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Redefining Resilience in the Next Normal

Redefining Resilience in the Next Normal

COVID-19 has thrown a curveball into our lives, and upended business operations and everyday life. But when you’re faced with a curveball, you try to hit it as hard as you can. Many companies and individuals instantly adapted to the “new normal” which consisted of stay at home orders and Zoom meetings. Some of us were agile and able to overcome the hardships, while others struck out. But over a year has passed since the pandemic was declared, and it’s safe to say that we’ve grown accustomed to the strange reality of this new normal. Now, our focus is what life will look like post-COVID era: the “next normal.

We can all agree that thriving through the next normal requires us to be proactive. An emotionally resilient company with a mentally tough team is more equipped to weather through tumultuous times than an organization that doesn’t prioritize resilience. 

Redefining Resilience

Depending who you ask, “resilience” may be defined differently. Some experts define resilience as the ability to bounce back, while others believe resilience is the ability to preserve basic functionality in the face of adversity. It’s no surprise this term has many definitions — resilience is a dynamic concept with different meanings for numerous organizations, industries, individuals, and phases of life. Despite the different definitions of resilience, there seems to be an underlying concept: resilience is exhibiting adaptive positive functioning during and after times of upheaval. 

resilience is a dynamic concept with different meanings for numerous organizations, industries, individuals, and phases of life

Given that COVID-19 has exceedingly tested our emotional resiliency, we need to prepare ourselves for more curveballs in a post-viral era. But what does the future of resiliency look like? Read on as we redefine resilience as we reach the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel and enter the next normal. 

Leaders Will Juggle a Hybrid Model of Workforce

Hybrid Workforce

The demand for workplace flexibility has been on the rise even before the onset of COVID-19. In a 2019 survey of 1,202 full-time workers, more than half of on-site workers want to start working remotely in the next five years. Although the results of this survey did not predict the next two years of self-isolation and lockdowns forced upon us, it did foreshadow the favourability of remote working, which will still hold true after the pandemic subsides. For some individuals, the virus unveiled a more efficient way of working than in a traditional workplace environment. In the aftermath of the pandemic within many industries, executives expect their employees to work in a hybrid model of on-site and remote settings. 

 

Leaders must juggle with leading both employees who work in an office and others who work remotely. Developing resilience in the workplace is hard enough to achieve. Now, the hybrid model requires leaders to maintain equal engagement and effective communication across all employees. In our experience, it is critical to help leaders stay equally connected and productive with their remote team as with their on-site team so they feel valued and appreciated in their work role.

hybrid Workforce

Learning & Development Professionals are Cultivating Resilience

COVID-19 has globally forced us to keep up-to-date with new systems and processes, from learning how to navigate advanced technology, to using emotional intelligence to effectively lead. Going forward, companies must strengthen their learning and development programs and adjust management strategies to prepare for future demands and expanding economies. 

L&D professionals have globally helped pivot their company to manage through change, and their spotlight in the workplace will still shine post-pandemic

L&D professionals have globally helped pivot their company to manage through change, and their spotlight in the workplace will still shine post-pandemic. In order for a company to build the powerful skills needed post-COVID, L&D professionals will continue to have to prioritize three programs: upskilling and reskilling, leadership and management, and virtual onboarding to ensure they maintain a competitive culture. 

The rapid growth of industries and businesses in recent years have thrown people into leadership roles before they’re ready. In the next normal, growing demands and new positions will accelerate career tracks further, and only a resilient company can readily adapt and flourish through change. The secret to building well-rounded and effective leaders? Instilling emotional intelligence in your management and paying attention to employee experience.

Being Attentive to Employee Experience

Employee experience is a holistic term that describes an employee’s observations, sentiments, and interactions at work throughout their entire time at a company. We’ve all dealt with the trouble and anxiety from the global pandemic. For employees who’ve had to work during rocky times, their employee experience might have been compromised.  

96% of HR and hiring professionals reveal that employee experience is becoming more important, and rightfully so: employee experience impacts all facets of your organization from work culture to productivity. Not only does improving employee experience help attract and retain talented workers, but it also creates happy and engaged workers who are able to efficiently work and help deliver bottom line results. 

Being Attentive to Employee Experience

“Employee experience is about doing things with and for your employees, not to them.” Mark Levy, Former Head of Employee Experience at Airbnb and Allbirds. 

Continuing into the future, companies must build resilience in order to adapt to what matters to their employees. Improving employee experience may involve working on basic operations, such as simplifying administrative processes, but it may also involve fixing deep rooted cultural transformations, such as implementing effective management strategies. Specifically, organizations can integrate coaching skills in leadership to empower their teams and enhance their effectiveness and success. Not only does a coaching approach prevent a culture of dependency on leaders, but it upskills workers and pushes them out of their comfort zone. Employees will find proactive solutions on their own without being given the answer. By preparing your company to be resilient in whichever area your employees care about most, such as integrating coaching culture, you can swiftly take action and make meaningful progress on improving employee experience. 

