Four ways to build a resilient team

Have you ever wondered why some people cope well with setbacks and challenges while others don’t? People that can keep their cool when faced with challenges have good resilience; the ability to bounce back quickly from problems and setbacks. We all handle life’s challenges differently, according to our own life experience, natural tendencies and levels of resilience. 

Having resilient employees in the workplace is pretty important. When faced with setbacks, resilient people will use their skills and strengths to cope and move on from challenges in a positive way. This does not mean that they experience less distress or anxiety than other people do. It means that they handle problems in ways that fosters strength and growth. In fact, resilient people use setbacks to learn and grow and become better than they were before.

Those who lack this resilience may instead become overwhelmed by such experiences. They may give up easily and become demotivated and negative when setbacks occur. Instead of focussing on how to overcome challenges and move forward, they instead dwell on the disappointment and failure and generally take much longer to recover from setbacks. These individuals don’t readily see challenges as opportunities for growth and need more guidance, encouragement and support to get over them and get back on track.

Fostering a workplace where employees feel supported

Let’s face it, the workplace can be one of the leading causes of stress in individuals. We all know too much stress is not good for anyone. But a little bit of stress is unavoidable at work. So, what can leaders do to help maintain a healthy level of resilience within their team? Actually, they can do a lot. Leaders can help by creating a work culture where employees feel valued and supported. Here’s four things you start doing today to maintain and build the overall resilience of your team;

  1. Give them a sense of purpose and belonging
    Leaders can help keep the motivation in their team high by providing ways to keep staff reminded of the bigger picture of what they are doing. Knowing that their jobs contribute to something bigger than them, is essential to giving people a sense of purpose and a strong belief in what they are doing. Employees who feel supported, valued and that they belong to a team are more likely to cope with and recover quickly from setbacks. Organise team building days, create a strong team culture and create plenty of opportunities for collaboration and team building.
  2. Be accountable for your own mistakes
    Leaders who are able to model positive resilience when faced with their own setbacks will set the scene for their employees and how they cope with their own setbacks. It’s good practice to let staff know when you stuff up; admit it, take accountability and then show them exactly how you are going to handle it. Communicate how are you going to move forward and learn from the experience and stay positive. When managers show resilient behaviour and thinking, they can inspire it in their team.
  3. Promote flexible work plans
    Having a flexible approach to work is a great way to promote resilience. Staff who anticipate setbacks rather than trying to avoid them (or worse, cover them up), are much more able to cope with them and move on quickly when they arise. Keep your team focussed on the end goal so you can readily change the ‘plan’ if things don’t work out as they are meant to. Ensure this flexible approach is engrained in the workplace and treat setbacks and challenges as opportunities for growth and learnings for next time rather than dwelling on the immediate negative outcome.
  4. Be an empathetic, supportive leader
    Empathetic leaders who understand and support the people in their teams have much more resilient and loyal team members. Having an open and welcoming communication process is important to ensure employees feel heard, understood and valued. Leaders also need to understand that the individuals in their team have lives outside of work. It’s stressful if you have to take a day off if your child is sick or you are sick if your manager is not empathetic to that. Likewise, leaders who helps alleviate the stress from an individual’s job when they have a period of major stress in their personal life goes a long way in making them feel valued and supported and better able to cope in their job.

Building resilient teams is essential for leaders today in an increasingly stressful world. Could you and your leadership team do with one of my tailored workshops? I’d love to share my experience and fool-proof leadership techniques with you. Don’t hesitate. Get in touch today.

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