Source:  Australian Business Acumen Online - March 2017

Build resilience in your workforce - and you’re ready for anything

RESILIENCE may seem to be just another buzzword in the business development lexicon at the moment. Not so, according to human resources specialists at HR Business Direction, who have drawn great results by guiding various workforces to understand and enhance their resilience.

This has been known to free up business leaders, give them time from internal management issues, and instead drive their businesses forward with a focused workforce.

“Resilience is the power or ability to return to the original form,” HR Business Direction managing director and strategist Leisa Messer said. “It’s the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Or ability to rebound.

“Maybe it’s the answer and it’s not just about being able to cope.”

Ms Messer said building staff resilience to all sorts of challenges within a business may ultimately prove to be the best way to help businesses develop in ways that make for better jobs and conditions in the long term.

“When dealing with staff, as business owners, managers and staff dealing with other staff, we deal with conflict, grievances, difficult personalities, bullying, mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse, performance issues, terminations, redundancies, stress, job changes, preparing and managing them for various business changes, the impact of their personal lives on their work … and I’m sure you can keep adding to the list,” Ms Messer said.

“But what if staff were more resilient?  How we interpret what is happening can affect how we solve problems, how we feel about what is happening and how we operate in that environment.

“If staff were more resilient, they could brush off things that would otherwise affect them or, as they say, ‘bounce back’ quicker. Conflict, bullying and stress, for example, would be decreased and performance issues, impacts from terminations, redundancies, job changes and other changes in the business would be easier,” she said.

“Well maybe that’s too ideal but it’s certainly better for employees to be resilient than not and would go a long way to positively contributing to maximising performance and productivity – as change is not only happening in our workplaces but also in society constantly.”

Ms Messer said her research indicated that resilience could improve an individual’s performance by up to 25 percent.

“So think about the impact on the total business if everybody’s resilience was improved,” Ms Messer said.

HR Business Direction is increasingly finding its clients focusing, with guidance, on building more resilient – and in the longer term successful – workforces.


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