Value Proposition for Building Resilient Teams

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 stressors are compounded by the growing need for organizations to implement change. The need for organizations to change is not unreasonable. Organizations must adjust quickly to marketplace conditions to stay competitive. 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 absenteeism
  • Ineffective teamwork
  • Lower productivity
  • 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

Moderate levels of stress tend to increase work performance. However, higher levels of workplace stress can have a negative impact on people and teams if they are not resilient. Resilience is more than just the ability to overcome adversity. Resilience is the ability to adapt and grow as a result of the adversity.

In today’s hyper-competitive world, organizations need resilient teams that can adapt and grow together in the face of adversity. When people in an organization are collectively resilient, the organization is stronger. Resilience makes learning and change possible. The Resilience-Building Leadership Professional (RBLP) certifications are about leading people and building resilient teams.

There are three (3) foundational and nine (9) supporting leader practices that build resilient teams.

Leaders at all levels should strive to turn these practices into habits.

  1. Create positive climate: Leaders create positive climate by earning the trust of subordinates, treating people with respect, enforcing accountability, and encourage people to have fun. High morale is the consequence of positive climate.
    • Demonstrate character: Leaders show moral courage, humility, honesty, and empathy.
    • Build relationships: Leaders show genuine concern for their people.
    • Keep people informed: Leaders get face-to-face and communicate often.
  1. Develop cohesion: Cohesion develops when people work in teams and develop trust and mutual respect. Teamwork is the consequence of developing cohesion.
    • Manage expectations: Mentally prepares people for adversity.
    • Talk about setbacks: Allows people to vent stress.
    • Keep people focused on the mission: Do not let adversity become a distraction.
  1. Provide purpose: Leaders can provide people with a sense of purpose by encouraging continuous learning and delegating responsibility. Motivation and commitment are the consequence of providing purpose.
    • Train the team: Training builds competence and confidence.
    • Empower decision-making: Delegate the authority to make decisions.
    • Be there when the going gets tough: Leaders share hardships.