- Promoting health and safety
- Creating mentally healthy workplaces
- Why is work health important?
- Healthy worker
- Working together: Promoting mental health and wellbeing at work
- Mental Health and Wellbeing - Participating and thriving in our workplaces
- Supporting ability at work
- Supporting health, performance and productivity
- Flexible work
- Building a resilient workforce
- Health Benefits of Work
- Roles and responsibilities
- Duty Holders
- Comcare research program
- Health and safety representatives
- Investing in Experience: Age diversity in the workplace
- Education & training
- Creating mentally healthy workplaces
- Preventing harm
- Managing risks in the workplace
- Managing hazards
- Early intervention
- Recovery and return to work
- Recovery and rehabilitation
- Roles and responsibilities - rehabilitation
- Workplace Rehabilitation Framework
- Rehabilitation guidelines
- Barriers to Return to Work
- Working with Workplace Rehabilitation Providers
- Rehabilitation assessment
- Medical certificate of capacity
- Capability Products
- National Return to Work Survey
- Workplace rehabilitation provider fee guidance
- Returning to work
- Returning to independence
- Recovery and rehabilitation
- Claims and benefits
- Roles and responsibilities - claims
- Can I claim?
- Lodging a claim
- Assessing a claim
- Medical treatment
- Benefits and entitlements
- Frequently asked questions
- Dispute Resolution Service
- Customer Information System (CIS)
- Our service charter
- Our fraud policy
- Case managers
- Forms & publications
- The scheme
- The SRC Act
- Information on 2011 SRC Act amendments
- Information on 2009 SRC Act amendments
- Information on the 2007 SRCOLA Amendments
- SRC Regulations Amendments 1988 to 1999
- SRC Regulations Amendments 2000 to 2009
- SRC Regulations Amendments from 2010
- Overview of the Comcare scheme
- The Parliamentary Injury Compensation Scheme
- The WHS Act
- The ARC Act
- Authorities we work with
- Premium paying employers
- Our compliance and enforcement activities
- Scheme guidance
- Regulatory guides
- Regulator Performance Framework
- Cost recovery
- The SRC Act
- About us
- Organisational structure
- Comcare 2017-18 Corporate Plan
- Useful links
- Contact us
- Access to information
- Service charter
- Public Interest Disclosures
- Comcare diversity programme
- News & media
- 2018 National WHS Forums
- Past events
- 2017 Comcare and Defence Science and Technology Research and Development Community of Practice Forum
- 2017 Comcare SA/NT WHS Networking and Information Forums
- 2017 Comcare NSW WHS Networking and Information Forums
- 2017 National WHS Forums
- 2017 Learn how to manage workplace psychological injuries
- 2017 Managing Workplace Psychological and Stress Injuries
- 2016 Comcare National Conference
- 2016 National WHS Forums
- 2016 Comcare Rehabilitation Case Manager Forum
- 2016 Chronic Pain: New Understanding, New Paradigm, New Approach
- 2015 Health and Safety Representative Forums Cairns/Townsville
- 2015 Comcare Rehabilitation Case Manager Forum
- 2015 Managing psychological injuries in the Comcare scheme
- 2015 Health and Safety Representative Forums
- 2014 Health and Safety Representative Forums
- 2014 National Conference
- 2014 Preventing psychological injury in changing workplaces forum
15. Building resilience
Individual and organisational resilience is crucial to how employees respond to challenge and change at work.
A resilient individualtends to be flexible, be adaptive, cope (even in difficult times), learn from experience and be optimistic.
The resilient individual is also more likely to recognise what support they may require to ‘bounce back’. In the workplace context, this may include increased support from colleagues or workplace adjustments.
A resilient teamis one that is based on mutual trust, social norms, participation and social networks as well as resources to adapt positively to change.
Why it matters
Building a resilient work team is an important part of creating a healthy and productive work environment. Resilient teams are based on mutual trust, social norms, participation and social networks. Resilient teams are more likely to be productive and high performing teams.
Resilience provides a protective factor for individuals, teams and the organisation to deal effectively with times of change, high pressure and stress.1
Even a work group with high morale is unlikely to cope with high work demands indefinitely without adequate recovery time—fatigue and burnout can become problems.2At the most basic level, good job design will go a long way to promoting a healthy workplace. A focus on building resilience is commendable, but may be doomed to failure if employees are constantly drawing on their resilience alone to cope with bad jobs and poor systems of work, and poor interpersonal relationships with managers and peers.
How it’s done
Importantly, resilience can be learned and developed by anyone because it involves learning how to behave, think and act differently. Building resilient teams is about effective leadership, team cohesion, mutual support, and open, honest communication.
It is important for managers to remember that the resilience levels of an employee may fluctuate depending on what else is happening in their life. Individuals often have limited influence over the events that cause mental ill health, however, increasing their levels of resilience may influence the way they respond to these events.
There is no template to what constitutes leadership. Good managers develop a range of leadership styles to suit different situations, consistent with the APS Values and the Integrated Leadership System. You earn the respect of your team not because of your position in the organisation, but because you lead by example.
Encourage team cohesion.
A resilient team is one in which people have a shared sense of purpose and connectedness. Interaction and reinforcement of team efforts are important. Team cohesion can also be built through team social activities and regular informal team catch ups.
Provide role clarityto employees and reinforce the links between their work and the objectives of the organisation. Individuals and teams that understand how their work contributes to the overall organisational objectives can see meaning and value to their work.
Supportive and positive relationships are key to resilience. Build a team culture characterised by mutual support through modelling trust and inclusivity. Spend time with your team members. Discuss simple ways as a team that employees can support each other such as ‘checking in’ with each other on a regular basis and becoming aware of the early signs that may indicate a colleague is struggling with their work.
A sense of achievement at work is important. We all like to feel we are making progress so recognise the gains as well as the setbacks. Job satisfaction comes from the experience of progress and accomplishment.
Keep employees informed, engaged and involved. Effective communication helps build positive relationships which contribute to workplace resilience.
Promote personal skillsrequired for resilience such as problem solving skills and autonomy. Delegate responsibility to your employees and let them do their job using their own imagination and creativity. Instead of always coming up with solutions you can help prompt others to think critically and reflectively to develop alternative approaches to workplace problems. This helps people to develop and learn and be ready to adapt to new situations that they face.
Balance work with other life activities.
Encourage a balanced approach to work. Ensure work is undertaken in a safe, healthy and productive manner over time. A balance of effort and recovery (including time for rest, exercise and adequate nutrition) has been recognised as important to the maintenance of resilience.3
Building Personal Resilience
The following four elements are important to build personal resilience:
Build good relationships with family and friends;
Look after yourself;
Spend your time wisely; and
Manage your self-talk.
- Working Well: An organisational approach to preventing psychological injury, available on the Comcare website
- Lifeline Overcoming Stress and Staying Resilient Toolkit and Building Community Resilience education session
2 Comcare 2008, Working Well: An organisational approach to preventing psychological injury, 2nd edn, Comcare, Canberra, p. 12.