January 20, 2023
Inside HR
Health & Wellness
Read time: 2 mins



  1. (of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.
  2. (of a substance or object) able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.

Definitions from Oxford Languages

As an individual character trait, resilience is a person’s ability to recover quickly from unfortunate circumstances, adversity, obstacles, or challenges. Business resilience describes an organization's ability to respond and adapt quickly to disruptions or significant, unplanned changes that could threaten its operations, people, assets, brand, or reputation. In an ideal world, personal resilience supports strong businesses and vice versa.

The last three years have presented numerous stressors that have challenged both personal and business resilience. The continuing “gifts” COVID produced, including layoffs, staffing shortages, remote and return to the workplace challenges, rising costs, inflation, and now more layoffs have resulted in some HR professionals saying goodbye to their chosen profession as they struggled to cope with ongoing, and seemingly never-ending challenges.

There is an old adage – “physician heal thyself” which springs to mind. So, how does an HR professional, responsible in part for so many employee relations issues and employee well-being, including engagement, care for and develop their own resilience?

Research indicates that employers who build a workplace culture that includes a focus on resilience as part of a well-being strategy reap benefits through employees who handle stress more effectively, experience greater job satisfaction, work happiness, engagement, and organizational commitment. Research also indicates that although some individuals are inherently resilient, it is a skill that can be developed. The American Heart Association recently released a report examining resilience training in the workplace. When considering training and design, the report recommends including these components:

  • Overcoming Interpersonal Challenges
  • Managing Emotions
  • Guarding Against Burnout
  • Coping with Work-Related Stress
  • Improving Sleep Habits
  • Remaining Calm
  • Dealing with Difficult People
  • Improving Communication Skills
  • Taking on New Challenges
  • Improving Physical Health

Employers can support employees’ resilience further by improving the work environment through greater flexibility and autonomy, rewarding good work, ensuring work is meaningful, providing access to support services (such as an EAP), and setting reasonable expectations for workloads and performance.

With some effort, we can all become like the baseball slugger who doesn’t let the last at-bat strikeout affect his next trip to the plate. We can become more resilient, stronger in our ability to handle the adversity that inevitably comes our way and hit the next one out of the park.

To get you started, below are some great training opportunities from MRA’s Learning and Development Team: