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Building a more resilient workforce

1/11/2022

A stressed employee looks overwhelmed at her desk

The corporate world is constantly changing, and it's vital that organizations build a resilient and agile workforce to keep pace with these swift transitions. Fostering a workforce that is able to navigate crises and adapt quickly is a key factor in organizational success.

Not only is resilience a pillar of productivity and growth, but it's also an essential element to employee well-being. Focusing on building resilience trains workers to "bounce back" quickly from major challenges in the workplace while learning how to handle stress in a healthier manner. This often involves implementing improved health and well-being initiatives, as a resilient mindset and a healthy mindset are not mutually exclusive.

The benefits of an agile and resilient workforce

Employers and managers who focus on implementing strength and adaptability throughout their organization can expect to see benefits including:

1. Greater job satisfaction, organizational commitment and employee engagement
2. Improved self-esteem, sense of control and sense of purpose in employees
3. Increased productivity and operational efficiency
4. Improved ability of employees to handle stress and adapt to changes

A report from The American Institute of Stress found that 80% of workers feel stress on the job and nearly half of respondents claimed they need help in terms of resilience and agility to better manage this stress. While these staggering numbers demonstrate a clear need for pliancy and emotional toughness in the workforce, Aon's The Resiliency Report states that just 30% of employees are resilient.

Ways to build resilience in your organization

Establishing a team of greater resilience and agility can involve a variety of tactics, but some of the ways managers and business leaders can foster this strength and adaptability include:

1. Providing adequate training and learning
Resilient businesses utilize tools, resources and training to support and guide their workforce in difficult and challenging circumstances. Adequate learning and development opportunities are a linchpin in filling skill gaps as organizations change while helping workers fulfill their duties efficiently and mitigate feelings of stress.

2. Implementing employee wellness programs
This is a fundamental element in fostering a resilient workplace, as workers need the ability to appropriately handle stress in order to be satisfied, engaged and motivated. A report from Workplace Insight highlights that employers who offer broad health and well-being programs found 45% of their employees to be resilient, compared to 15% of resilient employees who don't have access to these programs.

3. Foster a sense of community in the workplace
Team and community building is also an effective way to build a resilient workforce. The benefits of workplace support and camaraderie shouldn't be underestimated, as strong teams are better able to handle challenges and swift changes by working together.

4. Offer meaningful work
One way to improve employee engagement, morale and motivation is to ensure workers feel like their work is meaningful. Realistic expectations, encouragement and frequent recognition are significant in improving job satisfaction and – as a result – resilience.

The benefits of a resilient and agile workforce go hand-in-hand and inevitably drive the operational efficiency of a business. With constant changes surrounding the work sphere, implementing practices to build durability, flexibility and swiftness in workers is essential for employee well-being and organizational growth and success.

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