The Importance of Resilience, Agility & Empowerment in the Workplace

August 15, 2019

The wellbeing of an organization—its trajectory, profitability and reputation—is most often a direct reflection of the wellbeing of its people. Employees who maintain greater wellbeing at work stay engaged, which creates an environment of productivity and positivity that puts organizations on the path to success through improved performance, better sales and service and faster growth.

By cultivating a sense of greater wellbeing at the individual level, companies can power smoother short- and long-term organizational growth. This looks like team members consistently building resilience, increasing agility and staying empowered, which can be achieved by encouraging employees to strive toward professional goals, manage healthy and productive workloads, improve coworker relationships and bring a more positive outlook to the office each day.

Although it comes down to each individual to create a healthy professional life, it’s also important for human resources leaders to meet employees halfway. This means businesses must make an effort to provide teams greater opportunities to improve, such as implementing quarterly chats with managers, making adjustments to meeting styles, asking team members if their needs are being met, helping employees establish and achieve goals or introducing any number of other programs to fuel enterprise-wide productivity and success.

A happy and hardworking team is only possible with the support of smart leaders who recognize the collective value of resilience, agility and empowerment and offer the touchpoints to address the growth goals and needs of individuals.

How to Build Team Resilience & Agility

When a team is resilient, it is made up of members who are able to return to a state of normalcy after experiencing challenging situations. It looks like bouncing back with agility after undergoing stressful events, learning from and moving on from past mistakes, and acting with optimism and determination when confronted with new difficulties. It’s crucial that your team possesses resilience, agility and the ability to manage the emotional weight of the everyday, frequent and unique challenges of a job.

HR professionals and business owners can help employees build these muscles by first establishing trust and then communicating the importance of perspective and the difference between pressure and stress. Resilience and leadership development researcher and thought leader Nick Petrie offers useful insights on putting these efforts into practice at the workplace. When something isn’t going well for an employee, encourage them to shift their focus on something that is. If they express anxious feelings about an upcoming difficulty, help them reframe that anxiety as excitement to overcome a challenge. If they make a mistake that they can’t move past, share with them how to learn from it and bring those lessons along into the next opportunity to increase their ability to succeed. Creating an authentic culture of positivity and realistic optimism will motivate everyone in the workplace, keep all individuals focused on their goals and achievements and help them find empathy from a supportive team.

Addressing Employee Empowerment in HR

People who have the power to make their own decisions tend to feel more comfortable sharing opinions, taking the lead on new initiatives and going the extra mile to make strides for their employer and team. All HR departments are tasked with ensuring employees have everything they need to be outstanding in their roles. This can mean providing them with training and physical resources to work well, but it can also mean giving them chances to improve their character, overcome new challenges, and grow with the help of an attentive leadership team. Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa, Professor of Practice at Columbia Business School and founder of the Institute for Personal Leadership, believes great leaders are those who work to empower themselves and their employees by cultivating an “inner core,” which can be built by:

  • Remaining authentic in all interactions with employees
  • Finding new ways to connect with individuals and teams
  • Showing empathy, care and understanding in tough situations
  • Providing guidance on professional development needs
  • Encouraging and listening to employee feedback
  • Celebrating and sharing achievements throughout the organization

As a human resources professional, you’re tasked with fostering a work environment that uplifts your people and allows them to function at their highest potential. This is a big responsibility, but it often becomes easier to do when you tap into the expertise and experiences of likeminded peers who can offer advice and much more. Participating in a peer community for high-performing HR professionals will help you refine your own employee empowerment strategy through meaningful connections and new insights. Want to learn more?

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