Consistent with other research findings, 3,33,34 psychological resilience has an independent, favorable association with all eight work outcomes in this study. Plus, uniformly across all outcomes, the favorable effect of resilience remained significant regardless of work environment scenarios.
As seen in Fig. Similar to findings documented elsewhere, 17,22,35 in this study difficult work environments were associated with higher stress, lower job satisfaction, burnout, stress-symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, and increased likelihood of depression. Further, difficult work environments were associated with increased reported absence, intent to quit, and lower productivity. These results show high demands had the most consistent, harmful effect on psychological and work outcomes, with low social support having the next more consistent, unfavorable effect.
Thus, the main questions addressed in this investigation have clear answers. First, resilience is an independent predictor of stress and work outcomes and this association persists while controlling for age, sex, and work setting. Second, stress and associated work outcomes are worsened in difficult work environments. As a rule, employees with higher resilience will feel and perform better, regardless of work environment.
And, employees in difficult work environments will, on average, feel and perform worse regardless of resilience. This is consistent with previous studies where certain combinations of work characteristics are more toxic to health than others, namely the combination of high demand with low influence and low social support—called high job strain.
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Relationships among work environment characteristics and resilience are complex, as indicated by the number and variety of significant interaction terms. All models except one had at least one significant interaction among work environment characteristics. Another signal of complexity is demonstrated by every model including at least one significant interaction term between resilience and one of the work environment characteristics, most often support and demands.
Interpretation of the observed relationships is made more challenging because the direction of interaction varied across work outcomes. For example, the interaction between social support and resilience was significant across most outcomes. In some instances—perceived stress, burnout, sleep problems, and job satisfaction—resilience and social support were synergistic.
In those cases, the positive, favorable impact of resilience was greater when social support was high than when social support was low. This implies that being surrounded by a supportive work community magnifies higher resilience.
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However, the reverse effect was noted for productivity and likelihood of depression. In those cases, resilience was most protective when a worker had an unsupportive environment. The combined effects of these interactions can perhaps be best understood by noting differences in slopes shown in Fig. As a simplified summary, high resilience had a relatively consistent protective effect against stress, job dissatisfaction, and depression, regardless of work environment.
While significant in either work environment, high resilience appeared to have a magnifying effect on burnout, sleep problems, and intent to quit in better work environments. In contrast, resilience appears to have a stronger protective effect on the two outcomes most directly related to work performance—absence and lost productivity—under the most difficult work conditions. This contradiction may suggest that in difficult job settings, resilient employees who have lower burnout and desire to quit overall experience a more dramatic increase in these feelings, but are able to maintain their effort and performance to accomplish the job.
Employees with low resilience continue to feel their already high levels of burnout and desire to quit while allowing their performance to suffer. Convenience samples from web panels, regardless of the reputation of the panel provider, often prompt questions about the quality of responses. This population reported levels of stress and work characteristics within a half a standard deviation of other studies, 38,39 however, it is possible that they had unique or uncommon work circumstances.
Other than being employed, job types were not identified. Thus, it is not possible to discern whether these findings are specific to certain types of jobs or work settings. Self-reported outcomes also warrant caution when generalizing findings to actual absenteeism, turnover, and productivity.
Evidence suggests that self-reported outcomes of this type are ordinally correct, meaning that the direction of effects is likely to be correct, but that the magnitude may not be. Higher levels of resilience were found to have beneficial effects on worker's perceptions of stress, psychological responses to stress, and job-related behaviors related to stress regardless of difficult environments.
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Work was funded by meQuilibrium Corporation. Dr Pearlman receives speaking fees for topics related to resilience. Dr Lynch often receives speaking fees for similar topics. Dr Smith has no conflicts of interest to disclose. Back to Top Article Outline. TABLE 1. TABLE 2. TABLE 3. Livingston S.. Employers turn to resilience-building programs to cut worker stress.
Accessed November 4, Cited Here Resilience in work and in life. Perspectives on Coping, Resilience. New Delhi: Authors Press Books; Effect of resilience on self-perceived stress and experiences on stress symptoms. A surveillance report. Univ J Public Health ; — Airman and family resilience: lessons from the scientific literature. Accessed September 26, Promoting Psychological Resilience in the U.
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Military; PubMed [database online]. The development of a three part model of psychological resilience. Stress Health ; — PubMed CrossRef.
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Who is responsibe for managing stress at work? Organisations or employees themselves?
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