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Implementing a program to build resilient workplaces

Research suggests workplaces can improve their workers’ resilience. The types of programs needed to do this don’t need to be complicated or expensive, in fact many can have direct financial benefits to an organisation thanks to improved work performance and reduced sickness absence. The key is to have an integrated approach and any strategy for improving individual resilience must also address organisational factors.

There are three broad strategies organisations can use to build the resilience of their workers:

  1. reduce known work-related risk factors for mental ill health
  2. increase individual resilience  
  3. maximise organisational resilience.

When implementing strategies to build resilience in the workplace, remember:

  • It is not just about the individual—organisational and team factors are very important.
  • Single strategies implemented in isolation are unlikely to work.
  • Leadership commitment is crucial to making sure promoting resilience becomes embedded in workplace culture.
  • Line managers have an important role to play through early intervention, managing sickness absence, supporting team members, boosting team morale and modelling positive behaviours.


Step 1: Preparation. Ensure senior level support and involvement; Involve all levels of staff in planning; Possible role for mental health policy or working group. Step 2: Assess what is currently occurring. What sort of potential risk factors are a problem for your organisation? How are they measured?; What processes are currently in place to promote psychological resilience at the individual, job, team and organisational level? Step 3: Implement new resilience strategies. The potential for new strategies should be considered at each of the four levels of the resilience model. Individual Job Team Organisation Step 4: Evaluation. The impact of any new intervention or strategy should be evaluated; There should be a process of continual monitoring and re-evaluation.
Page last updated: 04 Apr 2014