5 Crucial Strategies To Build Employees’ Mental Resilience


Given the amount of stress, volatility, and complexity that comes with most jobs nowadays, ensuring that your employees are sufficiently resilient is of the utmost importance.

The more resilient your people are, the better equipped they are to face and overcome challenges in the workplace. Research has shown that in the long run, resilience contributes to higher workplace performance, adaptability, and general well-being.


Moulding people into better versions of themselves is no easy feat, though. Everyone has mental blocks that obstruct the path to success. Undoing your people’s mental blocks in your capacity as a manager requires tons of social and emotional intelligence. Here are 5 things every manager must do to help build his employees’ mental resilience.

P.S. Help your employees unlock their best selves and harness their true potential; sign up for SSA Academy’s WSQ course on managing workplace challenges with resilience!


1. Lead by example

All the resilience training in the world won’t be effective if you yourself, as a leader, fail to demonstrate strength in times of crisis.

No matter what, people will always look to their superiors for cues on how to respond. A leader’s energy, charisma, and the influence she wields over her people are critical in this regard.

If she shows mental toughness in the face of adversity, it is a source of inspiration for her people. Conversely, if she crumbles or only adds fuel to the fire, to say that it is discouraging for her people is a gross understatement.



2. Coaching

After leading by example, there is simply no substitute for coaching as a managerial tool for employee development. The best managers put their people front and centre, before even the customers and the company shareholders.

Building people’s mental resilience, though, is hard work. There is no panacea because building people’s resilience entails engaging in the delicate art of unlocking human potential. For that reason, effective managers never take their peresonal relationships with employees lightly since that is instrumental to a good coaching relationship.



3. Provide psychological safety

There are so many reasons why some people are less resilient than others. Most of them, though, lead back to feelings of learned helplessness in one way or another. People often don’t feel like they have the mental bandwidth or capacity to grit their teeth through hardships.

The first step to changing this is to get them to admit to themselves these feelings of helplessness in the first place. No one is going to do this, though, if managers don’t provide psychologically safe environments for people to open up and be truly honest with themselves and with those around them.



4. Strengthen purpose

Meaning is one of the central thrusts of self-motivation, personal growth, and triumph over hardship. For people to be able to dust themselves off, examine what went wrong, go back to the drawing board and try again, they need to have an unshakeable understanding of what they’re doing all of it for.

In other words, purpose moves mountains. Hence, injecting purposefulness at every level in your organisational is vital to cultivating resilience in the long run.


According to Harvard Business Review, values are “more important for organisational resilience than having resilient people on the payroll.” Managers must ensure that:

  • Company visions, missions, and values are clearly and constantly communicated to every employee
  • Every department head and team leader understands how their work specifically contributes to organisational success
  • Every employee understands the significance of their work to the team’s success and to that of the organisation’s

Psychological research has also shown that simply allowing people to interact with the beneficiaries of their work can provide a strong sense of purpose and serve as a powerful motivator.


5. Keep challenging people to climb to ever greater heights

Personal growth is a lifelong pursuit; it never stops since there will always be new things to learn. Managers who successfully imbue their people with a thirst for learning do them the service of getting them in the right mindset for resilience. If your objective at work and in life is to learn as much as you can, you’ll find a way out of any situation. You can rise above any difficulty that comes your way.


Great managers understand that the “stretch zone” is where most learning occurs. The longer and more often people stay in this zone, the more they grow, and the more they will eventually accomplish. The sense of achievement that this precipitates, in return, fuels greater self-confidence and self-efficacy. The more confident people feel in themselves and their skills, the better able they feel to get through any new setbacks that may come their way.


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