In this blog ‘Resilience and Wellbeing: Beyond Buzzwords’ rediscover the essence of resilience and wellbeing – our true superpowers for thriving, not just surviving.
Resilience. It’s become one of those familiar leadership, HR and development tunes we hear around us, in so many places. It has become synonymous with the ability to endure stress, adapt, rebound from crises, and swiftly forge ahead. Resilience now stands as a fundamental objective in our work lives, we are up to 7 C’s of resilience [developed by Kevin Ginsberg, MD]. Amidst the hype, we hear claims that it holds the golden key to both professional and personal joy. But have we truly grasped the essence of resilience, or has it been diluted? As global worker stress skyrockets to unprecedented levels, can leaders afford to overlook this vital concept?
Gallup’s 2023 survey sheds light on the current landscape. In 2022, employee engagement and job opportunities experienced a global surge, returning to pre-pandemic levels in sync with historical trends of economic development and growth. However, amidst this recovery, global worker stress persists at historic highs, even as other negative emotions tied to the COVID-19 pandemic wane. This persistent stress may be attributed to the challenges faced during the economic rebound, as many regions grapple with soaring inflation. As leaders navigate this uncertain economic outlook, the stress, resilience, and wellbeing of their employees significantly impact productivity and performance. It is imperative that we prioritise addressing these concerns and enhancing engagement.
Together, let us delve into the depths of resilience and wellbeing, unlocking their transformative power and ushering in a new era of thriving leadership.
Redefining Resilience: Thriving Beyond Survival
Resilience is undoubtedly a crucial skill, especially for leaders. When faced with change and tasked with guiding a team through a crisis, resilience becomes the beacon that guides us from turmoil to tranquillity, from chaos to stability.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), resilience encompasses both the process and outcome of successfully adapting to challenging life experiences. It entails possessing the mental, emotional, and behavioural flexibility to navigate internal and external demands. In many ways, resilience revolves around effectively coping with stress and adversity rather than solely thriving in their presence.
Survival forms the foundation of resilience, an aspect at which we, as a species, have demonstrated proficiency. Let us embark on a journey to redefine resilience, transcending the boundaries of mere survival and embracing the transformative potential of thriving amidst the unknown.
Wellbeing and Resilience: Taking Resilience Further
Resilience extends beyond the realms of struggle and sheer perseverance. It transcends the notion of “bouncing back” and carries with it the concept of “bouncing forwards” through adaptation. It requires the courage and determination to persist when faced with adversity—not out of obligation, but out of unwavering commitment.
As leaders, you can identify resilience within your team when individuals actively seek opportunities to transcend their usual routines and surpass expectations. Undoubtedly, it is a formidable challenge. Resilience does not come effortlessly; rather, it is a skill that demands deliberate cultivation.
But what is the link between resilience, wellbeing, and leadership effectiveness? Is resilience a natural outcome of cultivating wellbeing, or does it require a separate cultivation process altogether?
Let us delve into the intricate relationship between resilience, wellbeing, and leadership effectiveness, exploring the transformative power that arises when we purposefully nurture these essential qualities.
Resilience: Nurturing its Growth
When we teach individuals resilience skills, we often focus on introspection, emphasising the importance of emotional regulation and stress coping strategies. However, we believe that resilience is rooted in two essential elements: wellbeing and problem-solving. The key lies in taking charge of our own self-care and cultivating the ability to seize control.
Resilience and wellbeing thrive on trust, confidence, and critical thinking. It necessitates a focus on the broader vision and honing our intuition—the problem-solving skills that empower us with self-belief while fostering an awareness that reaching our desired destination may require a different approach. But amidst this quest for resilience, when do we pay attention to the individuals who diligently cultivate, nurture, and sustain it?
Instead of simply teaching people a vague notion of resilience, latching onto the latest buzzword—a hit-or-miss endeavour, as confirmed by psychology experts—let us shift our approach. What if we teach individuals the art of self-awareness, guiding them to care for themselves holistically both within and beyond the realms of work? Rather than solely ploughing through tasks and projects with heads down, imagine providing our colleagues and teams with the permission and tools to speak up and remove barriers to success, rather than merely coexisting with them.
The underlying philosophy truly embraces this concept—a belief that effective communication, rather than silent endurance, is the key to guiding individuals through their day-to-day responsibilities, navigating change, and even disruption. Upholding a culture of open, two-way communication becomes paramount for sustained progress amidst the ever-evolving landscape of change.
By nurturing resilience through a focus on wellbeing, problem-solving, and fostering a culture of transparent communication, we can unlock the full potential of our teams, empowering them to thrive in the face of challenges and embrace growth with unwavering strength.
Enable Everyone to Achieve More: Are You Truly Listening?
As a leader, when you empower and inspire your team to actively participate, a remarkable transformation occurs—they become more engaged, resilient, and motivated. In a recent Gallup poll, numerous employees expressed their desires for workplace improvements. When asked, “What would you change about your workplace to make it better?” 41% highlighted the importance of engagement and culture, 28% mentioned pay and benefits, and 16% emphasised wellbeing. These responses underscore the collective potential of every individual to contribute more effectively.
By genuinely listening to the messages conveyed, even small changes can have a profound impact. Let’s consider some of the comments collected from the Gallup poll:
• Communicating schedule changes well in advance would enable me to better organise my free time.
• Reducing overtime hours would greatly enhance work-life balance.
• Emphasising more opportunities to work from home would enhance flexibility.
• Providing longer breaks for meals without rushing would improve overall wellbeing.
• Establishing a health clinic would demonstrate a commitment to employees’ health.
• Recognising the need for regular breaks during the workday to ensure adequate rest.
• Prioritising the wellbeing and quality of life of workers.
• Creating spaces for relaxation and socialising, fostering camaraderie during coffee breaks.
These simple yet meaningful improvements pave the way toward achieving the ultimate goal—a path to success brimming with possibilities. It all boils down to listening attentively to the wellbeing needs of your teams and responding proactively. After all, different companies have unique requirements, and by addressing these needs, we can help increase the number of employees thriving at work.
Leaders serve as the vital linchpin of engagement. Remarkably, 70% of team resilience and engagement can be attributed to their influence. However, it’s important to acknowledge that many leaders themselves are silently struggling, yearning for the tools to build exceptional teams. The good news is that cutting-edge, science-based management techniques can be taught, and this is where leadership training becomes invaluable.
Ideally, we need to foster wellbeing to bolster resilience. Understanding the interconnectedness of these two qualities is key. Each brings forth distinct perspectives on how to navigate challenges. Resilient teams refuse to be defeated by failure and embrace the courage to try again. They possess the flexibility and adaptability to view uncertainty as an opportunity to overcome obstacles and innovate solutions, enabling them to accomplish more each day.
Let the S.E.L.F C.A.R.E system inspire you in leading yourself and others through change. Click here to download. To get in touch with the TPC Leadership team and learn more about applying a transformative approach get in touch.