The amount of change we have all experienced over the past five years is pretty significant, and change can impact our resilience. As the saying goes, we can’t pour from an empty cup.
Now more than ever, resilience is a required skill to help employees succeed and grow with the organization, build respectful healthy relationships, and produce effectively in quickly changing or high demand workplaces. We live and work in a time where the pace is fast, information overload is prevalent, and people’s filters have changed.
What’s the solution?
One strategy is for organizations to implement resilience building skills training and recruit and hire with resilience in mind.
When hiring new employees, ask behavioural description questions that lead to understanding how the individual has dealt with competing priorities, projects that went sideways, relationships that became strained, and conflict or sensitive communication. Asking the individual to describe how they handled it, what the impact was, and what they might do differently now will give you great insight about this applicant’s mindset and resilience potential.
Evaluating resilience in potential hires and current employees is becoming increasingly important. However, it is a challenge to adequately evaluate. We recommend trying behavioural descriptive questions such as these:
- Tell me about a time when your resilience was tested. What was the situation? What did you do? How did you continue to nurture your resilience after the situation was done?
- Tell me about a time when resilience was low at work. What did you noticed? How did you address it? What were the results?
Modified versions of these questions are great to ask on reference checks as well.
It is difficult to assess a person’s attitude, values, approach to work and get a clear sense of how this individual will react under pressure or when facing challenges. These traits are foundational in building safe, healthy and respectful workplaces, as well as fostering employee performance.
Simply put, resilience is the ability to cope with and bounce forward after change, challenge, crisis and adversity. Resilience relies on a set of essential skills that include problem solving strategies, strong emotional health and self-awareness, the ability to ask for help, and healthy relationships and appropriate boundaries. Resilient employees build resilient workplaces.
Some strategies to build personal resilience include the following:
- Plan for and schedule some unplugged down time for you to recharge. Step away from phone calls, texting and social media.
- Avoid checking email before bed. Getting good sleep is key to resilience.
- Create transitions between home and work. This may be a daily routine or activity that separates home from work.
- Resolve issues early on. They do not improve with time and age.
- Become skilled at setting limits, which sometimes means you have to say “no.”
Resilience isn’t a destination; it’s an ongoing process of filling your resilience account. Like bank accounts, if you don’t keep adding to them, they get emptied. Our resilience can be like that, too!
Just as individuals need to improve their resilience, so do teams and organizations. Team building processes, training, and healthy communication go a long way in building a strong foundation for resilience. When the going gets tough, you do not want your skilled employees to get going. Building resilience encourages your employees to grow with you.