Enterprise resilience is a hot-button topic in a time of economic stress and ongoing pandemic. Organisations need to able to bounce back quickly from setbacks and maintain operations in the face of disruption and uncertainty. The foundation of a resilient business is a resilient workforce, comprised of people who show grit and adaptability.
Resilience isn’t necessarily an inherent personal character trait—it is also a skill that people can learn and develop. It is also an attribute that companies can nurture by providing the right sort of work environment, along with tools employees can use to manage stress. Let’s take a look at some expert tips about how companies can foster resilience in their workplace:
1. Invest in resilience training
To the earlier point that resilience can be learned, companies are spoilt for choice when it comes to resilience training. South African organisations such as The Resilience Institute and Henley Business School offer workshops, webinars and courses. There are also many short courses to pick and choose from on platforms such as Udemy and Coursera.
2. Socialise techniques such as Rain into your business
A blog post from health company Whil recommends training employees in techniques such as Rain. The acronym means recognising your strong emotions; acknowledging how they could influence outcomes; investigating why you feel that why and what you can do to change it; and not tying your identity to an emotion you feel in a moment.
3. Encourage connection
SHRM writer Kathleen Doheny stresses the importance of encouraging connection in the workplace. Managers can foster connection by regularly celebrating small victories with their teams and checking that people are ok on a personal and professional level. It’s important to create forums where people can seek help and speak their minds—especially in these times of hybrid and remote work.
4. Give people agency
People who feel empowered in their jobs and who feel they have some agency will be more resilient than those who feel helpless. A blog post from wellness and incentives company, Bravo, notes that providing people with healthy challenges that enable them to grow—even when there are setbacks or failures—can help develop workforce resilience. In addition, giving people clear goals that are both ambitious and realistic can boost their confidence.
5. Think about the environment
An article from HRZone outlines the importance of the work environment. There should be comfortable places to meet. “Give employees permission to take a break from their desk and ask each other ‘how are you doing?’ There’s huge potential value in employees having time to share their experience and insights,” says HRZone.
6. Share stories
A final tip from HRZone is to encourage senior executives to publicly share their personal experience of how they have developed their resilience. This could help employees know that they can be honest about how they feel without being penalised.
Resilience is a business asset
Adversity is a fact of life, especially during these uncertain times. Equipping employees with tools, skills and a work environment that develops resilience can be a major competitive advantage. A resilient business starts with a resilient team that is ready to navigate the complexity, ambiguity and stress of today’s challenging landscape.