If you’re a leader, you’re going to need to build your employees’ resilience and innovative work behaviors. If you’re a strategist, you’re going to have to plan on the rapid, multifaceted change that causes pivots at an alarming rate. If you’re an individual contributor, it means that landing that next job, gig or contract could depend not only on your skillset or degree but also your ability to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing environment. What may surprise you is how much control you have over becoming that go-to person in many work environments. It’s a lot more about mindset and behaviors than finding the perfect job. Being resilient may be on the list of essential traits, and innovative work behaviors and engagement might factor into your interview questions. Resilient, innovative, engaged employees adapt to the organization’s needs while taking on new skills for themselves. Enhancing organizational resilience boosts an organization’s capacity to adapt to change.
Here are five ways to build resilience in your organization.
1. Focus on the positive
Researchers have found that it takes three positive experiences to balance out each negative experience. So seek out and emphasize the positive experiences you, your team and your organization have. Celebrations can be simple. Showcase the birth of a team member’s baby. Create a background screen of accomplishments. Send an organization-wide e-mail acknowledging the hard work of a team — even if the hard work means they have to find a different solution than the one they were pursuing.
2. Take one bite at a time
Handling multiple changes simultaneously can feel overwhelming, yet it seems necessary on a more and more frequent basis. Keep in mind, when NASA put a man on the moon, it took 10 years. They developed all sorts of technology, letting each team focus on their area of expertise. So, manage your change by addressing the long-term goal and the critical path one step at a time.
3. Create virtual time
If you’re anything like my team, coffee keeps you running from early in the morning to late in the afternoon as you move from meeting to meeting. Set limits on meeting length to allow for five minutes of uncommitted at the end of each hour. Then make sure meetings end promptly. Give people time to get up, move around and refill their mugs. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll buoy spirits with this simple time management trick.
4. Host a happy hour
Getting together with coworkers shouldn’t be left to chance. Everyone is too busy. Let your employees know that their membership in your team is essential. Make it virtual if you’re team isn’t all in the same office, and emcee a trivia game — you may learn that you have enough aspiring singers on your team to form a quartet.
5. Provide air support
Perhaps this one should have been first because it’s vital. If you’re asking your team to change, you have to demonstrate your support for those who rush forward on your behalf in a concrete manner. Remember that change is hard. Be vocal in your encouragement and appreciation of your change agents. Take the time to coach your team members who are asking questions to make sense of it all. Acknowledge the risk and challenge of tackling change head-on. Get excited about the attempts, not just the successes. Most importantly, get engaged when the team identifies a roadblock. Successful change leaders block and tackle the challenges for their teams more readily when they do it proactively — and it often only takes five minutes.