Resilience in Workplace Employing Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence

RESILIENCE IN THE WORKPLACE

Introduction

High levels of workplace stress is a significant contributor to adverse performance results when not managed efficiently. Some individuals work in extremely demanding environments and are consequently at a higher risk of developing different conditions, including secondary traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, and burnout (Lloyd, Katz & Pronk, 2016).  However, in the same stressful setting, others are less affected by the trauma and associated outcomes due to their resilience. Resilience concept is fundamental to comprehending how the workforce deals with adversity within the working environment. The present paper will discuss resilience in the workplace employing mindfulness and emotional intelligence to offer a view on how individuals can be more resilient in the workplace setting.

The work setting presents numerous stressors to the workforce. Anxiety stress and burnout are widespread across work settings, with many individuals complaining of stress in their work environment (Fernandez 2016). Resilience is the ability to overcome the stressors within the workplace when encountering the challenges that are an inevitable part of life (Fernandez 2016). Therefore resilience is an important skill to have as it offers individuals the ability to cope and overcome any challenges in the workplace. Studies have highlighted a relationship between levels of individual resilience and various adverse outcomes (Rees, Breen, Cusack & Hegney, 2015). Resilient individuals have also been identified to be flexible, adapt to new and diversified situations, learn from experience, and are optimistic, helping them bounce back from the challenges experienced (Fernandez 2016). As the workforce builds and improves workplace resilience and culture, they also pursue approaches to address stress and mental health in the work setting. When well addressed, the workforce builds a resilient workforce, and employees can handle stress better and come up with protective factors against stress (Rees et al., 2015). Individuals with resilience have reliable resources and skills to handle stress and conflict as well as an effective support network that is important in dealing with the pressures in the workplace.

To ensure productivity within the workplace, it is essential to develop resilience and ensure the workforce is inspired in the face of prolonged stress and the growing demands, complexity, and change (Rees et al., 2015). Research has identified different approaches that are based on the most recent behavioral, neuroscience, and organizational research that can be employed in promoting resilience in the workplace (Fernandez 2016). The concepts developed to promote resilience include mindfulness and emotional intelligence, as discussed below.

Mindfulness

In the contemporary business environment, mental training practices that are linked with mindfulness have been employed in promoting resilience in the workplace. Research has identified that mindfulness forecasts judgment accuracy and insight-associated problem solving as well as promotes cognitive flexibility (Fernandez 2016). Therefore different programs associated with mindfulness are critical to decreasing workforce stress, which consequently improves resilience and work engagement. For instance, research by Kimberly Aitken has indicated that online mindfulness programs are effective and practical in reducing workforce stress and improving work engagement and resilience (Fernandez 2016). Effective work engagement and resilience consequently increases the performances of the organization and the overall wellbeing of the workforce.

Evidence-based therapies have been adopted in developing resilience training; for instance, the incorporation of mindfulness-based stress reduction has been identified as a significant approach towards stress reduction. Research has supported the role played by mindfulness training on psychological resilience, hence making it a practical intervention in training resilience to the workforce (Fernandez 2016). The mindfulness-based resilience training involves the teaching of cognitive strategies, goal-setting, mindfulness training, as well as the provision of psychoeducational material (Fernandez 2016). Therefore mindfulness tools are significantly useful for managing stress and enhancing wellbeing.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence has been identified as an essential concept in the contemporary business environment. Emotional resilience is when an individual can maintain calm when encountering a stressful or negative experience in the workforce (Lloyd et al., 2016). Studies have identified the link between emotional intelligence and resilience, with the two conceptions being associated with perceived stress (Sarrionandia, Ramos-Díaz & Fernández-Lasarte, 2018). Emotional intelligence has been associated with numerous significant life factors.  Research in emotional intelligence has identified that individuals with emotional intelligence posses better resilience compared to those with limited emotional intelligence (Sarrionandia et al., 2016). Emotional intelligence facilitates resilience, stress responses, as well as a psychological resilience that are critical to the regulation of individual moods when faced with a stressful situation (Lloyd et al., 2016). Therefore emotional intelligence is a significant predictor of subjective wellbeing, health, social support, and job performance.

Emotional intelligence has been highly associated with emotional resilience leading to job satisfaction. Comprehending and regulation of an individual’s emotions is critical to resilience, where individuals can take time and process their emotions (Lloyd et al., 2016). Studies have indicated a significant connection between higher emotional intelligence and lower intensities of perceived stress (Lloyd et al., 2016). Growing one’s emotional intelligence requires an individual to work towards greater self-knowledge, for instance, it is vital to employ emotional intelligence when dealing with emotional circumstances in the work setting (Lloyd et al., 2016). With emotional intelligence, individuals are aware of how they should react when stressed, which is essential in gaining better control over individual reactions.

Through individual recognition of mindfulness and emotional intelligence, individuals within the work environment are in a position to cope with different work-related stress and challenges. In addition, research has indicated setting personal goals and working towards achieving them by trying to overcome imminent challenges faced is critical to the long term endurance in the work environment (Lloyd et al., 2016). The setting of goals helps an individual to create a sense of achievement when the goals are met. By creating more achievable goals helps an individual experience success, which consequently creates a positive mindset that develops mental resilience enabling individuals to achieve even more challenging goals that they set.

Conclusion

To conclude, the present paper has discussed resilience in the workplace employing mindfulness and emotional intelligence as important concepts that are attributed to the development of resilience in the work setting. The paper has identified that the employment of different skills and behavior within the work setting is critical to the performance and success of an organization. Emotional intelligence and mindfulness have been associated with stress reduction and the overall improvement of individual health and wellbeing. Building resilience is essential as it helps individuals deal with stressful situations within the work environment, and consequently, organizations are likely to benefit from a resilient human resource.

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