The business landscape is constantly changing, becoming increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. This chaotic and turbulent environment can be very demanding, causing stress and, eventually, burnout. Modern business leaders need to become more resilient, adopting new skills to be successful in this “new normal.”
To create a culture that fosters resilience, HR and talent management professionals must do more than offer stress management and yoga classes, although these can and do have a beneficial role. It requires the development of an organizational culture that encourages trust, accountability, and flexibility. Resilient organizational cultures give all employees—from the CEO down—permission to take care of their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs with the understanding that when these needs are tended to, resilience occurs, and the entire organization benefits through increased productivity, job performance, retention, engagement, and physical well-being.
A 2012 Towers Watson study found that in most organizations, only 35 percent of employees said they were engaged. In other words, 65 percent of employees have mentally checked out, causing productivity, innovation, and creativity to plummet. The study also found that 38 percent of employees felt stress and anxiety about the future, and that less than half of the employees surveyed agreed that senior leaders had a sincere interest in their well-being. While this is never good news for employers, the timing could not be more critical as organizations across the globe continue to struggle to survive. An uncertain economic outlook, the rapid pace of change, and the need to continually adapt has made resilience—the ability to bounce back in the face of a setback—the new priority in leadership development. The good news is that resilience can be taught.