Why Employee Resilience Matters

iverse colleagues fist bumping greeting each other express friendship and respect

With the global talent shortage underscored by the ‘quiet quitting’ phenomenon, employers have had good reason to consider their approach to employee attraction and retention in recent years. But while the focus has primarily been split between remuneration and company culture, there’s cause to suggest that there are other avenues businesses should be exploring in order to get the best from their teams – across all pay scales.

Employee resilience is known to bring a range of advantages to a business. From improved productivity and employee engagement to job satisfaction and company loyalty, it has been shown to help prevent individual burnout, reduce stress, and equip the business with much-needed agility. But resilience can be an almost nebulous concept, difficult to identify and even harder to instil. Understanding how to build resilience in individuals and at a team level can change the outlook of a business.


What is employee resilience?

The term resilience can be defined in numerous ways. It can be linked to the ability to recover from setbacks. To the way in which an individual responds to challenges or change. Whether they embrace criticism or let it weigh them down. And how they respond to stress and stressful situations.

When resilience is lacking, it can impact the relationship between employees and businesses. And it can mean that even the busiest, cheeriest, most productive employee may never reach their full potential within that operational setting. Making them less likely to gain genuine job satisfaction. And making company loyalty unlikely. And this is the crux of the matter. Because even the most well-paid and valued member of your team can unexpectedly jump ship if they don’t have the resilience to deal with change.


How does employee resilience influence a business?

In 2021-2022, 36.8 million days were lost to work-related ill health. 45% of those absences were due to stress. This costs the UK around £28.3 billion annually. And with 33% of employees reporting moderate-to-high or high levels of stress in 2022, it looks like a statistic that isn’t going to change any time soon. For businesses, this doesn’t just mean lost productivity for the individual. But increased stress for the team. By helping to build resilience in your employees – both individually and at a team level – you can help to protect your staff from burnout. And your business from loss.


How can you build team resilience?

Team resilience strategies can take a number of different approaches. Most of them take time, with incremental improvement and many businesses are learning that combining different approaches can deliver the most success in a variety of areas.


A diverse and inclusive company culture

Company culture can impact a business in a range of ways. But one area that has been traditionally overlooked is Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Belonging (DEIAB). It’s become a point of focus in the last two years because of some startling and unsettling global events – not to mention the power of social media. But DEIAB isn’t just the right response to assuage public pressure, it can bring resilience into a working environment by building on the strengths and perspectives of individuals to create a diverse, inclusive, and supportive culture. Allowing the needs of employees – and customers – to be met sympathetically- and naturally.


Mindset and resilience training

On the surface, employee mindset is an incredibly difficult area to manage. You can’t force your employees to think in a particular way. But with an infrastructure that grants autonomy, provides the time for mindfulness, and promotes critical and creative thinking, you can help your teams to build a more positive mindset and this can then be supported by resilience training. Because while resilience may seem that it should be an inherent quality, working with a professional able to identify personal and team ‘blocks’ to resilience can allow you to provide the support and tools necessary to help strengthen anyone who may need it. And this can cover a variety of areas, from communication skills and confidence building to handling difficult situations.


Employee engagement

Employee engagement isn’t a standalone issue. Both of the previous two points can help increase employee engagement and loyalty, and therefore resilience. But if an employee is disengaged, you’ll never engender the care necessary for them to want to change on a personal level. Investing in employee engagement – facilitating open communication, training, and showing each and every person that they are valued – is a really important step towards improving mindset and resilience.

Employee resilience can’t be managed as a quick fix. There is no one-hit solution that will change the way your team members feel or respond. However, by creating a culture that shows that it’s not only OK to ask for help, but that help is available for anyone who needs it, you can begin a process that will make your team and your business stronger.



Lisa Collinson – Chief People Officer and UK Country Manager, TheNextWe

With a background in HR Strategy development, implementation, and measurement, Lisa Collinson has more than 22 years’ experience in people leadership. An accredited coach and popular speaker and presenter, she has worked across sectors throughout the UK, Europe, and internationally. Supporting businesses with change management, restructuring, and performance management – with an emphasis on behaviourism and why people act the way they do.

Lisa is FCIPD (Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development), a Member of the Institute of Training & Occupational Learning (MInstTOL), Applied Behaviour Analysis trained and an APMG Change Management Practitioner, and Member of the Institute of Leadership & Management (MInstLM).