Resiliency, or the ability to quickly recover from difficulties, allows a person to “bounce back” from the inevitable curveballs thrown by everyday life and emerge stronger for having endured them. 2020 has been a true test of our resiliency and made us understand the importance of approaching a challenging, or even devastating, situation with a clear head so a resolution can be achieved. While some people are born resilient, it is a trait that can be learned and developed in those not so lucky.
Benefits of a Resilient Workforce
BetterUp, a San Francisco-based organizational development company, conducted a recent study on the effect of resiliency on the workforce. The results were interesting. Among them:
- Highly resilient managers’ direct reports experience 57% less burnout and are 78% less likely to leave the organization.
- 57% of those same workers report greater purpose in their work and more than double the levels of resilience compared to low-resilience leaders’ direct reports.
- Resilient employees score nearly 20% higher than their peers in cognitive flexibility and team creativity, earn more income, are more likely to be engaged in physical activity, get better sleep and report higher productivity.
Most employees go about their day-to-day lives dealing with everyday stressors satisfactorily. However, when that is not the case, employers should ensure employees are getting the help they need to support them through difficult times. Without adequate coping mechanisms, employees cannot effectively manage transitions, sudden changes and unexpected situations. Performance and even attendance can suffer.
Corporate leadership must first determine the resiliency of its workforce to identify gaps and areas in which improvement is needed through self-assessment and 360-degree feedback. Does the company provide the resources needed to create and foster an empathetic, healthy environment? Is management training offered to recognize employees suffering from mental health issues? Does the company value a good work/life balance and support employees in their endeavors to balance what is required of them at home and work? Is the company dedicated to building a culture of recognition and support? Through deep introspection and thoughtful feedback, a clearer picture begins to emerge of just how resilient a workforce is.
Attention and Awareness
Once corporate leadership understands the importance of a resilient workforce and has identified areas of improvement, the important work of training employees to be more resilient begins. As is the case with learning any new skill, continuous effort and practice is needed, and the training should be delivered in a format optimized for different learning styles. Many experts agree that resiliency training should focus on becoming more intentional and purposeful which decreases negative thoughts and draws one’s attention to that which is most meaningful and satisfying in life. This type of exercise can decrease stress and anxiety and improve one’s quality of life.
Other worthwhile areas on which to focus resilience training include developing:
- A good sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy.
- Emotion regulation and management.
- Hope and optimism by engaging in life experiences and not shying away from the challenges it brings.
- Appreciation and gratitude for what you have and practicing displaying both daily.
- Flexibility and reducing rigidity in thoughts and approaches to handling unplanned situations.
- A growth mindset with a continuous love of learning and new experiences.
- High trust in others leading to more open communication and high collaboration.
By focusing on any or all of these areas, your employees will gain a better sense of self-awareness and establish a solid foundation on which to build coping skills that will help them get through the current pandemic and future crises. In other words, your employees will become more resilient.
Call Smart HR
A Smart HR consultant can determine if you have a resilient workforce, and, if not, suggest simple resiliency exercises or training you can implement on your own to ensure you’ve fully equipped your employees to handle any challenge that comes their way. Call today.