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What is resilience training and why does your team need it?

August 30, 2022 - 16 min read


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What is resilience training?

Why is resilience training important?

What does resilience training teach?

How can your team benefit from resilience training?

5 examples of resilience training

5 signs that indicate that your team needs resilience training

5 components of effective resilience training

Your next move: 4 tips for building a workplace that fosters resilience

You might need to problem-solve at any time. You never know when you’ll need to think on your feet, and planning for surprises is easier said than done.

That's what resilience training is for: building resilience to take care of our physical and mental health in the face of adversity.

But a resilient mindset doesn't develop overnight, and it certainly doesn't happen after one training session. Resilience training requires sustained efforts. We need to be focused on our actions and how the goals we're setting will help us and our careers.

Learning how to build resilience helps our work environment be better prepared and primes us for future challenges.

Let's dive into what resilience training is, what it teaches us, and how we can benefit from it.


What is resilience training?

Before we explain resilience training, we need to back it up and talk about what resilience means and why it matters. Resilience is how well we adapt to things like change, trauma, threats, and stress. Any sort of challenge or obstacle requires us to be resilient as we cope or adapt to them in healthy ways.

We can think of resilience as how well we bounce back from setbacks, as well as our personal growth and how we learn to stand up to life's challenges.

Resilience training is a process that teaches people how to adapt to difficult situations. It teaches us resilience skills to evaluate the challenges in front of us and problem-solve with a focused mind and plenty of mental agility.

It also focuses on our mindsets. Research has shown that our resilience depends on how we interpret the challenges we encounter, meaning that our mindset is crucial. A doom and gloom mindset makes us less effective. But if our mindset involves some positive thinking and relentless motivation, our resilience improves.

And with this mindset, we have the opportunity to learn many lessons and strengthen skills we didn't know were connected.

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Why is resilience training important?

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it's that resilience is important for everyone. The importance of resilience spills into our personal lives, too. Resilience can help us with our relationships, our personal goals, and everyday life. But resilience is an especially important skill to have in the workplace.

As we chart our career paths, we'll encounter obstacles like imposter syndrome, indecision, or rejection. Negative thoughts can overwhelm our minds, and our inner critics might get louder and harsher. Resilience will help us keep a positive mindset and focus on what we can control. It’ll boost our self-awareness, and we'll become more in tune with what our body needs.

Resilience training also helps employees have a more open mind, improve their job performance, and better cope with stress as they learn how to adapt to change. This positively impacts employee well-being and shows employees that their voices can enact change.


Resilience demands plenty of grit, empathy, and determination. That's why BetterUp is here to help you. Our coaches will provide the guidance and support you need to develop your own resilience, and inspire others in your team to do the same.

What does resilience training teach?

These resilience skills help us before, during, and after a stressful event or challenge. You don’t need to wait until you’re underwater to learn how to swim.

Resilience training teaches us to be purposeful with our thoughts and not give much attention to negative, consuming thoughts. It helps us develop coping skills that aid our efforts to take care of our mental health to prepare for any potential challenges.

Your resilience training should encompass different skills to prepare you for all scenarios and types of stressors. Here are two examples of how resilience training can help you cope with stress:

1. Making up for a bad presentation

You have enough self-awareness to know that you bombed an important presentation at work yesterday. But you aren’t giving up, even though it didn’t go as planned. You arrange for a do-over with your managers. Learning from the last presentation, you identify what went wrong.

You conduct more research, practice your public speaking skills, and arrive early to set up the room properly. Your resilience training taught you to be confident in your abilities and to take responsibility for your initial mistake.

2. Problem-solving to finish a task

You have a few finishing touches to add to the report you’ve been working on for weeks. It’s due tomorrow, but your internet suddenly cuts out. You remain composed rather than freak out. At first, you thought you could work at a local cafe, but their internet is down, too.

Without wasting more time, you call a friend and ask if their internet is still connected. They say yes, and invite you to finish working at their place. You complete your report by the end of the workday and thank your friend for their generosity.


How can your team benefit from resilience training?

The benefits of resilience training impact every person in an organization, from the newest employees to the most senior employees. BetterUp’s own research has shown that for individuals, resilience buffers against the stress and stress-related health issues of an uncertain world. For teams, resilience helps with burnout, low productivity, and job satisfaction. Organizational resilience is key for companies to remain competitive in challenging times. 

