Resilience. This ability has risen to the forefront and become a more prominent topic of discussion particularly over the course of 2020 for most of us, but even before that in recent times due to natural disasters, market forces and technological change. It has been recognized as a concept that can be applied in all facets of your life, including personal and professional – at home and in the workplace. It greatly strengthens your ability to cope with threats, whether they are anticipated or unforeseen.
Resilience is complex; it’s a multifaceted idea that can be useful for dealing with stress, risk, shock, and environmental changes. Often, resilience is posed as the opposite of vulnerability. That’s a simplistic view, seeing as they are relative terms. However, just as you have certain vulnerabilities, you can build resilience to them. In a way, they do absolutely go hand-in-hand.
Resilience is heavily related to capacity. It’s a broad concept that stretches far beyond plans, resources, and actions. You may find that some people use capacity and resilience interchangeably.
Let’s clarify this now. Resilience is two-pronged – a desired outcome and the process resulting in that outcome. For example, you want to build a safe, resilient workplace and in order to achieve that end, you have to enable people and empower the workforce to adapt and show them how to become more resilient.
What – Defining Resilience
First and foremost, resilience is a skill, and not a trait. This is great news because it means anyone can build resilience; you don’t have to be born with it.
If you type resilience definition into your search engine, you will likely find a series of answers. It means a lot of different things in many different contexts.
However, the straightforward definition is this – the ability to anticipate, absorb, and accommodate/recover from an unsettling event or ongoing situation in a timely fashion and efficiently. This may include preserving, restoring, or improving existing situations, structures, or functions.
You can see from that description, that the word resilience can be applied to more than just individuals. It can be applied to corporations, communities, and even processes. However, our focus is on individual workers. To break it down to its base level – resilience is the ability to bounce back. Let’s break it down further.
This is the person, system, or process that is facing interruption. The resilience of what?
This is the dire situation, the shock or stressor. The resilience to what?
Capacity to Cope
This includes peoples’ exposure to an issue, their sensitivity to it, and their capacity to adapt.
Your work team’s (or your) reaction to the disturbance is the impulse to survive and cope, to recover and learn, and to transform. Your capacity to deal with an issue forms your reaction to it – it influences your ability to bounce back.
The COVID pandemic has brought about radical change in the work environment and increased the need for greater resilience for companies and their employees to cope and even thrive when faced with monumental levels of stress.
Flexicrew has faced and faced-down our stressors and have observed clients, leaders, workers and candidates who have dealt with difficult current circumstances and either persevered or didn’t have the capacity to cope.
Over the next month we will explore this concept of resilience and identify tools to improve your resilience and that of your peers and personnel.