Employee resilience has been one of the buzz words in the HR world recently and it seems that the need to look at practices that build resilience in the workplace is only going to continue.
Resilience can be defined as the process of adapting well in difficult, pressured and/or stressful situation. It can be learned and developed in anyone and it manifests itself through thoughts and ultimately behaviours. In terms of organisational resilience according to CIPD, it is the ability of the business to ‘weather the storm’ and adapt to challenges it faces.
Why is Employee Resilience Important?
Ongoing changes or pressures in the workplace have become the norm in the recent decade and this creates new demands on the employees in terms of the skills/abilities that they need to bring to work. Being able to accept change and deal with change quickly or work effectively under pressure is not sufficient to ensure long term business engagement and success. Employees now need to build resilience which involves them going through change or a difficult period and then bouncing back to continue to succeed. It’s this ‘bouncing back’ ability that is the resilience that employees need to develop and that businesses are in need of to ensure a sustainable future.
Another reason for the rise in the need for building employee resilience in the workplace is the rise of work related stress. Businesses have greater demands to remain competitive with constant innovations in technology and radically different business models. Employees therefore need to be able to adapt, change, potentially fail and re-bounce again in the workplace. Unfortunately, many organisations do not employ effective strategies to help employees manage difficult schedules or deal with information flows in the hyperconnected and responsive work environment.
What Contributes to Lack of Employee Resilience?
Working Practices and Culture
Working practices and the corporate culture are at the core of building resilience. Starting from introducing sustainable working practices where employees feel supported and able to perform to the best of their abilities. Long working hours, lack of any breaks in the day, never ending stretching targets and the need for ongoing improvements only lead to burn out and eventual deterioration in performance. Employees can achieve business targets in such a working culture but there is an end date to the level of performance which for some is sooner rather than later. Losing your top performers, seeing your new hires move on and having an ongoing turnover of employees should be drawing your attention to the fact that perhaps the working practices do not allow for sustained performance.
Lack of Investment in Development
The demands for employees to adapt to new technologies, systems, innovative ways of working are there and only increasing but more often than not, employees are left on their own when it comes to upskilling themselves. Businesses are not responding to the skills gaps and development needs of their workforce quickly and effectively enough to eliminate stresses or prevent employees from turning to long hours and overloaded workdays to manage their work. The focus on achievement of targets overshadows the need to retain your people – your performers. It’s the short term thinking that leads to the constant thinking about short term gains and not planning for the future with the workforce in mind.
Do You Have a Resilient Workforce?
We know that this is a challenge and one that often businesses do not try to address until they are left without other options because their performers are no longer with them to meet the short-term targets. At Lighter HR Solutions, we would love to help you ensure that you are building resilience in your workforce through your practices, corporate culture and development interventions. Why not give us a call on 0203 319 1649 and chat to one of our consultants to see how we could help you build your sustainable future.