Over 100 HR leaders in the UK* were asked how resilient they perceive they are are right now, and how they are building resilience in their organisation.
The survey highlighted (with no surprise) that the coronavirus pandemic has had an overall negative impact on the operations of the business they represent. 61% judged between ‘somewhat to very negative’, although just over 15% perceived a positive impact.
Understanding the specific challenges faced during this difficult time is important going forward. The top 2 challenges were: Employees who have been diagnosed with coronavirus (49%), followed by employee morale (48%). The impact of morale is no surprise - uncertainty and change in personal or work circumstances often leads to lower morale.
Interestingly, overall impact from the survey showed a marginal +2% increase in resilience. Faced with challenges or adversity we have the choice to try and overcome or give up - choosing to press on and see the possibilities develops our resilience. So, it would seem the pandemic impact has created the opportunity for organisations to increase their resilience.
Positively, organisations have plans to build resilience further with their employees, whether sparked by the pandemic or part of the overall ongoing plan. In fact, over 50% of organisations have plans in place to build resilience, which is an ability that can be learnt, developed and grown like any other skill.
We know that a resilient culture has a competitive advantage, especially in times of uncertainty. Equipping and enabling your people to thrive and perform in challenging environments is vital. Here are some key ways to build a resilient culture:
1. Develop and grow the skill of resilience in teams throughout the organisation.
2. Reduce the hierarchy within your culture.
3. Define work processes and employee expectations with clarity.
4. Have clarity on your mission and purpose.
5. Create a psychologically safe environment.
However, only 46% have a specific goal to increase resilience. If you don’t aim and plan for it, you will never achieve it. There are proven ways to measure the resilience of individual employees, and thereby the organisation. This can be achieved by various surveys to gain insight into how they perceive their resilience - I use the abbreviated version of the Nicholson McBride Resilience Questionnaire (NMRQ) in workshops I run. This is very simple 12 statement questionnaire that employees scale and rate accordingly, which then provides a score which is interpreted into a resilience factor.
Employee surveys rank top with 60% of companies measuring resilience this way. Other ways to measure resilience include one to one discussions with employees; leadership views on their teams; and overall business performance. We need to ensure that however we are understanding and measuring it, it provides us with robust objective insights on ways to increase resilience for the long term in a sustainable way.
The top 3 ways recognised to build resilience were:
1) Communicating a clear purpose (73%). This helps employees to assess the challenges they face within the framework of a broader perspective. Fully understanding the purpose of the company encourages employees to look for solutions when faced with difficulties. It is also important to regularly remind your employees of the purpose of the organisation, which is unlikely to have changed significantly (although the how and timing may have changed in the face of the new world).
2) Providing learning opportunities (63%). Learning new skills, gain new understandings causes us to adapt and to change mentally thereby helping us to be better equipped with significant unexpected change.
3) Leadership being open and transparent on the issues they are facing (55%). Since we know that open and transparent leadership creates an environment that team members feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other, thereby creating psychologically safety.
Interestingly, delivering specific training on resilience ranked 7th, with only 38% using this. We know that we can learn, develop and grow resilience as a skill, so a key way to ensure we are building resilience would be to introduce training on the skill itself.
Overall, it seems that resilience is high on the agenda of companies, with a real focus to increase, especially in these challenging times. If you develop personal resilience for each employee, then this will translate into an overall organisational resilient culture.
Julian Roberts Consulting offers 1 day online live workshops for employees on resilience, and we are also about to launch an online self-paced course on creating resilient teams, particularly aimed at managers/leaders.
We also offer one to one coaching, which is another powerful way to build resilience with employees.
*Source: Julian Roberts Consulting Ltd Resilience Survey, 102 HR leaders in the UK, June 2020
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