15 June 2022

The 5 Pillars of Resilience

The 5 Pillars of Resilience is a robustly evidenced model for developing resilience in the workplace

Why is employee resilience important?

Employee burnout is on the rise and stress levels are increasing. Research by Deloitte suggests that 28% of employees have either left in 2021 or are planning to leave their jobs in 2022, with 61% citing poor mental health as the reason they are leaving.

At the same time as employees struggle, organisations face an increasingly complex and uncertain business landscape. Staff attraction and retention, employee burnout, staff absence, the demand for innovation and rapidly changing working practices are just some of the challenges organisations face as they seek to remain competitive.

Resilience is the capacity to steer through everyday adversities, stress and challenges. Resilience enables employees to bounce back from major setbacks, to overcome unpleasant experiences that could over-shadow the future, and to adopt a growth mindset to all circumstances.

The good news is that resilience is a learnable skill. Everyone can learn to become more resilient. Resilience training develops the essential habits and thinking styles that enable employees to take proactive control of their wellbeing, and maintain optimum performance.

To support organisations and working people to understand resilience, The Wellbeing Project has developed a robust model that zeroes in on the everyday habits of resilience that actually make a difference. This model is The 5 Pillars of Resilience.

What are the 5 Pillars of Resilience?

The 5 Pillars of Resilience

The 5 Pillars of Resilience is a scientifically validated, evidence-based model for understanding resilience. It is a holistic framework that includes the physical, emotional, social and mental aspects of resilience.

The 5 Pillars of Resilience are:

  1. Energy
  2. Future Focus
  3. Inner Drive
  4. Flexible Thinking
  5. Strong Relationships

Pillar 1 – Energy

The Energy Pillar is about sustaining and renewing physical energy. Optimum energy levels are the foundation of physical and mental resilience. By prioritising self-care you are taking personal responsibility for your physical health and energy so you are ready to tackle whatever comes your way.

Pillar 2 – Future Focus

It is much easier to feel resilient when you have a sense of purpose and direction; when you know where you want to go and have an idea of how you’re going to get there. If you are feeling stuck or have a problem and can’t see the way out, Future Focus can help you find new direction and take the first steps to better.

Pillar 3 – Inner Drive

Sometimes, even when we are clear about what we want, we might not believe we can get there. Inner Drive is about self-belief, confidence and motivation. It is much easier to persevere through challenging times when we are feeling confident in ourselves and our abilities.

Pillar 4 – Flexible Thinking

When we are in problem mode we tend to see things as very black and white. We can’t get a sense of what the options are, we can’t see the wood for the trees, so we’re stuck. Flexible Thinking helps us think outside the box and identify new ideas and possibilities.

Pillar 5 – Strong Relationships

A common misconception is that resilient people are fiercely independent. However, research suggest otherwise. Resilient people have great relationships, feel empathy towards others, and are not too proud to share their problems. They are seen as open, honest and trustworthy and they have great support networks both at home and at work.

How do the 5 Pillars of Resilience link together?

Energy is the foundation stone for resilience. Future Focus is about ensuring that you are not mired in the problems of the present and that you are looking forward with realistic optimism. Inner Drive is about motivation, confidence and self-belief. Flexible Thinking enables you to have lots of different options and routes to get you there, and Strong Relationships ensure you have the support you need along the way.

How do you measure The 5 Pillars of Resilience?

We all have our own resilience strengths, and we all have areas of resilience we can develop further. To give employees insight into their own resilience profile, we developed the Wraw psychometric tool. Wraw measures resilience across The 5 Pillars of Resilience, and produces a range of reports for individual employees, teams and leaders. This insight is the foundation for effective planning so that employees can capitalise on their resilience strengths, and take targeted action to develop additional skills.

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