June 22, 2020

How to build a resilient organization

Crises, as we are seeing, happen more frequently than we can predict. Millennials, in approximately 30 years, have already lived through two: the one in 2008 and the current one. And that's just counting the ones that have affected us in our personal and academic life. Additionally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four Employees see their jobs as the main stressor in their lives. And since today's work cultures are very active and require us to be hyper-connected and up to date, it is very likely to fall into the burnout syndrome.

The key to not only surviving these crises or stressful environments, but to continue advancing in our development, lies in resilience. And what is resilience? It is the ability to overcome and move forward in difficult moments in life, to resist adversity and recover. It is built through attitudes, behaviors and social supports. In other words, you can learn to be resilient.

And just as people can learn to develop this capacity, organizations can also develop and promote a culture of resilience . How can we build a resilient organization?

  • Align organizational values. Values and commitment go hand in hand and, for this, we must first define them and make the whole team aware of them in order to adopt them. To achieve a resilient organization, we must know how to identify those values that are part of the company's pillars and that identify how it operates. They will serve as a point of support in moments of change. Many companies use their performance appraisal process as a vehicle to communicate their corporate values.
  • Recharge your energy with short breaks. We must pay attention to our productivity peaks and valleys. Power cycles typically between 90 and 120 minutes, so it's a good idea to unplug for a few minutes to restore that power.
    A research by Anders Ericsson found that balancing work activity with a brief time to rest and disconnect from those tasks can promote greater energy, creativity and focus, as well as increase our resilience throughout the workday.
  • Mental agility. We can learn to change our reaction to the stress that any situation can cause. This process in which we consciously train our mind to remove the focus from the feeling of stress, allows us to observe the experience from a more neutral point of view in order to solve the problem. This flexibility gives us the opportunity to reflect, change perspective and choose between different options. If you are new to this, take advantage of feedback conversations with your boss to share and learn from their experiences.
  • Compassion. Employees who experience understanding and empathy for the problems of others in their work environment see themselves, their colleagues and the organization in a more positive light. According to a Greater Good Science Center research, compassion increases these positive emotions, creates stronger working relationships, and encourages collaboration. Therefore, fostering environments open to the emotional component also reduces stress, improves cohesion between people and commitment to common challenges.
    According to Thomas Wright, a researcher at the University of Nevada, psychological well-being accounts from 10 to 25 percent of an employee's job performance and is predictive of positive employee evaluations up to five years in the future.
    Makes sense, since we are also humans at work, right?
  • Realistic perspective. Realistic goals help us move forward daily with achievable purposes. In the midst of a crisis, moreover, these small goals will help us stay busy and motivated. To do this, you just have to make sure that everyone knows them.
  • Feedback from collaborators. It is essential to monitor the Employee Experience, especially during periods of change like the ones we are currently experiencing. Studying the work climate we can measure the degree to which employees experience stress or dissatisfaction. This feedback helps us to identify and prevent problems or, at least, to solve them more quickly. It will also help us to know what we are doing well in order not to stop practicing it.

  • Work/Life balance. Having a good work-life balance helps us build our resilience at work because we are more aware that there is life beyond work. Playing sports, seeing our friends or dedicating time to our hobbies, helps eliminate the stress of the workday to return each day with renewed energy.

To be a resilient, stronger and more resistant organization, with the capacity to adapt, we must, as a team, be able to learn from the unexpected and from these crises that disrupt our organizational strategy.

As digital transformation continues to advance, the pace at which change occurs increases and we need greater agility to adapt with motivation. To do this, we must train ourselves in managing our emotions and arm ourselves with new strategies to be able to improve ourselves and learn in any new situation.

Do you know how athletes train to overcome extreme situations and continuously improve their performance? You can be inspired by by listening one of our podcasts and become a true Pro of self-improvement!