Has Employee Resilience Increased as a Result of the Pandemic?

Though most discussions involving pandemic effects on the workplace are of negative sentiment, there  are undeniably several positive outcomes as well.

Organizational leaders gained unparalleled experiences and learned new ways of managing their teams to suppress pandemic pitfalls. In a similar way, many employees themselves experienced positive outcomes in the workplace – none the least of which is resilience.

Envisia Learning defines resilience as the thoughts, emotions, and actions that promote personal well-being and mental health, which enables people to withstand, adapt to, and rebound from stress, challenges, and adversity.

Although research has shown an uptick in stress-related disorders related to the pandemic, it is also well-understood that major events tend to produce different effects on different people; and there is a case to be made for Covid-19 promoting higher levels of resilience in the workplace.

When the quarantine began in early 2020, and work-from-home became a norm across the workforce, it forced employees to adjust to the effects of the new professional environment. One of those effects was an increased feeling of isolation, with 21 percent of global employees reporting severe loneliness during the pandemic, versus just 6 percent prior to the pandemic.

To combat that isolation, many people naturally found ways of enhancing self-resilience, such as increasing communication with friends and family, building new relationships, starting a new exercise routine, and taking the time to self-reflect and establish new goals. The shock of an unexpected global pandemic also gave many people a new outlook on work and life, perhaps causing a sense of gratitude that is one of the most important personality factors correlated with resilience.

Other methods of building resilience, according to Envisia Learning, include healthy sleep patterns, maintaining a positive attitude and outlook, practicing forgiveness, and managing stress. Small levels of stress can actually help motivate employees, but too much can lead to lower productivity, increased workplace conflict, and employee burnout. 

For employees with increased resilience as a result of the pandemic, time will tell how those healthy practices evolve over time with less and less prevalence of Covid-19. Will a higher level of resilience sustain itself over time, or will employees revert back to pre-pandemic rituals?

To learn more, contact the Ascendis Leadership Academy to take the Organizational Leadership Skills Profile. Please contact Sue Drake at sdrake@drakerg.com for an overview of the Profile and ways in which it may be used in your organization.