Workplace Resilience: Where Do We Start?

Through years of working with and for various organizations and industries, I have yet to meet one person who said they did not care if their people or teams struggled with resilience, had low morale, suffered from burnout, or experienced low productivity. Of course, every leader wants successful, happy, content, engaged, and resilient people. Right?

Truth be told…many leaders and managers would be satisfied to stop right after “successful.” This is not because they are heartless, low EQ people. Some might be, but that is an entirely different problem to address. No, it is most often because of a fundamental belief that success is the key ingredient to happy, content, engaged and resilient employees. How many times have we heard a manager say “We just need a win to turn this morale around!” Yes, winning feels good (however your company or organization defines “winning.”) Starting with success, however, is putting the cart before the horse. Success is the result of resilient people and teams. When we start with humanizing our workplaces, the rest more easily falls in line.

Recently, an article published on the HR C-Suite website focused on resilience and mentioned the following three keys takeaways for building resilient teams:

  1. Use management systems to prevent and reduce stress

  2. Use learning and development to help employees and managers develop resilient behaviors

  3. Build positive workplace cultures to foster resilience

If you are like many organizational leaders, knowing exactly how to enact these three key principles can be a challenge. Here are some questions to ask as you begin cultivating resilience in your workplace.

Management Systems

  • Does your organization include policies that address healthy workplace boundaries?
  • Are there procedures related to transparent communication?
  • Is employee self-care and wellbeing included in policy and procedures?
  • Does the management system include plans for addressing crisis (both internal and external crisis) that may impact employee health and productivity?

Professional Development

  • How resilient are your employees? How do you know?
  • Does the organization leadership see resilience training in employees as a priority and responsibility? How is that being implemented?
  • Are leaders being trained with resilience and growth as a key management style?

Positive Workplace Culture

  • How does your organization define “positive workplace culture?”
  • Beyond an annual staff retreat, picnic or team building day, how does positive culture building show up day-to-day?
  • Are your teams collaborative and diverse?
  • Do your organization’s stated values match its behaviors? Does it act with integrity?

Creating a culture of resilience happens at every level of the organization from building personal resilience in employees to creating a framework of policies that support and embrace resilience. It is a daily practice that, when implemented, can be measured in employee satisfaction and well-being, as well as performance improvement and achievement.

Interested in cultivating a culture of resilience in your organization? Let’s start here!




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