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Resilient Employees

Currently, a quarter of all employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives, according to the CDC. The World Health Organization describes stress as the “global health epidemic of the 21st century.”


Resilience is the quality of being able to adapt to stressful life changes and “bouncing back” from hardship. Resilience is a response to a tragedy, crisis, or other life-altering changes that allow us to move on despite the loss.

Showing resilience does not mean that a person is unaffected or uncaring about life change. Resilience is the human heart’s ability to suffer greatly and grow from it.

We see examples of national resilience, such as the United States showed after the events of September 11, 2001. We observe personal resilience every day in people who suffer handicaps, deaths of loved ones, and other losses. When people refuse to give up on themselves and the world, even after misfortune, they are resilient.

Need for Resilient Employees

Many of us now work in constantly connected, always-on, highly demanding work cultures where stress and the risk of burnout are widespread. Since the pace and intensity of contemporary work culture are not likely to change, it’s more important than ever to build resilience skills to navigate work life.

How to Cultivate a Resilient Workforce

As small business owners and entrepreneurs, it is our responsibility to build a resilient workforce.  Here are several ideas on how to start.

  • Foster a sense of purpose by encouraging employees to find meaning in the work they do. When employees have a line of sight from their role to the difference the company makes in the world, they’ll be more invested.
  • Promote a sense of control and confidence among all employees. Employees who feel in control of their work are more resilient because they’ve learned to take ownership and exhibit pride in their work.
  • Manage change to ensure the entire company views change as a welcome challenge, rather than an unwelcome roadblock. Changes happen in every company, and those with a culture that supports change can more easily develop resilience.
  • Address stress levels,  both individually and as a group. A management team who can sense when tensions are running high can help employees avoid difficult situations as a group, meaning a business “bounce-back” won’t be necessary.
  • Nurture grittiness and a sense of mental toughness among employees. The more those traits grow in each individual, the stronger the resilience will be throughout the organization.
  • Lead by example and build resilience at the leadership level. The resilience of the management team will resonate among employees. It’s important to ensure corporate leaders adopt a sense of personal resiliency in the workplace.

The Bible

Resilience is the biblical norm for Christians. The Bible contains many admonitions to press on (Philippians 3:13–15), overcome hardship and temptation (Romans 12:21), and persevere in the face of trials (James 1:12).

The Apostle Paul is the ultimate example of resilience.  In one instance, he was beaten, drug out of town, and left for dead.  Not to be defeated, Paul awoke, got up, and went back into the city to continue preaching (Acts 14:19-20).

That is a level of resilience we will never have to try to meet.

What gave Paul this unimaginable level of resilience was the power of Christ.  That power is available to everyone.

We must build a resilience workforce.  But first, we need to be resilient ourselves, and if you need help finding your resilience, ask Christ to help.