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Promoting resilience at the workplace – increasing employee satisfaction

Today, our working world is characterised by changing and high demands, which can have a negative impact on the mental health of employees [1]. In recent years, the negative effects have repeatedly led to a steady increase in the proportion of psychological stress [2].

If the work requirements are too high, this often leads to psychological stress.

In order to adapt, develop and maintain health and to cope adaptively with work demands, it is necessary and helpful to acquire a (psychological) resilience [1]. Core elements are resilient behaviour and individual resources such as mindfulness, self-efficacy or optimism [1].

In the context of work, a rather vague definition of resilience has existed so far [3]. Rather, a distinction is made between psychologically secure resistance at individual, team and organisational level [4,5].

Resilience at the individual level

Resilience at the individual level results in a successful handling of challenging situations [6] in order to manage personal crises adaptively [7]. Combined with optimism, hope and self-efficacy, individual resilient behaviour leads to higher performance and job satisfaction [6].

Resilience at team level

The interaction between the team members is the most important factor here: The probability that employees in teams will recover more quickly from crises or threats increases when it is jointly recognised that there is a discrepancy between the job requirements and the respective resources [8].

Resilience at the organizational level

This level takes particular account of the “systematic development and promotion of individual and collective resources”, i.e. processes for crisis management and the creation of working conditions through resilient behaviour are at the forefront at the individual and team level [1].

Resilient behaviour increases employee satisfaction.

Operational resilience management

The focus here is on strengthening and promoting team-related resources [1]. Through a clear distribution of roles in the accomplishment of tasks [9] and a goal-oriented leadership of resilient teams [10], not only an understanding for critical and stressful situations and their early communication [11], but also for organisational structures and processes [12] can be created.

What can you do in practice?

No matter whether yoga, meditation or pleasure training – with the promotion of resilient behaviour you strengthen your psychological resistance in the long term. Especially in relation to your workplace, choose daily activities that you will be more attentive to in the future: If you have an office job, pay attention to how you sit on the chair. Do you feel your feet on the floor and your back on the backrest? Take a few seconds to do this and observe what and how you feel.

Your daily cup of coffee will also help you to be more attentive. Instead of drinking the coffee “just by the way” when you are sitting at your PC and maybe writing an e-mail, try the following next time: Stop for a moment and concentrate on the smell of the coffee and the taste of the first sip. What aromas do you perceive?

These situations may also seem familiar to you: You are in a conversation with a colleague and notice that you are not really on the ball. It may not be fast enough for you either and you may often interrupt him. Then try this exercise: Let your colleague speak until he is finished. Listen to him carefully and do not already think about what you would like to answer. In the beginning you will find it harder, but with a little practice you will find it easier to listen. Your colleague will be happy!

Through these wonderful, small exercises, which can be integrated super into your (working) everyday life, you come closer and closer to strengthening your mental resistance.

Identification of job-related charges by CompanyMood

We are happy to help you with the collection of job-related charges. Use CompanyMood to identify and record stress factors in the workplace. Please also read our article about stress and mindfulness.

Sources

[1] Soucek, R., Ziegler, M., Schlett, C., & Pauls, N. (2016). Resilienz im Arbeitsleben – Eine inhaltliche Differenzierung von Resilienz auf den Ebenen von Individuen, Teams und Organisationen. Gruppe. Interaktion. Organisation. Zeitschrift für Angewandte Organisationspsychologie (GIO), 47, 131–137. doi:10.1007/s11612-016-0314-x.

[2] DAK Gesundheit (2015). DAK Gesundheitsreport. Abgerufen über https://www.dak.de/dak/download/vollstaendiger-bundesweiter-gesundheitsreport-2015-1585948.pdf

[3] Fletcher, D., & Sarkar, M. (2013). Psychological resilience: A review and critique of definitions, concepts, and theory. European Psychologist, 18, 12–23. doi:10.1027/1016-9040/a000124.

[4] Mühlfelder, M., Steffanowski, A., & Borchard, L.-M. (2015). Psychische Resilienz: Betrachtungsebenen, Merkmale und Perspektiven für die angewandte psychologische Forschung und Praxis – Ein Überblick. Wirtschaftspsychologie, 17, 3–12.

[5] Sutcliffe, K. M., & Vogus, T. J. (2003). Organizing for resilience. In K. S. Cameron, J. E. Dutton, & R. E. Quinn (Eds.), Positive organizational scholarship: Foundations of a new discipline (pp. 94–110). San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

[6] Luthans, F., Vogelgesang, G. R. , & Lester, P. B. (2006). Developing the psychological capital of resiliency. Human Resource Development Review, 5, 25–44. doi :10.1177/1534484305285335.

[7] Pangallo, A., Zibarras, L., Lewis, R., & Flaxman, P. (2015). Resilience through the lens of interactionism: A systematic review. Psychological Assessment, 27, 1–20. doi:10.1037/pas0000024.

[8] Meneghel, I., Salanova, M., & Martínez, I. M. (2016). Feeling good makes us stronger: How team resilience mediates the effect of positive emotions on team performance. Journal of Happiness Studies, 17, 239–255. doi:10.1007/ s10902-014-9592-6.

 [9] Rosen, M. A., Bedwell, W. L., Wildman, J. L., Fritzsche, B. A., Salas, E., & Burke, C. S. (2011). Managing adaptive performance in teams: Guiding principles and behavioral markers for measurement. Human Resource Management Review, 21, 107–122. doi:10.1016/j.hrmr.2010.09.003.

 [10] Harland, L., Harrison, W., Jones, J. R., & Reiter-Palmon, R. (2005). Leadership behaviors and subordinate resilience. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 11, 2–14. doi:10.1177/107179190501100202.

 [11] Somers, S. (2009). Measuring resilience potential: An adaptive strategy for organizational crisis planning. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 17, 12–23. doi:10.1111/j.1468-5973.2009.00558.x.

 [12] Weick, K. E., & Sutcliffe, M. K. (2010). Das Unerwartete managen: Wie Unternehmen aus Extremsituationen lernen. Stuttgart: Schäffer-Poeschel.

Stephanie Wörz

Als Master-Psychologin mit dem Schwerpunkt der Arbeits- und Organisationspsychologie bin ich im Bereich Business Development tätig. Ich stehe meinen Kollegen bei der Entwicklung von CompanyMood mit psychologischem Fachwissen zur Seite.

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