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According to the National Health Service, in 2010 there were 1.3 million people suffering from illnesses (long-standing, as well as new cases) that they believed were caused, or made worse, by the stress of their work. For this reason, UK health organisations are emphasising the role that resilience plays in reducing stress and stress-related illnesses.
Although individuals react to stress and resiliency in different ways, research shows that resilience is a skill that can be learned, sustained and embodied in both personal and organisational contexts. By increasing resilience levels, individuals become more flexible mentally, emotionally and behaviourally, and, as a result, learn to cope with workplace stress better.Stressful situations as opportunities
The following are areas that have been identified by orghealth.co.uk where an individual can make personal changes to help cope with the stresses of life. If you would like help managing stress related or any other type of absences in your workplace please get in touch.
Resilient people have a clear idea of what they are trying to achieve in their lives, and will have written this down somewhere to reinforce it. They are likely to review the vision from time to time, particularly when events seek to divert effort away from achieving the vision.
Resilient people with high levels of determination have the capacity to achieve things that those with low determination tend not to be able to do. Determination is essentially self- driven, although can be triggered by a reaction to an event, and requires considerable focus on a goal, task or vision.
Interaction is about how we behave towards other people. The only person we control is ourselves, and yet, to survive and achieve what we need to achieve, we need to control the reactions of others to our behaviours towards them so that they help us.
Make connections with people who can provide social support such as friends, colleagues and mentors. Good relationships with close family members, friends, or others are important tools in building resilience. Accepting help and support from those who care about you, and will listen to you, strengthens resilience.
Resilient people like to solve problems and rise to challenges, so long as they can resolve the problems and meet the challenges successfully. Problem-solvers are more likely to embrace challenges than those who do not like problems, and resilient people also like to delve into the causes of a problem as a means to seeking a solution.
People who are well-organised are able to cope with the chaos of daily life better than those who do not pay attention to organising themselves. Resilient people are able to control their working environment by careful planning and implementation, but are flexible enough to adapt when this environment changes.
7. Self confidence
Self confidence is clearly apparent in resilient people. Nurturing a positive view of yourself that allows you to trust your instincts is an important tool in building resilience. Before going to bed at night make a mental list of everything you have to be grateful for. Gratitude is one of the basic underpinnings of contentment and stress resilience.
Resilience is about facing stress head-on and looking at stressful situations as opportunities for growth. Stress builds character and exercises your problem-solving ability. When you see stress in this way - and learn to take it in stride - you will begin to appreciate life more, enjoy challenges and overcome obstacles that only temporarily block your way.
A report published in the Telegraph (4 May 2011), commissioned by manufacturer's organisation the EEF, suggests the introduction of the fit note in April of last year has not helped to reduce sickness absence from the workplace. Despite this the survey of 454 businesses found that average annual sickness per employee had dropped from 6.8 days in 2007 to 5 days in 2010. However, it has been suggested that the reasons for this include staff attending work when ill for fear of redundancy and employers introducing more effective HR measures such as the Bradford Score and Occupational Health Support. If you would like to discuss how you manage absences in your business please contact us.