long term? We have seen this situation happen a lot through our work with employees and companies and sadly it often ends with an employee who is burned out, or one who has chosen to move to a new organisation.   

It is therefore important that the working environment is supportive of building and maintaining resilience so that individuals can manage pressures effectively, minimise the effects of stress, and ultimately be more satisfied and productive in their roles.

To retain your talent and ensure that employees can thrive in the working environment and reach their potential it is important to consider the culture of your company or team. Is it one that nurtures resilience in others or is it preventing people from managing stressors their own way? Although we are all responsible for our own wellbeing to some extent in the life choices we make, managers and organisations have an equal responsibility, if not more.

Mental wellbeing and resilience are higher on the agenda for a lot of companies now which is great. Organisations recognise the need to build resilience due to increased pressures, workloads, high staff turnover, cuts, and constant change. The biggest challenge we have when delivering resilience training is from organisations who expect us to wave a magic wand to fix the problems and enable everyone to effectively manage workplace stressors.

It is important to remember that building resilience is not a ‘quick fix’. It takes time and commitment from senior individuals to change the culture of the organisation. To be successful in building resilience in your teams, everyone needs to get on board and look to make positive changes. Managers and leaders need to reinforce the message of resilience and set an example in terms of using coping strategies and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Understanding your team, what each individual perceives a pressure to be, and how they react to these pressures is vital so that appropriate support can be put in place.

Lisa Whittleton, Illuminate, Mental Wellbeing at Work,

Don't forget to book your place.