Resilience and Employee Engagement: Thriving in Challenging Times

In this article, we explore employee resilience, its connection with employee engagement, and its impact on the workplace.

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In a volatile business environment that changes constantly, an organisation needs employees who are resilient, motivated, and productive. A business needs a strategy to ensure its employees have access to the right resources and environment in the workplace to conquer any challenge that comes their way. And that happens with ongoing employee engagement.

In recent times, businesses have been actively investing in platforms and strategies to keep their employees happy and engaged. To do so, however, requires a deep understanding of resilience, its connection with employee engagement, and its impact on the workplace.

Decoding Resilience and Its Impact on the Workplace

The simple meaning of resilience is the ability to bounce from a setback or adversity. However, when it’s associated with employee engagement, its definition expands. Resilience involves an individual’s capacity to withstand different circumstances that might hinder their growth and work continuously to adapt, improve, and thrive in the face of unforeseen challenges.

In the workplace, resilience is more than survival. It allows individuals to embrace change and leverage disruptions as opportunities for personal and professional development. This not only benefits the organisation but also promotes the career growth of employees. Employers actively seek candidates with resilience because these candidates are better equipped to handle stress and overcome challenges while staying productive.

Moreover, resilience creates a positive work culture. It fosters teamwork and improves communication, inspiring other employees to contribute to a more productive and efficient workplace. By hiring and developing resilient employees, an organisation can create a more successful workforce, which leads to prosperity for everyone involved.

Maintaining Communication to Build Trust

Communication is a critical tool when an employer or team leader wants to boost employee morale and encourage them to trust the workplace. An employee engagement study found that employees who trust their team leader and senior management are more resilient. This is where employee engagement becomes more crucial. The organisation cannot suddenly adopt communicative techniques in the face of crisis or adversity. For effective communication to be effective in times of need, engagement has to be common in the work environment.

When you are constantly engaging with your employees—while they are also actively engaging with each other—it creates a harmonious and trusting atmosphere where each individual can rely on the other. If that is absent, you cannot expect just to leverage communication, frankly, whenever you want something from your employees. In fact, doing that will create a more untrusting environment.

Communication, therefore, has to be spatial, not linear. You need to maintain communication with every employee and ensure they are informed about any changes in the processes.

Cultivate the Success of Mentoring for Employees

An organisation’s goal should be to develop resilient employees. This can happen when employees have a mentor that cultivates the success of both employees and the organisation. Around 71% of employees with mentors report satisfaction with their jobs.

Mentoring offers tailored guidance and knowledge transfer that accelerates growth. It cultivates confidence, fosters collaboration, and builds a culture of continuous learning, contributing to overall career satisfaction and success.

In fact, several publications have reported that 70% of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs for their employees.

Here are a few strategies you can use to cultivate success through mentorship:

Strategy 1: Define the Purpose of Mentorship

It’s important to be clear about the purpose of a mentor program from the very beginning to kick it off successfully. Your employees or mentees should know that you are there to help and guide them with defined goals and expectations. It ensures that everyone is on the same page.

Strategy 2: Be Consistent

A consistent mentoring plan is key to achieving the desired results. Being consistent maintains momentum throughout the mentoring process. It allows you to meet the goals you’ve set out at the start of the journey and ensures that all the parties involved are engaged, focused, and ready to adapt.

Strategy 3: Exemplary Leadership

Approximately 75% of leaders report that mentoring played a key role in their success. That is why leading and mentoring by example is a great way to inspire and motivate your employees. You can bring in senior or tenured employees and leaders, maybe a guest speaker, to encourage younger employees.

The point is to give your employees an embodiment, a visual representation of the qualities you want to see in your employees. These may include emotional intelligence, active listening, trust, and open communication.

Strategy 4: Observe the Bigger Picture

When mentoring, it’s important to take a step back and observe the bigger picture. Mentoring is more than teaching and guiding; it’s about integrating personal and professional change to garner desired outcomes.

You want your employees to be able to navigate challenges together even after the mentorship ends. Moreover, as a mentor, you need to anticipate the obstacles you might face throughout the mentorship.

Strategy 5: Foster Connection

Receiving feedback from mentees and fellow mentors is a great way to ensure that your employees trust you as a mentor. This gives you valuable insight into your relationship with your employees.

Another way is to instil cultural sensitivity in the mentoring process. Make the environment as inclusive as possible and foster connections with each and every one of the employees. You need to be empathetic towards your employees’ unique needs and challenges.

Effective Leadership: Building Resilience in Employees

Besides mentoring and investing in employee engagement strategies, effective leadership plays a significant role in inspiring employees to be more resilient. Here are a few ways you can do that:

Learn More About Your Employees

Understand the pain points and stress factors of your employees to introduce programs that reduce them. You need to ensure that your employees love their jobs. When your employees are happy, they are more likely to be resilient. Research shows that employees who love what they do are 3.9x likely to be highly resilient.

Moreover, there’s a significant difference in resilience between the types of work that employees do. Knowledge workers are 2.9x more likely to be highly resilient than those who work repetitive tasks.

Promote Well-Being

Employee well-being is directly related to productivity and resilience. Happy employees are 13% more productive than employees who are not happy or satisfied. Therefore, it’s important to prioritise the well-being of your employees to cultivate resilience.

You may have to reposition some of your employees to give them better access to benefits that keep them happy, including time-offs, remote work, flexible hours, etc. Promoting well-being also includes promoting your core employees to higher levels of work to make them more resilient. This is proven by a study that showed only 10% of interns and temporary employees are highly resilient, while 37% of upper management are highly resilient.

Consider Resilience Training

Resilience training is a way to keep your employees productive, stress-free, engaged, and motivated. A study showed that resilience training has reduced average depression symptoms by 33% to 44%. Resilience training has also helped participants improve their overall health and well-being, with physical well-being improving 43%, emotional 40%, and mental 38%.

Resilience training involves putting in place effective programs and activities that build resilience in employees, such as overcoming interpersonal challenges, employee engagement, managing emotions, guarding against burnout, and coping with work-related stress.

Get Onboard

The best way to keep your team motivated, productive, and resilient through different strategies and techniques is to be involved in these programs yourself. You would have to act as a guide, mentor, leader, and participant. Employees are more likely to get involved in resilience programs when leaders are already onboard.


Resilience is necessary in times of crisis and adversity, but it doesn’t emerge out of nowhere. It takes months (or sometimes years) of training and consideration to make workers resilient, enabling them to face every challenge head-on.

Leaders prioritise four methods to build resilience in employees. Statistics show that communication accounts for 31% of resilience training and employee engagement 27%. The rest goes to coaching and strategic planning.

Author Bio

Muhammad Saud is a business student, an ex-startup founder, a marketing professional, and a versatile writer at OutpaceSEO. As a naturally curious and adaptable content creator, Saud brings engagement, optimization, and years of experience to the table. Here is his LinkedIn.

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