Five factors to strengthen workplace resilience: research
Sleep, fulfilment, bounce, relaxation and focus are the five critical factors needed to strengthen workplace resilience, according to latest research conducted by The Resilience Institute in partnership with Springfox.
The research analysed 23,990 employees from around the globe between 2018 and 2021. Participants completed a Resilience Diagnostic Assessment (RDA) to determine their level of resilience and identify their strengths and weaknesses in the areas of personal and professional wellbeing.
The resulting report examines the overall resilience scores of individuals, the impact of the pandemic on our mental health and wellbeing, and importantly, the factors that distinguish the most resilient individuals from the least resilient.
Data reveals that the onset of COVID-19 resulted in a significant dip in average global resilience, followed by some of the highest global ratios seen since the research began in 2018. This sharp uptick in global resilience averages is evidence that adversity stimulates resilience, encouraging us to move forward and grow.
From January to March 2020, as the pandemic unfolded, our collective resilience ratio fell to 1.66, the lowest on record since 2018. However, April through to June 2020 saw this figure rebound to over 1.75, charting some of the highest global ratios ever seen.
Comparing those employees with the highest resilience scores (above 2.6) to those with the lowest resilience scores (below 0.98), the report reveals an average global resilience ratio of 1.8 for men and 1.67 for women.
The comparison also highlights the key factors which distinguish those who are most resilient from those who are least: sleep, fulfilment, bounce, relaxation and focus. Organisations can focus on these factors to improve workplace performance and the mental wellbeing of staff.
Sleep is a defining factor of, and contributor to, high overall resilience. The report reveals that of the most resilient employees, eight in 10 (86%) have mastered sleep quality, compared to just 7% of lowest performing employees. The study also highlights that professionals who receive formal resilience training experience a 25% improvement in sleep, including a 27% reduction in insomnia.
Fulfilment refers to a sense of personal and professional purpose and being aligned with this purpose in one’s role. The report shows that 94% of those with high resilience scores also have a strong sense of fulfilment, compared to just 18% of those with low overall resilience scores. In addition, formal resilience training is proven to increase fulfilment by up to 25%.
Bounce refers to a foundation of resilience that allows us to recover quickly after dealing with change and disruption, and is linked to tactical calm, contemplation and relaxation. Highly resilient individuals have great capacity for bounce (91%) while only 23% of those with low resilience have mastered the ability to bounce forward after adversity. After resilience training, bounce increases by 19% in women and 16% in men.
Practising relaxation activates the parasympathetic nervous system, enabling calm, connection and focus. A large majority (83%) of those with high resilience have effective relaxation practices, compared to only 17% of those with low resilience. Stress mastery is the area of greatest gain for participants in resilience training programs, with increases of 51% in contemplation for males and 43% for females.
The ability to be present and focus on what matters is one of the top three factors for resilience and is key to high performance at work. While one in three (29%) of those with low resilience are strong in focus, a significant 95% of highly resilient individuals demonstrate strong focus. Focus is a skill that can be developed over time, and following resilience training, has shown to increase by approximately 10%.
Springfox’s CEO Stuart Taylor said, “Building resilience should be front of mind for business leaders looking to equip their teams with the ability to navigate the complex world we live in. These times are volatile, uncertain and complex, with rising inflation, employee wellbeing, the Great Resignation and supply chain disruptions requiring solutions.
Just as we can train elite athletes, so can we improve the physical, emotional and mental resources that deliver performance at work without compromising wellbeing. Investment in resilience is not just the right thing to do to help your people — it helps your business grow and evolve, Taylor said.
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