Resilience was an important trait in the context of work, but in these uncertain times it is more relevant than ever. When we look at first waves of the pandemic, some companies were better prepared than others: their revenues didn't fall as far and, as the pandemic subsided, their path to recovery was much faster than their peers. These organizations were far more resilient to absorb the shifts in supply and demand. Looking at what these organizations did differently and learning lessons from their experiences can help leaders prepare their organizations and people for the unexpected-whatever the source of turbulence.
The exciting thing about resilience is that it is a skill and like any skill, with practice, resilience can be learned. From an organization's perspective here are our 5 reasons why resilience at work matters and why the organizations should introduce programs to build resilience in their workforce.
1. Employee Performance
- Resilient employees deliver more, work more purposefully, show greater commitment to purpose and are more competitive. This translates into better output and delivery on time. Research has shown up to 25% of the variation in performance in individuals. Moreover, resilience has been found to decrease the negative impact of perceived job insecurity on organizational commitment and job satisfaction, which are associated with job performance.
Achieving high levels of performance means being curious and open minded to the possibilities that exist no matter how challenging a situation can become. Resilience then is a way of responding to challenges that is outcome driven, that sees challenges as opportunities to refine and develop solutions and capabilities that enable ever higher levels of performance to be achieved.
2. Employee Well-being
- "Stress" has been dubbed the "Health Epidemic of the 21st Century" by the World Health Organization. The effect of stress on our emotional and physical health can be devastating. In a recent USA study, over 50% of individuals felt that stress negatively impacted work productivity.
Resilient employees show better stress management, better attendance, are less likely to develop stress during uncertain times. They can take stress in their stride. Healthy and happy employees are highly engaged and drive quality, retention, customer satisfaction, and profitability.
3. Learning and Innovation
- New technologies, demographic shifts and the impact of Covid-19 on the labour market have been radically transforming the way that organizations conduct business and the type of skills their talent needs to help them thrive in this new age of work.
Most organizations need to upskill and reskill their workforce on an ongoing basis to survive in this changing business climate. Resilient employees have a higher learning agility and are open to learn new ideas and be a change agent. They are often part of new innovations as they are more confident about themselves and don't carry a fear of failure.
4. Change management
- Building resilience in leaders, managers, and even front-line employees is important for traversing through a myriad of change. The last two years have turned our world up-side down and change is the new constant. Organizations need people that can change as per the changing situations and adapt for the same. Resilient employees depict a calmer and lower stress response to organisational change and are the change agents during transitionary times.
5. Career Development
- Building resilience as a skill is important for employees who seek to learn to cope with adverse and complex work situations, such as negative feedback or conflict resolution as part of their own growth and development. Understanding this can help people managers and organizations to coach their people more effectively and help them develop.
How to build a resilient workforce?
- 1. Assess your employees through psychometric assessments, the presence and level of resilience and their ability to handle stressful situations or consider asking employees to complete anonymous work satisfaction surveys related to workplace stress. Analyze the individual results and survey data to develop plans for building resilience and a healthy work culture.
- 2. Get Leadership buy-in is the fundamental step that lots of organizations miss. Building resilience is a mid-to-long-term commitment and without leadership buy-in its difficult to secure employee and HR commitment towards building resilience.
- 3. Invest in interventions and coaching both at the individual and group levels for best results. Invest in improving factors that have a direct impact on building resilience, including managing emotions, coping with stress, work-life balance, taking new challenges, and improving well-being.
- 4. People represent the culture and culture defines any organization. Organizations characterized by a culture of empowerment, accountability, trust, enablement, and open communication show support for promoting resilience amongst employees.
- 5. Build a work-culture with employee well-being and engagement at the core of it including Flexi-working and work-from-home policies.
These are just a few of the reasons why we must pay attention to creating a culture of resilience in the workforce and make it part of the organization culture.