After the stressors of the global pandemic, resilience is a hot topic. But as someone who is empowering people as members of high performing teams, do you know how to both measure and increase resilience?
Learning this can be one of your most effective strategies to empower people.
How to See Resilience in Action
Let’s start with some high-level definitions.
- Employees who lack resilience: They block or limit the progress of goals. They panic and do not like change. They cannot accept difficulties. They are pessimistic.
- Employees who are resilient: They have the toughness, grit and tenacity to get through difficult times. They extract order out of chaos. They have self-awareness of emotions.
These descriptions are based on research, referenced below.
From the research, we’ve identified five actionable behaviors that you can measure and practice in order to help people boost resilience. Resilient people:
- Are able to quickly and confidently filter out unnecessary emotional signals and information.
- Focus on positive adaptation and learning when faced with adversity.
- Take intelligent risks and know there is time to stop, assess and plan.
- Have greater connection with the purpose in life, self-awareness, relationships and positive beliefs.
- React calmly in hard situations and have a good balance of positive and negative emotions.
If you’re trying to assess employee resilience, team resilience or your own resilience, here are some questions you can use.
When something negative happens, do you dwell on it? This can be a sign that your attention is easily hijacked or that you don’t quickly bounce back to “normal” functioning after a negative experience.
When under stress, do you turn to a person or group for connection and support? Or do you keep to yourself and work out the problem alone? Greater connections will increase resilience.
When faced with adversity, do you have an immediate reaction (either good or bad)? If so, that can be a sign that you don’t take the time to think clearly or to stop and assess the situation before reacting. Reacting calmly and clearly will increase resilience.
When you experience negative emotions, do you immediately try to get rid of them or distract yourself with something positive? This can be a sign that you are not comfortable holding negative emotions and positive emotions in balance. Negative emotions are part of life, and learning how to manage them will increase resilience.
Resilience is a critical factor in the success of any team. But it’s rarely broken down into specific behaviors you can measure and practice.
By measuring and increasing resilience, you can ensure that your team is better equipped to handle challenges and setbacks. If you’re looking for help in building a more resilient team, be sure to contact us. Our corporate speakers are experts in helping organizations improve employee resilience and build a stronger team culture.
The definition and behaviors of resilience came from these references:
Baker, F. R., Baker, K. L., & Burrell, J. (2021). Introducing the skills‐based model of personal resilience: Drawing on content and process factors to build resilience in the workplace. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 94(2), 458-481.
Mallak, L. A., & Yildiz, M. (2016). Developing a workplace resilience instrument. Work, 54(2), 241–253.
Mauseth, K., McGuire, T., Brickell, M. (2019). COVID-19 Guidance for building resilience in the workplace. Washington State Department of Health.
Näswall, K., Malinen, S., Kuntz, J., & Hodliffe, M. (2019). Employee resilience: development and validation of a measure. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 34(5), 353–367.
Malik, P., & Garg, P. (2018). Psychometric testing of the resilience at work scale using Indian sample. Vikalpa: The Journal for Decision Makers, 43(2), 77–91.