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How to build resilience in your team during tough times

April 15, 2020

During the difficult times created by COVID-19, it is more important than ever that employers monitor the mental and emotional wellbeing of their staff.

 

Benestar Group, RCSA’s preferred Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider, are experts in workforce wellness and individual wellbeing and have provided a guide to help RCSA members understand the process of building resilience in their teams.

 

What is resilience?

 

Resilience refers to our ability to effectively deal with difficult or highly stressful situations.

 

It can be characterised as the ability to utilise our skills, strengths and resources to cope with and recover from challenges.

 

 

Resilient people are often able to:

  • Keep going in the face of difficulty.

  • Spring back following adversity.

  • Adapt to changing or challenging circumstances.

  • Use successful stress management techniques.

  • Thrive, even when times are tough.

 

Characteristics of resilient people are:

  • A strong social connection with others.

  • Acceptance of the uncontrollable.

  • Humour and empathy.

  • Optimism.

  • Self-awareness.

  • Future focused decision making.

  • Commitment to self-care.

  • Ability to identify and use own strengths.

  • Positive anticipation of coping with challenges.

  • View mistakes as learning experiences.

  • Finding good in others.

 

What is stress?

 

Our ability to manage stress is key part in building resilience.

 

Stress occurs when our perceived level of pressure is greater than our perceived ability to cope.

 

During highly stressful situations, the “fight, flight or freeze” response is activated. This causes increased levels of adrenaline and cortisol, and the impact of these hormones create signs and symptoms of stress.

 

Signs of emotional stress include irritability, anxiety, feeling low or overwhelmed, being critical, mood swings and anger.

 

Signs of behavioural stress can be a lack of motivation, bad eating habits, emotional outbursts, a reliance on substances, withdrawing and reduced performance.

 

When people are stressed it can also effects their thought processes, often resulting in indecisiveness, negativity, confusion, a lack of perspective, irrational thoughts and self-blame and a pre-occupation with small things.