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Businesses across the globe are bracing themselves for a long road to recovery after the storm because of the outbreak settles down. The probability of a recession is more of a certainty now and the UN has estimated global economic losses could reach up to $2 trillion.
But when we look at last recession, some companies were better prepared than others: their revenues didn't fall as far and, as the recession ended, their path to recovery was much faster than their peers. These organizations were far more resilient to absorb the difficulties in the cyclical and structural shifts in supply and demand. Looking at what these organizations did differently and learning lessons from their experiences can help leaders prepare for the unexpected-whatever the source of turbulence.
People and the culture define any organization, and the resilience of any organization depends on the resilience of its leaders and employees on ground. It is this trait that provide the necessary ammunition in tackling the continually dynamic, fast-paced, stressful, competitive and relentless economic environment we find ourselves in.
Being resilient is about being tough in the sense of not giving up and being confident that you can prevail, even if the odds are heavily stacked against you.
Why Resilience is important?
Research and case studies from around the world show that Resilience is a major factor in most of the important outcomes for individuals and organisations:
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.
Resilient employees show better stress management, better attendance, are less likely to develop stress during uncertain times. They can take stress in their stride.
3. Positive Behavior
Resilient employees are more positive, respond positively to change and adversity.
4. More aspirational
Resilient employees are more ambitious and prepared to learn more to achieve their goals.
5. Change management
They depict a calmer and lower stress response to organisational change and are the change agents during transitionary times.
For these reasons being resilient for an individual or an organisation is immensely important, especially in times of great uncertainty and recession.
How to identify and build resilience in the workplace?
Resilience is one trait that's deep-rooted within one's behaviors or mindset. While some people show resilience in all walks of life, some exhibit it when faced with situations that demand resilience. One can identify the presence or extent of it isn't visible, unless measured through psychometric means. Assessments like EasyTest, Thinking Pattern Profile, and Sales Potential Assessmentshave long been used to measure resilience in entry level hires, mid to senior-level hires, and sales executives respectively.
Image Courtesy: HBR
The good part with resilience is that it is built by attitudes, behaviors and societal supports that can be adopted and developed by anyone. Since there are a concrete set of behaviors and skills associated with resilience, one can learn to be good at it. To develop resilience employees can look at incorporating few things in their lives including, taking care of their well-being, practising positive thinking, learning from mistakes, maintaining perspectives, developing strong relationships as pillars of support, and continuous learning and re-skilling themselves.
Things change, and carefully made plans may, occasionally, need to be amended or scrapped. But we have a choice in how we respond; we can react negatively, or we can choose to remain calm and logical to find a solution.
Similarly, organizations have to do their bit and invest in building more resilient teams and culture. Creating such a culture takes a long time and commitment, but with commitment, it can be done. Here are some tips to consider in building more resilient teams:
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-workinp and work-from-home policies.
It is, therefore, safe to conclude that a broad set of skills and behaviors that enable resilience in the workplace is a good return on investment. The road to recovery after the lock-downs is lifted is slow and tedious. The ability to build resilience is a skill that will serve employees well in an increasingly stressful workplace. And companies stand to benefit from a more resilient culture and workforce. Thus, building an organizational culture that encourages and supports resilience makes good business sense in both the mid and long term.