Business and the workplace have had to make dramatic shifts during the current crisis. It is being named the “Adaptation Era”. During times of adversity, situations require adaptation, major pivots and an increased need for creative solutions. All of this equals Change.
Change in the workplace has always been inevitable and most employees are uncomfortable with change. Change brings uncertainty. Change involves a loss of the familiar and it requires a considerable amount of effort to learn and adjust to innovative ways of doing things. Organizations that did not embrace a culture of change struggle to endure high times of adversity.
The one certain thing is things will change. I looked up from my computer this morning and I saw my kitchen instead of a downtown view. Change is continual and it will never stop. That leaves us with only one choice – to survive—to learn to accept the challenge, to seek new ideas and try to use it to our advantage.
What this means is that to deal with change successfully, we need to be resilient. In terms of workplace change, this means the ability to bounce back from challenges like the sudden closing of your business, a sudden loss in revenue, decisions regarding your workforce, and even a sudden increase in business to respond to crisis-related needs.
Being resilient doesn’t mean that employees are not stressed by events. Being resilient does, however, mean everyone is not paralyzed by it. Being resilient is being able to cope with change and adapt to it in a positive way so that you’re able to take advantage of the opportunities it presents. It may be hard to see opportunities right now, but there are a few.
Although not everyone is born resilient, resiliency can be developed through deliberate action. Employees can increase their ability to face challenges when their leaders communicate resilient attributes such as asking for proactive problem solving, requests to be more organized, flexibility, patience, a sense of humor, focus and a positive “can do” attitude towards the challenge.
Individuals who are less resilient are more likely to dwell on problems, feel overwhelmed, use unhealthy coping tactics to handle stress, and develop anxiety and depression. Resilient people address problems rather than avoid them. They have a positive and optimistic outlook. We need to be optimistic right now. Managers need to be flexibility and demonstrate an adaptive disposition. People who are resilient maintain a calm and a healthy level of physical and psychological wellness during this time. They will share toilet paper versus hoarding it.
We are faced with one of the greatest challenges in our lives- both in our personal wellbeing and our economy. Resiliency is a basic requirement to overcome this challenge. Leaders can help by preparing workers to embrace change quickly so we can all meet the demands placed on us and keep a positive attitude. They can explore new ideas and we can capitalize on new opportunities. We are a Resilient society. We will be able to rebound quickly and become stronger together.