The impact of resilience on teams and business culture can be far reaching, and in this era of high uncertainty and rapid change there has never been a better time to bring some focus to how resilient we are in life, and in work.
So it’s worth starting by asking the question, in this context, what exactly is resilience?
A definition is always a great starting place, so let’s begin there. Resilience is the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt to change, and persevere in the face of adversity. What we’re becoming very present to is that in this fast-paced, ever-evolving business world, resilience is rapidly becoming a critical component for success. There are multiple studies that show how resilience positively impacts team performance, employee well-being, and overall business culture. In this article, we will explore the impact of resilience on teams and business culture and recommend strategies for employees and leaders to develop greater resilience.
What we see when we look at resilient teams, are high levels of adaptability, innovation, and collaboration. They are also better equipped to handle organisational change and support a positive work environment. A study by the British Psychological Society found that teams with high resilience are more likely to embrace challenges, identify creative solutions, and display a strong commitment to achieving team goals (BPS, 2018).
Resilient business cultures are characterised by open communication, trust, and continuous learning. There is a strong correlation between employee resilience and job satisfaction, engagement, and commitment (Robertson, Cooper, Sarkar, & Curran, 2015) and resilient organisations tend to have lower turnover rates, increased productivity, and enhanced employee well-being.
So the impact then, is happier people, greater performance, better results – 75% of project managers believed that resilience was critical to their success (APM, 2017) and organisations with resilient leaders were more likely to achieve their strategic objectives and maintain a competitive edge in the market (Deloitte, 2020).
If you’ve ever wondered why some people keep going, despite the environment and in the face of sometimes extreme adversity, then look no further. The ability to be resilient in any circumstance has a significant impact outside of the workplace too. Resilience training has been shown to reduce employee absenteeism by up to 45% and improve mental health by 33% (Robertson et al., 2015). So if you want to re-engage your people, training them to develop resilience is highly recommended.
Here are some strategies for developing resilience:
Implement resilience training programs that teach employees and leaders coping strategies, stress management, and problem-solving skills. A study by the University of Warwick found that resilience training improved employee well-being and job performance (Windle, 2011).
Supportive work environment
Encourage open communication, collaboration, and psychological safety. This allows employees to share ideas, express concerns, and feel supported in their professional development. This is often best achieved when it is role modelled by the senior leadership.
Encourage work-life balance
Offer flexible working arrangements and promote a healthy work-life balance to reduce stress and burnout. Establishing a good balance between the need for connection and sense of belonging (that comes with direct contact with others), and a sense of autonomy that recognises that people will thrive when they believe that they are recognised for their contribution but not micromanaged along the way, helps to motivate people to be more resilient during tougher times.
Recognise and reward resilience
Acknowledge employees’ and leaders’ efforts in overcoming challenges and provide incentives for displaying resilience. Often, and especially in the case of remote working, we forget to acknowledge the achievements of those around us. A healthy sense of significance will increase their ability to dig deep and overcome their personal limitations, which in turn promotes wellbeing and increases performance.
Develop a growth mindset
Encourage employees and leaders to view challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. This mindset fosters resilience and a positive attitude towards change. Again, this, when role modelled by the senior leadership, can be a powerful tool in rallying your people around you.
Resilience is an essential element for success in today’s dynamic business landscape. There is an abundance of research and statistical data demonstrating the positive impact of resilience on team performance, employee well-being, and overall business culture. By implementing strategies to develop resilience among employees and leaders, organisations can foster a more adaptive, innovative, and thriving work environment. This ultimately contributes to the long-term success and sustainability of businesses.
It’s worth noting that investing in resilience training really only makes a positive difference when the intention behind it is equally positive. If it is introduced to teams and leaders as a tick box exercise, you’re likely to end up with a super-charged resilient team that is determined to move on and you would risk losing your best people. Ensure that your motives for training resilience are aligned with your business values and you’ll get powerful results for your people and your business.
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APM (2017). Project management in an uncertain world. Retrieved from https://www.apm.org.uk/blog/project-management-in-an-uncertain-world/
BPS (2018). Developing resilience: An evidence-based guide for practitioners. https://www.bps.org.uk/developing-resilience
Deloitte (2020). The resilient leader: Building resilient organisations. https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/risk/articles/the-resilient-leader.html
Robertson, I. T., Cooper, C. L., Sarkar, M., & Curran, T. (2015). Resilience training in the workplace from 2003 to 2014: A systematic review. Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology, 88(3), 533-562.
Windle, G. (2011). What is resilience? A review and concept analysis. Reviews in Clinical Gerontology, 21(2), 152-169.
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