The Time to Prepare for the Next Normal is Now

If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that we need to stay on our toes and be ready to respond to anything the world throws at us. How can companies prepare themselves for the next normal? To help answer this question, we’ve constructed a survival guide on How to Build a Resilient Team Post Pandemic, to ensure your company is ready to tackle the ensuing circumstances. 

Resilience looks different for each company and individual and may change over time in context with evolving systems and environments. For example, some leaders may excel at engaging their company during difficult conditions but are weak in leading under pressure. In order to develop the characteristics today to generate resilient patterns that will take you into the next normal, check out our workshop on Improving Emotional Resilience to learn how to lead under pressure, recover quickly from setbacks, and enhance your mental toughness and emotional grit.

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If you need help building a resilient future, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can. 

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How to Build a Resilient Team Post-Pandemic

How to Build a Resilient Team Post-Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified people’s level of stress and anxiety in many different ways. Some people are struggling with the worry surrounding the vaccine. Others are grappling with the feeling of loneliness. Many are languishing in the fear of the unknown of what the world is going to look like post-pandemic. 

Although COVID-19 will eventually be under control, the new normal is on its way with many new challenges that will be thrown at organizations. With hybrid work environments, new rules of engagement at work, and a competitive job market that will shrink the digital divide, leaders are feeling the pressure to start building a resilient team to survive in this new, daunting world of work.  Building resilience is a skill that can be taught, and it’s never too late to start.

How to Build a Resilient Team Post Pandemic

In times of extreme stress and uncertainty, the answer to help us adapt when faced with setbacks is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to use the information provided by emotions to act appropriately in the face of daily challenges. In short, it can help people think clearly and solve problems under pressure. 

Before jumping into the fear behind change, leaders need to take a moment to pause and ask their teams about their feelings and what is triggering those emotions. Once the emotion is named, organizations can make strategic and conscious choices on how to move forward into the new normal. 

Each individual stress capacity is going to be different, and it is important for leaders to acknowledge that everyone needs to be supported in a different way. Supporting a team with a variety of stress-coping best practices allows them to handle whatever life is throwing at them, whether that be in life or the office. There is not a one-size-fits-all model in becoming emotionally resilient and mentally tough, but when leaders genuinely care about their team and create a safe space where resilience can grow, organizations will become more agile and competitive.

Identify

This is the first step of building a resilient team. First, you must identify the triggers impacting your team’s emotional wellbeing and ability to tolerate stress and uncertainty. This can be done through stress resilience training with a team or individual meeting, where each member shares their triggers and their feelings towards stress and uncertainty. Leaders need to recognize that each team member will have different tolerance levels surrounding change; it is crucial that leaders emphasize that there is no average industry threshold of how much change an individual can handle. By acknowledging everyone’s differences, a step towards a supportive and transparent team culture is created. 

Discover

After you identify your triggers and feelings towards uncertainty, it’s time to create an action plan with your team. Discover some steps that will help mitigate your negative thought patterns and increase your optimism. The steps can be as simple as implementing a buddy system where each pair will share their thoughts with each other, individually recording their thoughts in a journal to express how they truly feel. Find a process that works the best with your team! 

Explore

After the action plan has been created, it’s time to put it to the test. Try executing the steps laid out in your plan, and be open to exploring new tools and habits that support effective stress management. For example, while one of your team members is really enjoying the buddy system method, another team member is not as open to voicing their emotions out loud. Find a balance – perhaps they prefer writing out their thoughts instead. Encourage your team to provide honest feedback about the action plan they created; after all, the plan is to help your team become more resilient. If the original plan is not working out, it’s time to change it up.

Develop

The last step of building a resilient team is to ensure your team members are taking care of themselves. As everyone has a different threshold for change, it’s crucial for your team members to recharge. Emphasize the importance of developing self-care routines and behaviours that will enhance your resiliency and mental toughness.  Taking care of their body, mind, emotions, and energy is critical to stay resistant to stress and hardships.

Why is enhancing your emotional resilience important? 

During change and uncertainty, emotional resilience is an organization’s ticket to survival. Chances are if a team is struggling to be resilient, so is the bottom-line. When the expectation of an organization is to take change head-on with a growth mindset, teams are able to adapt and “roll with the punches” of the new normal, which fosters a culture of innovation; people are willing to learn and grow with the organization as it changes. Emotional resilience builds people to bounce back from changes and surprises, overcome whatever life throws at them and conquer problems more easily than others. 

Do you have an emotionally resilient and mentally tough team? If not, how will that impact your organizational culture, competitive advantage, and bottom-line? 

The good news is resilience can be built with effort, patience, and practice. Resilient teams take challenges on and want to learn from their mistakes. When people see the good in every situation, and use positive thinking to get through crises, they see set-backs as short term.

Building emotional resilience will save teams as they navigate through the new waters of a post-pandemic life, so organization’s can grow with ease, confidence, and optimism. Organizations need to help their employees build this crucial skill to overcome the many challenges that will inevitably lie ahead.

Are you interested in learning more about the impact of an emotionally resilient team? Check out our workshop on Improving Emotional Resilience for tips on resilience training, to learn how to push through adversity, and work under pressure with your team in times of change.   

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