January 20, 2021

The unprecedented pandemic has severely disrupted the socio-economic activities worldwide, engendering brutal impact on economies and industries. The sudden catastrophic circumstances have disrupted the conventional functioning structures, compelling organizations to reflect on workplace resilience to ensure business continuity. 

Whether you are hit by a global pandemic or an economic downtrend, resilience is your organization’s ability to withstand a threat and emerge stronger than before. Resilience is more than just coping with situations and includes being flexible and exhibiting eagerness to learn from new experiences. Modern-day workforce constantly expresses interest to explore better and exciting opportunities and multiple domains during the duration of their working life. This fire in their belly constantly aspires them to enhance their resilience and manage stress effectively, nullifying its profuse detrimental nature. 

Attitude, behavior and social support are the key elements to build resilience, which can be acquired and fostered by anyone. However, developing resilience skills in the modern workplace doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Modern work culture is a direct reflection of the increasing complexity and demands faced by global businesses. It’s important for organizations to realize and superintend the overwhelming and stressful factors at work. The most prevalent issues that employees are dealing with in modern times are burnout, lack of clarity and emotional support. According to Gallup's recent report, Employee Burnout: Causes and Cures, 76% of employees experience burnout on the job at least sometimes, and 28% say they are burned out "very often" or "always" at work. Thus, in the face of such persistent negative stress and constantly increasing demands and complexity, there is a serious need to develop resilience and stay motivated.

Adopting practices and embracing experiences that succor to eradicate routine stress and push towards resilience is the need of the hour. To start with, fostering a learning culture can encourage workforce resilience at the organizational level. Imparting requisite training and learning to the employees can make them familiar with their duties and responsibilities. Surveys reveal that, 37% of the employees believe participating in regular and individualized training sessions ensures a knowledgeable and skillful workforce. Motivating employees to make them realize meaning in their work is of paramount interest. This has an immediate effect on improving their productivity and efficiency, helping organizations to elevate their reputation. Adequate problem-solving skills should also be ingrained within employees to tackle difficult situations. According to The Future of Jobs report, 36% of jobs across all industries are expected to require complex problem-solving as one of their core skills. Regular surveys should be conducted to gain a clear insight into employee happenings and work on improving workplace conditions to meet employee needs. Research by Salesforce shows that employees are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered, who feel their voice is heard as it ensures a safe and secure workplace. Socializing and communicating through social collaboration platforms helps to maintain a healthy mental state. Furthermore, social technologies can help companies to raise the productivity of employees by 20-25 percent. Emotional insight is another important aspect that creates awareness about the range of emotions that an individual experiences. Promoting a sense of control and confidence can motivate employees to take ownership and feel pride in their work. And finally, it is very important to maintain a healthy work-life balance, by committing adequate time to relax, unwind and recuperate. A recent study revealed, individuals who consistently feel connected, valued and empowered, were 77% highly resilient, nearly double the rate of others. 

To sum up, resilience is indispensable for businesses to maintain global competitiveness as it prepares them to bounce back from any organizational blow. Resilience is not about never failing; it’s about assessing failures and mitigating them for the business to thrive. Formulating a resilient workforce is difficult to achieve, but with proper planning and execution coupled with trust and robust communication, one can get over the line.

Soumyadeb Biswas is a Pre-Sales and Solution Consultant for HR transformation solution with the Platform Solutions unit at TCS. He holds a master’s degree in Human Resource Management from IIT, Kharagpur.

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