SPARK Resilience in the workplace: Effectiveness of a brief online resilience intervention during the COVID-19 lockdown
Science asserts that resilience at work can be developed, with evidence pinpointing to multiple resources that can be built through deliberate coaching, training and interventions. This paper presents a mixed-methods study exploring the effectiveness of group coaching using SPARK Resilience training, a model and a structured coaching protocol that have been administered in educational and workplace settings in face-to-face format and remotely. The study used a non-randomised controlled design with a pre-test and a post-test in a sample of French adults (N = 101 in the intervention group and N = 86 in the waitlist control group). The SPARK Resilience programme was administered online with 8 sessions spanning 4 weeks in April 2020, during the very early stage of the pandemic and lockdown in France. The results indicate beneficial effects of the intervention on meaning, resilience, positive affect, and perceived stress outcomes (d in the .40-.56 range), as well as weaker effects on negative affect (d = .35) and work engagement (d = .21). Moderator analyses suggest that the effects of the intervention on perceived stress and negative affect tended to be stronger for older adults. Participants reported high levels of satisfaction with the intervention and provided 151 responses to three open-ended questions that were coded using thematic analysis, revealing specific benefits of the intervention. The findings are interpreted within the pandemic context, showing the way resilience interventions can help people overcome unprecedented challenges.