Need a better idea of how work environments thrive with resilience? Here are five ways resilience training benefits the workplace:

  1. Employee emotional well-being and self-efficacy are strengthened and protected
  2. Change can happen more smoothly and effectively because employees aren’t reacting out of fear
  3. Teams can set SMART goals because they know what's realistic for growth opportunities
  4. Vulnerability is embraced, rather than seen as a weakness
  5. Teams are more productive and focused on their work


5 examples of resilience training

Whether we’re a manager or someone in an entry-level position, we can learn what resilience training is and how to do it. And resilience training can look different for everyone.

Someone might need to strengthen one area of their resilient mindset, like self-compassion, but have excellent problem-solving skills under pressure. Or someone might jump to negative conclusions about what will go wrong instead of focusing on what could go right.

Here are five examples of what resilience training can focus on:

  1. Practicing mindfulness and positive thinking
  2. Adding flexibility and creativity to our problem-solving
  3. Finding social support groups in our personal and professional lives
  4. Working to find meaning and purpose within our lives
  5. Identifying and strengthening coping skills for stress and challenges

5 signs that indicate that your team needs resilience training

Your work environment is a prime place for stressors and challenges to exist. Developing resilience in your organization will set the tone for a resilient workforce that handles challenges well in the face of adversity.  

Here are five indicators to help you identify if your team needs resilience training:

  1. You're experiencing lots of change: Too much change at once can be overwhelming for anyone. Of course, change happens everywhere, but lots of change can become too stressful for employees to manage consistently.
  2. Your employees work long hours: Long hours and shifts are draining for your team. Their resilience could plummet if they're tired or unmotivated.
  3. Problem-solving is a team weakness: Every team has strengths and weaknesses. But if problem-solving is a real issue, it could mean that your team doesn't know how to effectively deal with the challenges they encounter.
  4. People are easily frustrated: Everyone can be irritated or frustrated, but that can’t be your team’s first response to everything. Not all challenges or changes should stress people out to the max, and starting with negative emotions it's a sign that their resilience is low.
  5. People have a negative mindset: If people only view changes or obstacles as negative, their need to adjust their mindsets. Your team won't recognize when new opportunities are beneficial without any positive thinking.

5 components of effective resilience training

When we talk about how resilience is developed, BetterUp has found five major components, or ingredients, that make up the recipe for resilience. They apply to any professional or personal resilience needs, so we're going to do a quick run-through since they're important for resilience training:

  1. Cognitive agility: This ingredient is all about how we adapt our mindsets and thoughts to continue to grow and benefit ourselves. In a workplace setting, this is also important for the rest of our team and the whole organization.
  2. Emotional regulation: Emotional regulation keeps us calm and collected. It allows us to evaluate our emotions and think about how they make us feel when we act. This can be helpful for teams who often work collaboratively together or tend to disagree.
  3. Self-compassion: It's important to show ourselves compassion as we adapt to change. We should be compassionate toward others in the workplace but never forget to extend it to ourselves.
  4. Optimism: Our attitudes toward life's challenges are key. If we constantly think negative thoughts, our resilience will suffer, and we won't feel as motivated to overcome our obstacles.
  5. Self-efficacy: Feeling confident and in control over our actions keeps us secure. At work, feeling confident in our abilities and skills helps us as we step outside our comfort zones and take risks. Self-efficacy is all about believing that we can reach our goals and perform as we wish. It deals with our confidence in controlling our behavior and motivation levels, which helps us build our resilience.


Your next move: 4 tips for building a workplace that fosters resilience

Understanding what resilience training is isn't rocket science. But understanding how we can harness it and introduce it to our work requires more planning and thinking. Some team members in your workplace might find it challenging to develop their resilience, but it doesn't mean it's impossible.

These things take time. Everyone learns and grows at their own pace. 

A workplace that fosters resilience clearly values employee well-being and mental health. People have strategies ready to adapt before, during, and after stressful situations. And guess what? They overcome them with determination, effort, and grit.

To cap off our discussion on resilience training in the workplace, we're going to leave you with four tips on how you can make your work environment one that exudes resilience:

  1. Demonstrate to your team members what resilience skills look like
  2. Offer resilience training programs for everyone to participate in together
  3. Recognize confidence and self-efficacy in action within employees
  4. Create an environment full of social support for employees to feel cared for

Building resilience in your workplace doesn't happen with one email. Resilience training demands sustained leadership and communication skills.

At BetterUp, our coaches are here to help you strengthen those skills to impact each team member and execute effective resilience training.

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Published August 30, 2022

Shonna Waters, PhD

Vice President of Alliance Solutions

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