Building Resilience in the Face of Change in the Workplace
Resiliency is an ambiguous term that’s used a lot these days, particularly around the themes of adversity and transition. What exactly is it and why should we care? How is resiliency good for us and how can it help our workplaces thrive?
To craft a resilient workplace, we need to start understanding resiliency and how cultivating it can send out waves of positivity. The American Psychological Association defines positivity as “ […] the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress […]”. When this definition is looked at through the lens of the workplace, we see how impactful it can be. Stress and negativity in the workplace can lead to missed deadlines, use of sick leave, and even worse, employees quitting. This creates a negative, self-feeding vacuum that affects morale and the company’s bottom line.
By examining workplace culture, we can start to pinpoint areas for improvement and make a plan for the future. Take a step back from the situation and look at the environment clearly. Is the workplace culture one where profit is put first, and work-life balance boundaries are eschewed? Or does the company encourage employees to set boundaries and cultivate a positive work environment? Talk to those in your workplace to get a better feel for their needs and wants, and let them know their contributions are valued and needed to create a culture of positivity.
It’s not enough to understand resiliency and look for ways to incorporate it into the workplace. We need to put action to our words and provide the guidance needed to propel resiliency forward. One way is by introducing a mindfulness practice so that we can be aware of how we’re feeling and center ourselves. Another way is to create an optional, weekly compassion meditation practice, such as Tonglen, that’s open for colleagues to attend, or by having a moment of appreciation at the beginning of staff meetings.
No matter how we decide to build resiliency in the workplace, it’s important to realize how crucial it is to the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit.