How to: Guide to Building Employee Resilience 

9 April 2024

Building resilience in employees is key to maintaining a healthy, productive work environment. Here’s some suggestions to help employers foster resilience: 

1. Provide Self-Directed Resources 

Mindfulness Apps: Offer apps or programs for mindfulness that employees can use at their own pace. 


  • Headspace and Buddhify apps, specializing in guided meditation sessions to reduce workplace stress and increase well-being,
  • SomaShare app, specializing in somatic movements that can be done in a few minutes and adapted to working from home or sitting on a chair, to help regulate the nervous system.

Physical Spaces for Disconnecting: Create areas within the workplace where employees can take a break and relax. 


  • CSI Spadina (where TWIG is located) installed Inbox Booths, soundproof, modular private meeting spaces where you can take private meetings, calls, or simply decompress in a quiet pod during the workday,
  • EventMobi’s open concept waterfront office has private nap rooms for when employees are sluggish or tired or simply need alone time in the dark to regulate themselves.

Health Classes and Activity Programs: Introduce programs focused on physical health and stress management. 


  • Google Canada Toronto office has an indoor gym along with immersive space series featuring single occupant use rooms with light and sound sequences for meditation.

2. Enable Self-Management of Stress 

Empower Employees: Invest in structures and tools that help employees manage their stress independently. 

Medical and psychological professionals recommend a minimum mental health benefit of $3K to cover counselling and therapy services.


  • Deloitte Canada offers mental health coverage of $4K/year applicable to all people, partners, and eligible dependents,
  • Loblaws Companies provides mental health education & awareness programs, employee assistance program and access to online resources and tools for stress management.

3. Offer On-Premises Resources 

Dedicated Relaxation Areas: Ensure there are spaces in the office where employees can unwind and disconnect from work pressures. 


  • Google Canada Toronto office offers lounges, game rooms, areas for rest, sleep and meditation, gym, outdoor theatre, outdoor patio, arcade game studio, seated area to relax, nap pod and immersive space series with single occupant use rooms with light/sound sequences for meditation.

4. Encourage Volunteering and Physical Activities 

Volunteer Days: Implement company-sponsored volunteer days for a change of pace and perspective. 


  • Deloitte has “Impact Day,” a worldwide initiative where employees devote one day to volunteering for a cause they care about,
  • KPMG Canada offers financial support for volunteering, donating to community organizations of employee choice and KPMG social impact awards recognizing employee exemplary positive social impact.

Activity-Based Programs: Promote physical activities and exercise programs to reduce stress. 


  • Telus Canada offers discounts on gym memberships and fitness classes,
  • Google Canada offices provide on-site fitness centres and wellness programs, organizes sport leagues & group fitness classes for employees.

5. Utilize Storytelling for Mental Fitness 

Share Personal Stories: Encourage managers to share their experiences with challenges and how they overcame them, normalizing workplace struggles. 


  • Shopify uses conversations and storytelling to foster a culture of belonging and as part of their diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, also holds the “lived experiences series,” where guest speakers from diverse backgrounds share personal stories to challenge biases, widen the understanding of experiences differing from our own and to support each other on the journey to allyship,
  • Barclays uses shared employee stories to strengthen its community and make employees feel they aren’t alone in their mental health struggles through “This is Me” campaign which encourages colleagues to tell their personal stories, changing perceptions of disability, mental health & neurodiversity in the workplace.

6. Provide Structural Support 

Centralized Resource Access: Create a centralized website or app where employees can easily find all available resources. 

Digital Accessibility: Ensure that resources are accessible digitally for convenience. 


  • TD Bank Group provides assistive technologies and accommodations for employees with disabilities, while TELUS Canada offers accessible digital platforms and workplace accommodations.

7. Offer Comprehensive Mental Health Resources 

Adequate Coverage: Align with guidelines like those of the Canadian Psychological Association, providing substantial coverage for mental health services. Medical and psychological professionals recommend a minimum mental health benefit of $3K to cover counselling and therapy services.

External Support: Include access to external career counselors and a network of medical services. 


  • KMPG offers comprehensive wellness & medical benefits, including unique Indigenous wellness benefit on top of traditional benefits, and wellbeing program covers annual health exams, life balance toolkit with 24/7 access to counsellors for employees and family members.

8. Foster Inter-Generational Integration 

Mentorship Programs: Pair new employees with more experienced ones to build meaningful workplace relationships. 


  • Desjardin, Young and Ernst and BMO Financial Group executives’ community brings together employees under 35 years old with managers from every line of business to offer networking and personal development activities,
  • Manulife & Deloitte Canada host workshops and events promoting inter-generational understanding and collaboration and implementing policies that support workers at different stages of their careers.

9. Train Managers in Mental Health Communication 

Manager Coaching: Provide training for managers on how to discuss mental health and monitor workplace mental health metrics. 


  • RBC Canada and Manulife provide training for managers on recognizing and addressing mental health issues, focusing on creating a supportive work environment for mental health,
  • KPMG includes mental health awareness and communication training in its leadership development programs.

10. Coach Employees on Managing Job Stress 

Stress Management Training: Offer programs to help employees handle job stress and prevent burnout. 

Robust Mental Health Benefits: Ensure a wide range of mental health resources and benefits are available. 


  • KPMG offers leaves of absences to manage personal matters, employee and family assistance programs, free virtual confidential well-being support line for employees and families where calls are directed to trained counsellors who can provide or connect caller to bilingual support,
  • Shopify Canada, all offices, have a ‘wellness week,’ where the entire company commits to unplugging for an entire week to collectively focus on health and wellness.

11. Addressing Accessibility and Quality Concerns 

Improve Resource Clarity: Address the lack of clarity and dissatisfaction with the quality of resources. 

Focus on Affordability and Time Efficiency: Make care affordable and time-efficient, considering workload as a stress factor. 


  • Shopify has a digital and physically accessible recruitment process, meeting strict building codes for accessibility and offices have been redesigned for the needs of the future of office work. There is also on-site gender-neutral bathrooms and mobility friendly floor plan,
  • L’Oréal Canada provides on-site daycare to working parents.

By implementing these steps, employers can significantly enhance the resilience of their employees, leading to a more adaptable and robust workforce. 


  • TWIG

    Toronto Workforce Innovation Group is a non-profit and independent research organization devoted to finding and promoting solutions to employment-related problems in the Toronto Region.

How to: Guide to Building Employee Resilience 
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