Paul Findlay, managing director of PD Training
, about how HR can help employees experiencing change fatigue and stress.
What problems are workers facing that resilience can help with?
Workers across all industries face common challenges that impact their personal wellbeing and the health of their organisations. They include pessimism, low resilience, poor attitude leading to infectious negativity, and feeling unrecognised which feeds into lower commitment and engagement. Problem-solving for people with a pessimistic mindset becomes a maze of issues and barriers instead of confronting obstacles as something that can be overcome. Resilience is the capacity to withstand and adapt to the challenges that life throws at us. When it’s low, workers struggle to bounce back and thrive. Without the right attitude, workers are not always looking for an opportunity, solution or possibility.
What industries are experiencing the most problems which require resilience training?
Organisations undergoing restructuring and industries where customer-facing activity is normally stressful can benefit from training to boost resilience. Change fatigue severely tests the resilience of government and non-government workers alike. People get worn down by relentless change and they commonly end up becoming short-fused, negative and mildly depressed. They take stress leave days, call in sick or become cynical and counter-productive in the face of organisational redesign. Resilience is tested in client-facing roles where people get a lot of negativity - the constant knocks from dissatisfied customers and demanding clients. Emergency and other healthcare workers regularly confronted by distressing or unpleasant situations are among those whose resilience is tested every day.
Could L&D help HR professionals help people to cope with stress?
L&D programs using positive psychology can assist HR professionals to help improve the lives of their people and improve the performance of organisations. When people are happy, positive and resilient, organisations are healthy, stable and profitable. Organisations constantly ask their people to do more with less. They also need to support their people with tools and skills to do so. If workers are more resilient, it’s easier to be at work and to feel stable in times of stress. Resilience flows into optimism, positive attitude and maintaining energy throughout the day. A positive state of mind is linked to stronger goal setting, innovation, concentration, creativity and mental capacity to make quicker decisions.
Is corporate resilience training a new thing?
Using positive psychology in L&D is not new. What is new is a scientifically-sound and measurable program that we’re delivering called ORANGES, which gives workers more than 40 tools to change the way they approach their work and lives. Developed by children’s charity Camp Quality from research by world-leading universities, it provides training in Optimism, Resilience, Attitude, Now (mindfulness), Gratitude, Energy and Strengths. Based on emotional intelligence and neuroscience research, the resilience training shows how the brain, body and emotions are linked and helps workers to withstand life’s challenges by activities that boost positive mood, manage negative emotions and increase the duration and intensity of their peaks.
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