Nurturing resilient workforces: a new guide

The CIPD has published timely new guidance for HR and line managers on supporting employee resilience – an individual’s ability to adapt to change and thrive.

A young man is getting advice from a female professional mental health doctor at her office.
The highly relevant framework for people managers to help team members build resilience comes as constant transformation and evolution in the workplace during the unprecedented events of the past two years has seen a sharp rise in employee burnout and the so-called great resignation. As part of a relevant suite of wellbeing support policies and resources, line managers play a fundamental role in enhancing employee resilience and fostering factors shown to increase resilience, like self-efficacy, positive moods and optimism, and social support.Publication of the CIPD’s Supporting employee resilience – guidance for line managers also comes as more organisations are aware of the importance of supporting the whole employee at work. This is both in recognition of diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as acknowledging how people respond to stress and stressors in different ways in the workplace and in their home lives. 
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Why employee resilience continues to be important

Numerous studies show the importance of diverse wellbeing benefits, employee assistance programmes (EAPs) and supportive workplace cultures for building employee resilience. One of the latest, from HR consultancy Mercer Marsh Benefits, shows just 49% of employees felt they received good support from their employers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. More than a third (34%) of respondents also said they are more likely to stay with a company that has strong mental healthcare provisions in place.  An earlier survey by global professional services firm, Aon, also highlights the likely productivity and wellbeing impact of a lack of employee well-rounded wellbeing support. The Rising Resilient found employees with poor resilience have 55% lower engagement at work and are 42% less likely to want to stay with their employer.Yet figures released to mark My Whole Self Day (18 March) from Mental Health First Aid England reveal that nearly half of 2,000 employees (48%) surveyed had no wellbeing check-in from their employer in the past year – a rise from 25% in 2021 – and that the progress and awareness built in the past two years needs to continue. “Employers have really stepped up their understanding of supporting mental health during the pandemic,” said Simon Blake, Chief Executive of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England. “These must be based on strong foundations of care, sustained over time. If we get the basics right, we can build workplaces where wellbeing and productivity fuel each other.”

The CIPD’s guide for managers on resilience

Commenting on the MHFA’s figures for People Management, Rachel Suff, Senior Employment Relations Adviser at the CIPD, reiterated the importance of line managers in supporting employees.“Managers need to make sure they are setting aside time to check in with their team and ask about their wellbeing, while HR also need to make sure senior leaders view health and wellbeing as priority and they create a culture where people feel able to talk about any issues they’re having.”The CIPD’s accessible and practical guide underlines the vital role managers have on the health, wellbeing and engagement of their team and how managers’ behaviour supports this. This includes on areas such as:
  1. Building and sustaining relationships
  2. Providing knowledge, clarity and guidance
  3. Being open, fair and consistent
  4. Supporting development
  5. Handling conflict and people management issues. 
When combined with appropriate workplace policies and support, “a line manager’s behaviour and the culture they create in their team is the biggest influence on an employee’s work experience,” says the guide.“Capability in these five behavioural areas, underpinned by an attitude of care, respect, compassion, wisdom and kindness, is vital for line managers to manage the health, wellbeing and engagement of their employees.”

To explore the role of resilience and wellbeing at work, why not join us on 9 June for the results of the Think Global People and Relocate Awards and the Future of Work Festival?

Read more CIPD news here.

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