Resilience and Coronavirus

Posted 03/04/2020 : By: Lauren Johns

This is a worrying time for everyone. For businesses, for families, for the vulnerable, for children not able to go to school. There seems to be no escaping the current situation, but it seems as though some appear to be handling things better than others. Often this comes down to how resilient people are. Resilience is an essential life skill which often has links to mental health.

As quoted by CIPD (2011), Windle (1999) defines resilience as ‘the successful adaptation to life tasks in the face of social disadvantage or highly adverse conditions’.

So how does resilience and a global pandemic translate into our everyday businesses and our ‘new normal’? We thought we would take a quick look at examples of resilient individuals, teams and businesses.

Resilient individuals

  • Focus their energy and effort on things they can control
  • Realise they can control their attitude towards the situation
  • View this time as a challenge to overcome and not a disaster
  • Learn from this situation and how they will approach their work and life differently afterwards
  • See this situation as temporary and something that we can get through, together.

If you have individuals who suffer from anxiety, you may want to consider using a Stress Risk Assessment as a useful tool to identify stress indicators for the employee and manager to open a dialogue. The charity Mind have also developed a “Wellness Action Plan” tool in conjunction with the CIPD. This can be used to help individuals identify their personal triggers for stress and /or anxiety and enable the employee and manager to develop a plan of support.

Depending on your business, some of your employees may be on furlough leave and so individuals remaining in your business are often working extremely hard during an  very stressful time. You may want to give consideration to adjusting workloads and deadlines?

Resilient teams

We always say that you know successful your team is not when things are going well, but when things are not going so well and we need to pull together. In times of adversity it is reported that people like to be in a routine and maintain normality, which is  much harder if your teams are working from home or strictly following government guidelines in terms of social distancing.

Adjust your day depending on the situation. Make sure you are checking in with your teams, whether that be a daily team video call or checking in while social distancing if you remain at work. See how people are in terms of their work but also create a supportive environment by encouraging discussions around mental health and signpost individuals if they need it. Although it might not be top of your priority list, it is good time to start thinking about Mental Health in the workplace and even introducing a wellbeing policy. Don’t underestimate the impact of mental health on the business.

Resilient businesses

Business leaders have likely already had to make difficult decisions and give consideration to placing employees on furlough leave. Time should also be given to how your business will adapt and bounce back. What plans do you need to be making now to protect the future of the business?

Further information

CIPD Developing Resilience tool: https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/developing-resilience_2011_tcm18-10576.pdf

For specific advice for your business, please get in touch with our HR consultants through this website or by calling 0333 222 0989.

Our partners Ashtons Legal are also on hand to assist you with all your legal needs.


How can we help you?

If you have an enquiry or you would like to find out more about our services, why not contact us?

Call Us On 0333 222 0989

Alternatively, make an enquiry or request a call back by filling out a form.