Resilience is often defined as the process of coping with, adapting to and overcoming adversity, obstacles or significant sources of stress. This may include family and relationship troubles, health issues or work and financial strain. While people often refer to resilience as “bouncing back” from difficult experiences, being resilient is not as simple as being down one moment and up the next – it’s more like running a marathon with hurdles to jump through.
There is no clear roadmap and we are all affected differently by life’s challenges, but it is our resilience that guides us to a more balanced life, enabling us to survive and thrive.
Research suggests that resilience involves a combination of activating internal qualities and accessing external resources to positively deal with stress, setbacks and work through problems. Put simply, resilient people draw from both their strengths and support systems to face challenges. In this sense, resilience is more than just mental toughness and perseverance. Resilience isn’t a single skill or trait that one either possesses or doesn’t, it involves a variety of skills, behaviours and actions that anyone can learn and strengthen.
Fostering Resilience in the Workplace
The workplace is an important support system and resource to help workers build and strengthen resiliency. There are many ways leaders and the work community can foster qualities for resilience. PSHSA offers training programs to help you build on these practices, improve employees’ capacity for resilience and promote positive mental health in the workplace.
Organizational leaders should highlight the importance of supporting mental wellbeing and demonstrate their commitment to identifying and addressing work-related stressors.
Offer workers various resources to foster qualities for resilience and support mental health and wellbeing inside and outside of the workplace, enabling employees to thrive even when there are unusually high levels of stress.
Ensure employees know what resources are available and how to access them and provide support with navigating and negotiating the resources. Consider what information employees may need at various times and ensure this is provided.
Implement programs and practices across the organization that support individual and organizational resilience and look for ways to improve the work environment and reduce stressors.
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Occupational Stress Injury Resiliency (OSIR) Index
In 2020, 620 individuals in Canada completed the Occupational Stress Injury Resiliency (OSIR) Index screening tool. Developed by Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) in partnership with The Conference Board of Canada, this is a non-diagnostic screening tool for assessing occupational stress injury risks among first responders and front-line health care workers in Canada. The tool predicted important outcomes for mental health, physical health, and the workplace.
Interested in piloting the OSIR Index at your workplace?
We’re looking for organizations to pilot the new tool. Submit your contact details for more information.