The Problem: Workplace stress compounded by constant change
People in every line of work experience mental and physical stressors on the job. Some routine causes of workplace stress include:
Inadequate information for the job
Untrustworthy leaders that lack character
Feelings of workplace isolation or loneliness
Lack of trust or mutual respect among peers
Unrealistic expectations at work
Lack of accountability in the workplace
Insufficient training and tools for the job
No opportunities for personal growth
These common causes of stress are compounded by the need for organizations to implement change. Organizations stay competitive by adjusting quickly to marketplace conditions. Organizations that do not innovate may not survive.
The pressure on organizations to change usually leads to increased demands being placed on employees. For example, organizations are rapidly introducing new technologies to improve effectiveness and efficiency. Organizations are also demanding more productivity and continuous process improvement. At the very least, these types of changes mean that employees must learn new knowledge and skills.
In some cases, these initiatives result in workforce reductions or reorganizations that can be quite disruptive. In all cases of organizational change, employees must adapt to new policies, processes, and procedures. They must learn to do things the “new way” and this always creates adversity.
The inability of people and teams to effectively handle workplace adversity and its resulting stress is evidenced by:
Low job satisfaction and morale
Lack of commitment
Increased employee turnover
Lower quality of work
More workplace accidents
Lack of motivation
More disciplinary issues
Resistance to learning
Resistance to change
The Solution: Building Resilient Teams
Resilience is a collective social phenomenon in organizations where people rely on each other to accomplish difficult and challenging tasks together. Resilience is the ability to overcome adversity. More importantly, resilience is the ability to adapt and grow as a result of the adversity. Resilient teams are stronger together and they make organizational learning and change possible.
Dr. Gene Coughlin’s research on collective resilience identified the following leader practices that build resilient teams. Leaders at all levels should strive to turn these practices into habits.
Create Positive Climate: Leaders create positive climate by earning the trust of subordinates, treating people with respect, enforcing accountability, and encouraging people to have fun. High morale is the consequence of positive climate. Supporting leader practices include demonstrating character, showing genuine concern for people, and keeping the team informed.
Develop Cohesion: Leaders develop cohesion by working in teams, encouraging trust between team members, and ensuring mutual respect between team members. Teamwork is the consequence of developing cohesion. Supporting leader practices include managing expectations, being there when the going gets tough, and talking about setbacks.
Provide Purpose: Leaders provide purpose by encouraging learning and delegating responsibility. Motivation and commitment are the consequence of providing purpose. Supporting leader practices include training the team, empowering decision-making, and keeping people focused on the mission.
The RBLP Certifications:
There are three (3) progressive levels of Resilience-Building Leadership Professional (RBLP) certification. Leader experience, education, and demonstrated competence is required for each certification.
Resilience-Building Leadership Professional (RBLP) certification is for front-line supervisors that meet identified standards of competence for building resilient teams.
Resilience-Building Leadership Professional Coach (RBLP-C) certification is for middle managers that meet identified standards of competence for building resilient teams and facilitating team learning.
Resilience-Building Leadership Professional Trainer (RBLP-T) certification is for senior leaders that meet identified standards of competence for building resilient teams, facilitating team learning, and supporting organizational learning.