How to Build and Maintain Workforce Resilience, According to Experts

May 16, 2022

By Caroline Forsey

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To understand the importance of resilience in the workplace, let’s start with an example.

Let’s say your company has just been acquired by a major corporation. This means your organization is about to undergo some major changes — including your workplace culture, leadership structure, and even your team’s goals and objectives.

When it comes time to deliver the message to your marketing team, however, you’re surprised by their reactions. While there is some trepidation, most of your employees are upbeat, positive, and excited about the new opportunities and challenges ahead of them.

Their reaction doesn’t mean they aren’t also hesitant, nervous, or unsure of the future. It simply means that your team feels secure, confident, and capable of taking on those new challenges, whatever they may be.

This is the power of workforce resiliency.

Here, we’ll dive into why workforce resiliency is one of the strongest predictors of long-term employee satisfaction and retention. Plus, how to build a more resilient workforce, according to leaders who’ve done it.

What is workforce resilience?

To understand workforce resiliency, we first need to define what resiliency is.

As Merriam-Webster defines it, resiliency is “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change”.

Essentially, a resilient person is someone who can adapt well to life’s unexpected challenges, stresses, and uncertainties.

Birdeye’s Head of People & Culture Camille Boothe told me, “When I think about resilience, certain thoughts come to mind — like adaptability, the ability to recover quickly, inner strength, and the ability to navigate challenges with a positive state of mind.”

So … what does resiliency matter for the workplace?

Workforce resiliency is, simply put, a group of employees who feel stable, secure, and capable of handling a workplace’s challenges, daily stresses, and organizational changes without losing engagement or motivation.

As Boothe puts it, “Why is resiliency important in the workplace? Because many employees cite workplace stress as the #1 stressor in their lives. That is why building a strong culture of resilience is essential for the success and well-being of employees.”

To put workforce resiliency into context, consider the past two years: Most businesses have made large-scale changes as a result of the pandemic.

Many companies shifted to an entirely remote lifestyle, and then shifted again towards hybrid or in-person once restrictions had been lifted.

Some leaders quit; while others made drastic changes to their strategies, goals, and future vision.

And yet … some businesses saw much higher turnover rates than others. Why is that?

Ultimately, the more resilient your workforce is, the more adept they are at handling business changes and industry shifts without feeling too much frustration, distrust, or uncertainty over how those changes will impact their livelihood.

Essentially, resiliency builds the opportunity for flexibility.

On the flip side, a non-resilient workforce is one that feels vulnerable, mistrustful of leadership, or tired and de-motivated. These are the workers who are most likely to quit, or who feel incapable of handling workplace …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog