Developing Your Talent

Develop Your Talent

Five Steps for Helping Employees Develop Personal Resilience

By Lee Hecht Harrison on October 14, 2014

As the pace of change accelerates, many employees are finding it difficult to maintain high levels of productivity in an uncertain environment. When employees are focused on their own futures, it becomes difficult for them to address the needs of the business. Consequently, engagement and productivity plummet. Retention slips as the best talent moves on. What’s a company to do?

Organization change announcements often require working in uncertainty for extended periods of time while decisions are being made. How do you ensure employees can bounce back and not only survive, but thrive? Fortunately, resilience can be developed and improved. Here are five steps for implementing an effective resilience-building solution across the enterprise:

  1. Explain the territory. Employees should be informed about underlying forces shaping the new workplace and the importance of having a workforce ready to mobilize into new roles—whether lateral or vertical—as business needs change.
  2. Be inclusive. Ultimately, major changes will impact all members of the organization, so everyone should be required to participate in a resilience program. Oftentimes, the employees who resist are those with the most to gain.
  3. Teach coping strategies. Seminars on building personal resilience will help individuals manage change and its effect on their careers. These seminars can also provide managers with the skills needed to lead others through periods of uncertainty. Methodologies should focus on and reinforce individual choice, accountability, commitment, and action.
  4. Offer a blended approach. To meet the various needs of employees—and minimize operational disruption—instruction can be offered through a portfolio of blended-learning delivery channels: instructor-led sessions, webinars and/or e-learning.
  5. Provide transparency. To facilitate communication efforts, a corporate portal can be developed that provides a platform for information sharing and the dissemination of any redeployment opportunities that may be available.

Some employees with highly developed coping skills will move through change quickly, while other employees will be thrown off balance and require more time to adjust. The organization’s goal must be to help all employees by providing them with the skills necessary to develop resilience during periods of uncertainty. Only then will an organization in the midst of change maintain healthy engagement levels and minimize its negative impact on productivity.

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