The skill of adaptability is highly desirable in the changing workplace. From improving performance to wellbeing, the ability to traverse setbacks and thrive in the face of transformation offers significant benefits to companies and individuals.
As Human Resources (HR) and Organizational Development (OD) teams strive to boost employees’ resiliency, it’s essential that they do not overlook environmental factors that could be influencing success. To create an atmosphere of adaptability, HR and OD professionals can start by improving 9 aspects of leadership and culture.
9 Considerations to Boost Organizational Resiliency
1) Align on vision and values.
When obstacles present themselves, employees ideally respond with precision and perseverance. To help staff make smart decisions and adjust in a way that supports the business, it is vital that personnel are grounded in where the company is headed, its purpose as well as the values it adheres to.
Cultivate a climate of agility by integrating the business’s ethos into onboarding programs, leadership and management development practices as well as internal communications. Reinforcing company’s philosophy through multiple avenues allows employees to feel more confident in addressing challenges in a way that aligns to corporate objectives.
2) Commit to transparency.
For people to take action effectively and thrive during transition, they need to have a clear understanding of what is going on across the organization. That means executives and supervisors may need to evaluate how and what they share about performance, near- and long-term plans as well as any potential headwinds on the horizon.
Transparency can be a mindset shift for some leaders who are used to keeping information close to the vest, and it’s essential to empower individuals to anticipate what’s around the corner and react appropriately. HR and OD professionals can lead the way making openness a priority in internal communications and corporate updates. They can also offer coaching to help executives and managers communicate clearly and effectively.
3) Empower your people to make decisions.
Organizations that are less adaptable often have a lot of layers in their approach to decision-making. Bureaucracy is typically correlated with slow response times or actions that come too late to have a real impact. In contrast, team members who are allowed to make choices in spaces where they have knowledge and expertise can support agility and employee satisfaction.
Partner with managers and supervisors to coach them on delegation skills and help them identify spheres of influence where their staff can take initiative. Additionally, considering the business’s values and vision as a ‘true north’ can support smart decision-making at all levels.
4) Celebrate collaboration.
Teamwork can be a powerful aide to resiliency. By pooling together individuals who offer different perspectives, groups typically make better decisions and do so more quickly, which can stimulate positive action in the face of transition. Collaboration also provides employees with a support system when times are challenging.
To boost coordination, invest in systems to allow staff to share ideas, get input and connect on projects no matter their locations. Creating opportunities – like attending an Emergenetics® training – that highlight the strengths of all colleagues may further inspire cooperation. Additionally, partner with leaders and managers to set expectations regarding teamwork and provide opportunities for coworkers to get to know one another to strengthen working relationships.
5) Support psychological safety.
Change often brings mistakes. Even employees who are enthusiastic about transformation and proactively offer ideas for improvement are likely to make errors as they adopt new practices and behaviors. To persevere despite setbacks, it’s useful to have an environment that feels safe for anyone to ask questions, share ideas and learn from mistakes without the fear of punishment.
Build this sort of atmosphere by weaving emotional intelligence into leadership and management development programs. To help personnel operate with transparency and authenticity, consider implementing collegial coaching and mentorship initiatives. These tips from my colleague may also inspire ideas to bolster psychological safety.
6) Commit to failing fast.
When individuals feel like they have the freedom to make mistakes, it can significantly enhance their adaptability because they stop seeing errors as something to hide from. Rather, missteps can be viewed as learning opportunities. By endorsing the idea of failing fast, businesses benefit from experiments that allow them to iterate and improve quickly.
Executives and supervisors often need to model the behavior first before others feel comfortable embracing the mentality. After all, it can be scratchy to fail. Promote the idea of sharing mistakes, acknowledging growth and soliciting ideas for improvement in leadership development programs to cultivate a culture where experimentation is appreciated.
7) Listen fully.
Great ideas can come from anyone and anywhere. Gathering and using input from their people, customers, vendors and community members, businesses can uncover improvements and determine positive transitions that transform the company for the better.
Create a climate that values feedback by investing in tools and systems to hear from various stakeholders and be sure to solicit thoughts from staff consistently (i.e., more often than an annual or biannual survey). Develop standards and expectations in partnership with leaders to share what information has been collected and how it will be used.
8) Care for employees as people.
It is much easier for individuals to be resilient at work when they feel supported in other aspects of their lives, so it is not enough to focus on professional skills and contributions only. Agile businesses also honor work-life balance and care for employee wellbeing.
Amplify wellness by evaluating corporate benefits through the lens of physical, mental, emotional and social health. Giving staff access to robust offerings that support their holistic success and wellbeing will help them to be more present and engaged in their jobs. For more on employee-centric wellness programs, visit this post.
9) Instill a learning mindset.
Resilient individuals understand that they always have room for improvement. Adopting this mentality, people feel more buoyant and open to change while companies benefit through new ideas and iterations that allow the business to keep moving forward.
Inspire a culture of learning by investing in professional development initiatives that enhance skill building for all levels. It can be especially effective to partner with executives and engage them in training opportunities so that it’s clear that everyone has room to grow.
While driving change is rarely simple, it is much easier to get staff on board and ready to contribute if the organizational culture is infused with adaptability. And, when all employees are committed to embracing transformation and have the tools to do so with confidence, your company will be in a better position to excel no matter what the future may hold.
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