Resilience in the workplace is a leading issue for boards, CEOs, and the People and Culture leadership.
The workplace drivers for resilience are clear:
- People and teams in flow multiply productivity
- Mental skills – specifically situation agility – are essential
- Productivity requires emotional maturity and collaboration
- People need support in wellbeing and lifestyle disciplines
- Change and complexity require bounce and mental fitness
- Solving digital overload and distraction are essential
- Solutions for increasing anxiety and depression are urgent
- Mental health is a lead safety concern
With over 20 years’ experience, our team has delivered resilience training and solutions to businesses, government, schools, competitive sports and entrepreneurs.
Here are 30 ways we have identified to build workplace resilience:
1. Start with the CEO and board.
Resilience is a strategic issue for all workplaces. There are critical risks if your people’s resilience fails and significant advantages to all aspects of human productivity when resilience is secured. When the CEO and board support and lead the initiative, employees are more confident in the approach.
2. Define resilience clearly.
Resilience is a learned ability, through practical skills, that enables our capacity to bounce in adversity, grow our master skills, connect with others and find flow in work. Having a common definition of resilience enables individuals and teams to build insight and activate the right response when required.
3. Frame resilience in the positive.
With the right skills adversity and challenge become a force for engagement, collaboration, innovation and organisational strength. Resilience is more than just bouncing back from challenges – it is a web of competencies that enable us to lead a safe, well and effective life.
4. Use resilience as a framework.
Integrate, align and simplify your people initiatives including safety, mental health, well-being, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, leadership and high performing teams. Fragmented programmes can cause confusion and apathy when teams are already feeling the pressure. Using a common framework builds consistency and reliability.
5. Socialise the idea.
Involve your people in dialogue around the concept of resilience and the benefits.
6. Create enthusiasm for action.
Invite speakers and encourage people to share stories and favourite examples of resilience in action.
7. Offer all staff a Resilience Diagnostic.
A confidential, voluntary and secure assessment is essential. Ensure that each participant receives an actionable and educational report.
8. Examine the company aggregate report.
While protecting individuals, the data can be aggregated to show where your risks and strengths lie. This will guide your solution.
9. Engage the team in an effective debrief.
It is essential that each participant has the opportunity to understand what the report means and how they can use it as a platform to drive their resilience building plan.
10. Plan targeted workshops.
From your company report define the key points of focus and engage the right team to train and support your teams.
11. Make digital training and support available.
Workshops, videos, practice tips, self-assessments and a simple research resource can be on every device.
12. Encourage people to share with family.
Resilience is always closely intertwined with resilience at home. Let your people share resources with family.
13. Invite family to a workshop.
This can be a great way to build community and make a real contribution to the families that support your people.
14. Train leaders to support resilience.
Leaders must understand the concepts, learn to walk-the-talk in their own behaviours and explicitly coach for resilience.
15. Leaders must understand how resilience fails.
Be sure to train your leaders and managers to recognise the signs of resilience failure and make sure they understand the basics of attention disorders, autism, anxiety and depression.
16. Be sure your EAP is engaged.
Let your EAP provider know what you are doing and make sure your people know that support is available.
17. Don’t rely on a workshop to solve resilience.
Resilience can only grow when people are encouraged to practice the skills. Have regular training and learning labs.
18. Integrate resilience into team behaviours.
Expect team managers to understand how bounce, tactical calm, personal mastery, empathy, focus and flow support a team’s work.
19. Create and maintain rhythm.
People are not computers. We work best in short bursts of intense activity with brief effective breaks. Make sure the office supports regular breaks and disciplined bursts of activity.
20. Provide goal setting and tracking.
Modern apps and wearables allow people to set goals and track progress. This can be a powerful force for constructive change.
21. Remove junk food and sugar drinks.
Provide healthy options.
22. Organise fresh fruit bowls for each office.
Not expensive and powerfully symbolic.
23. Bring natural light into the office.
Natural light, plants, greenery and views lift productivity.
24. Encourage walk and talk meetings.
This supports rhythm, movement and and a deeper form of communication.
25. Send out weekly tips on practical actions.
Make the practice tips bright fun and visible in public places.
26. Encourage social activities around resilience.
Make it fun, social and sometimes competitive.
27. Campaign for resilience over at least three years.
Repetition and mastery matter.
28. Reward people and teams that achieve.
Look out for those who demonstrate success and celebrate their story.
29. Keep your leaders visible and active.
When your people see leaders paying attention to and working on their own practices you gain momentum.
30. Repeat the Diagnostic.
We recommend that the diagnostic can be done twice yearly. Learn what is working and keep improving your strategic resilience.