FAQs

Q?

What about the Irish context for Resilience?

A.

On the 25th October 2015, Dr John McDermott wrote a piece advocating Irish employers to ‘Build a resilient workplace, and a mentally fit workforce will follow.” (http://www.independent.ie/business/jobs/build-a-resilient-workplace-and-a-mentally-fit-workforce-will-follow-34137913.html). In the article he suggested that employers;

  • Normalise mental health and wellbeing
  • Drive awareness of the benefits of mental fitness
  • Examine the central causes of workplace stress
  • Foster a resilient workforce through communication and
  • Support those experiencing mental health difficulties

 

These steps are important, not just to employees, but to employers bottom line and represents the possibility for flourishing, not just for the employee but for the business leaders who demonstrate resilient leadership.

Further, in the Deloitte 2014 ‘Human Capital Report’ found that ‘The overwhelmed employee is the most pressing HR challenge in Irish organisations.” (http://www2.deloitte.com/ie/en/pages/human-capital/articles/human-capital-trends-2014-ireland.html). The nature of feeling overwhelmed is a sure sign of a dip in resilience and when sustained over long periods of time affect productivity, wellbeing and the endurance required to ‘stay the course’ and the delivery of business results.

Irish business, willing to step into the unknown territory of human flourishing, applying the lessons of recent scientific evidence on happiness and optimism can therefore benefit greatly from making the lessons of resilience available to all of their staff from the board room to the coal-face. This potential hallmark of the successful workplace, represents the kind of innovation and a focus on performance representing a tremendous opportunity for Irish companies to forge a new gold-standard for workplace effectiveness.

Q?

What does a resilient workforce offer to business?

A.

In the last two decades, tremendous advances have been made in understanding the benefits of human flourishing to business. These range from studies on happiness, optimism, the power of positive emotions, the use of character strengths and new insights on habit formation and sustainable behaviour change.

Sean Achor in a recent TED talk spoke about the ‘Happiness Advantage’. In his research he found that productivity rises by 31% when people move from a neutral to a positive (emotional) state. Further, sales rise by 37% cross industry. Further, he has shown that 75% of your job successes are predicted by your optimism levels, your social support and whether or not you see stress as a challenge instead of a threat. (http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work)

This is before we look at using character strengths, seeking resources and other, similarly exciting insights from the science of human flourishing.

Building resilience then is not simply a matter of personal gain in feeling happier, but in fact, a genuine business imperative.

Q?

Aren’t most people resilient?

A.

Most people are resilient in circumstances of significant adversity like acts of terrorism, natural disasters and calamities, as well as very challenging workplace difficulties like redundancy, business closure etc. However, for the majority of us who will not know these kinds of significant adversities, we are often faced with an accumulation of daily hassles which can seriously impair our resilience. These tend to snowball from life into work and vice-versa leading to symptoms of stress, constant tiredness, feeling unfulfilled and if left unchecked, can result in an impairment of our mental health.

Resilience is not just a trait, innate in us, but a set of skills which can be learned and once learned, can be applied in life and at work. By focussing on developing employee resilience, we shift the focus away from a mentality where simply coping is the response to stress, to an approach which combines decades of research on human flourishing into a suite of practical tools, awareness, knowledge and skills to build a mentally fit workplace.

Q?

Strengths based Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy: A Four-Step Model to Build Resilience

A.

This research is not the property of PCI Consulting but of Christine A. Padesky

PadeskyJournalCoverAbstract: Padesky and Mooney’s four-step Strengths-Based cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) model is designed to help clients build positive qualities. This article shows how it can be used to build and strengthen personal resilience. A structured search for client strengths is central to the approach, and methods designed to bring hidden strengths into client awareness are demonstrated through therapist–client dialogues. Development of positive qualities requires a shift in therapy perspective and different therapy methods from those employed when therapy is designed to ameliorate distress. Required adjustments to classic CBT are highlighted with specific recommendations for clinical modifications designed to support client development of resilience such as a focus on current strengths, the constructive use of imagery and client-generated metaphors. Although the focus of this article is on resilience, this Strengths-Based CBT model offers a template that also can be used to develop other positive human qualities. Copyright © 2012 Christine A. Padesky

Link to article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cpp.1795/full

Q?

What is Wellness?

A.

FAQ-WellnessWorkplace wellness is any workplace health promotion activity or organizational policy designed to support healthy behavior in the workplace and to improve health outcomes. Generally speaking, health promotion is defined as “the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health,” and health promotion can be carried out in the workplace as well as many other settings.

Q?

What do we mean by Employee Engagement?

A.

FAQ-EngagementEmployee engagement is a property of the relationship between an organization and its employees. An “engaged employee” is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests. An organization with ‘high’ employee engagement might therefore be expected to outperform those with ‘low’ employee engagement, all else being equal.

Q?

What is Resilience?

A.

FAQ-ResilienceMany definitions exist for Resilience but most refer to our ability to bounce back from setbacks, adversity or some other trial in life. It is important to note that resilience is not only about overcoming a deeply stressful situations, but also coming out of the said situation with “competent functioning”.