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  • Writer's pictureEmma Armstrong

Resilience at Work - What does it mean?

I remember once, in the not-too-distant past, I heard a Director in a meeting say "Just be more resilient".

At that very moment in time, I nearly feel off my chair, my jaw dropped to the floor and I couldn't decide if I needed to laugh or cry. The true reality was tears, of course when no one was looking.

I just couldn't believe that at a time of a pandemic, when staff are already working incredibly hard, already stressed and anxious, already feeling like giving up, that the best thing a Director could say would be "to just be more resilient". I think I was hoping to hear support mechanisms for resilience, but that never really followed.

It got me thinking though,

Why would a Director say something like this? Is it lack of knowledge? Is it culture? Is it lack of understanding what your staff team are experiencing or going through due to not keeping in touch? Is it lack of supervision administration? Is it out of panic for your own welfare, that god forbid something else should go wrong during a pandemic such as this?

The true reality of course is that I will never know, however, should this be something that we just put up with?

The answer should be NO.. but what can we do about it?

As a passionate trainer, something like this makes me work harder to drive standards for our Care Workforce.

In a moment of madness or that of a heated discussion, its easy to say things we may not mean, given an extra pause, maybe something we wouldn't say again if we had a second chance, but at that very moment in time, it's also very damaging to the relationship of trust and repour.

The pandemic itself has taught us many valuable lessons, it has brought out the very best in people and the very worst. Most of all, it teaches us the importance of reflection, collaboration and the importance of resilience.

Change can only occur when staff are committed, feel a sense of ownership, hold a sense of belonging and the values of an organisation, are held in the hearts and behaviours of all that are aligned to that service.

Change is a process, just like resilience, it's something we have to teach ourselves and actively practise everyday to become masters at it. It takes time to truly master the ability to impact change and the ability to master resilience.

Okay, so what do I mean when I say RESILIENCE?

What are T.E.A's Top Tips for Resilience?

Taking steps to look after your wellbeing and that of your Team can help you deal with pressure, and reduce the impact that stress has on your life, as well as keeping staff healthy, happy and retained. After all, we already lose too many sick days to ill health, why create more?

This is sometimes called developing emotional resilience. Resilience is not just your ability to bounce back, but also your capacity to adapt in the face of challenging circumstances, whilst maintaining a stable mental wellbeing.

Resilience isn't a personality trait – it's something that we can all take steps to achieve. Some are very simple

  • Use relaxation techniques. You may already know what helps you relax, like having a bath, listening to music or taking your dog for a walk. If you know that a certain activity helps you feel more relaxed, make sure you set aside time to do it.

T.E.A Training have published a free resource where we teach you Deep Breathing a body preparation - you can take a look here - The art of learning to breathe and the impact it can have is amazing.

This has been shared amongst many staff teams now and a programme that is regularly practised. Could you do this with yourself or your teams? Why not?

A manager of a team? What top tips could I consider?

1. Consider engaging a member of staff to become a Resilience Champion - The Go To person who can promote resilience within your organisation

2. Consider Mental Health First Aid at Work to promote Well Being and Good Mental Health practises daily and support mechanisms for staff who may need support for their Mental Health.

3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate, enable your team to feel a sense of pride and belonging, support an environment and culture that is all about "Learning" rather than blame! "Blame-less .. Learn More" . Supervision and support are vital!

4. Take time to notice the little things your team do, give praise, offer feedback, take the time to show effective leadership that is 1. Meaningful and 2. Appreciative.

5. Regular breaks and flexible options where needed for staff experiencing difficult times and or that of Trauma, review of your policies and procedures.

6. Be a role model for Resilience - Ensure your teams have eaten, they have time to get adequate rest between their working shifts, they have had their breaks, provide space for quiet without the need for explanation.

7. Utilise apps that promote healthy habits as well as sleep promotion - A free one is The care workforce App.

8. Assess your teams resilience regularly and offer ongoing support - remember, building resilience takes time and nurture.

Other great things that all count towards developing good Well-being a resilience levels

  • Get enough sleep. Stress can often make it difficult to sleep, and can cause sleep problems. Getting enough sleep can help you feel more able to deal with difficult situations.

  • Be active. Being physically active is important for both our physical and mental health. Even making small changes such as going for a regular walk outside may help you to feel less stressed.

  • Eat healthily. When you're stressed, it can be tempting to skip meals or eat too much of the wrong kinds of food. But what you eat, and when you eat, can make a big difference to how well you feel.

  • Develop your interests and hobbies. Finding an activity that's completely different from the things causing you stress is a great way to get away from everyday pressures. If stress is making you feel lonely or isolated, shared hobbies can also be a good way to meet new people.

  • Make time for your friends. When you've got a lot on this might seem hard, but it can help you feel more positive and less isolated. Chatting to friends about the things you find difficult can help you keep things in perspective – and you can do the same for them. Laughing and smiling with them will also produce hormones that help you to relax.

  • Find balance in your life. You may find that one part of your life, such as your job or taking care of young children, is taking up almost all of your time and energy. Try making a decision to focus some of your energy on other parts of your life, like family, friends or hobbies. It's not easy, but this can help spread the weight of pressures in your life, and make everything feel lighter

Take small steps. Pick one or two things that feel achievable at first, before moving on to try other ideas.

Here at T.E.A we care about you, if you would like extra information on Resilience, staff training and or managerial leadership training, we have it here and ready for you! Fun, Focused and Friendly training that is bespoke to you and your team.

Get in touch today, we would be happy to talk through your training requirements one step at a time!!

Find us on Facebook @ Training with Emma Armstrong

Call on 07525451450


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