Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, having a resilient workforce has become more important than ever before. Businesses have seen completely unexpected changes. In addition, it’s created challenges for the well-being of team members.
When we talk about well-being, this refers to physical health. However, it also describes financial and mental wellness. This has led to the need for employee resilience to build a resilient workforce.
While this started as a short-term measure, it is also a long-term concern. As workers move back to the office or acclimate to remote work, employee resilience is essential for business success.
Creating a resilient workforce is complex. Being successful requires leaders to understand the components of resilience. You also need to realize each factor can vary as situations change now and in the future.
While physical health might have been the main focus before the pandemic, times have changed. Now a resilient workforce focuses on the addition of financial, social, and mental wellbeing.
Understanding Current Issues Employees Are Dealing With
Building a robust team means knowing what their struggles are. We’ll talk about how surveys can assist with that, but there are common issues that employees often cite as challenging today.
Many workers, especially those working remotely, have trouble setting proper boundaries about work. Some are scared of losing their jobs and may work long hours. This can lead to working through weekends and long into the evenings.
Working this much can lead to burnout, which is a huge problem for the team.
Lack of clarity is another issue. Many aren’t sure what work will be like in the future, whether the company is doing well, and wonder if their jobs are safe. Communicating the things you do know can help with this.
Everyone has stress in their lives, and offering emotional support is crucial. Be aware that team members are going through a lot, and be positive and kind when you communicate with them.
Creating a Map for a Resilient Workforce
When working to create a resilient workforce, every company will have its own approach. All employees are different and have needs that must be addressed. The way people are raised, what preferences they have, and how they enjoy working will vary. Just as people were impacted differently by the pandemic, they will experience stress in unique ways. This is essential for leaders to understand.
It’s also a good idea to measure and monitor the attempts to create a resilient workforce to be sure you get the desired effects.
Once you have a plan for creating resiliency, use data to see what works and what doesn’t. It will be a long-term process to be sure your workforce offers what team members need.
Below are several methods to use to create a resilient workforce at your company.
Make Sure Workers Are Prepared for the Future
Creating a resilient workforce requires a lot of preparation and planning. However, one of the most important steps is ensuring workers are ready for the future.
This might sound easy, but it’s more challenging than you might expect. There’s no way to know what the future holds. However, getting ready for it is important, nonetheless.
Watch for changes as they happen and consider the way to handle them. This applies to company changes, industry changes, and changes in the operation of a business itself.
As you spend additional time preparing for changes, it makes it more likely that employees will be ready for the future. When you’re prepared for a variety of situations, it makes it easier to be calm and get through things. Use that to start your change to a resilient workforce.
Provide Useful Learning Opportunities and Training
In a digital world, knowledge is more important than anything. As you learn more about a specific subject, you have a better chance of excelling in it. This also applies when companies want to create a workforce with great resiliency.
One of the most important parts of this relates to employee training. You should be sure all necessary and useful training is provided so team members can fulfill their duties. Adding extra resources can lead workers to excel.
When you introduce more in-depth knowledge about the role, it’s easier for team members to meet and surpass their goals. This gives them everything they need to succeed.
Throughout the training, make sure to provide an array of learning opportunities. This will help enhance workers’ capabilities throughout their tenure at the organization.
Ensure Work Is Meaningful
Most people have worked in a job that wasn’t meaningful. It can lead to feeling discouraged and make you less interested in what you’re doing.
If your team at work doesn’t have meaningful things to do, it can have negative impacts on motivation and morale. To avoid this issue, speak with workers and find out if they feel satisfied with the things they do.
Whenever possible, encourage each of the members of your team. Help them find a source of meaning in the tasks they do. This provides motivation to find a meaning of their own in work done each day.
When this happens, it can increase the productivity of the entire team. It also ensures all jobs are done efficiently. It’s an excellent way to create a resilient workforce.
Be Aware of Stress in the Workplace
Being aware of stress levels in the workplace is essential. It’s one of the best ways to ensure all workers are contributing to resilience. When stress is elevated at a company, productivity tends to fall, which can create a lack of growth among team members.
Team members, leaders, and the company as a whole should work to decrease the stress levels of workers. As an organization, the focus should be on the ways to best help employees who are suffering from excessive amounts of stress.
On the employee side, it’s essential to open up about what in the workplace causes stress. These problems should be communicated to the leaders. Both management and team members should work on making a place to help reduce stress and create a more resilient workforce.
Institute Problem-Solving Capabilities
An organization can only be at its best when the entire workforce has the required skills to solve problems. This is a key factor that comes into play when there are major issues during challenging times. It builds a resilient workforce and prepares workers to get through difficult situations.
What should you do to improve the problem-solving skills of each team member?
Each of them needs to know what situation they are currently in and how to properly assess it. The better analytical skills a worker has, the more they can improve their problem-solving abilities. This ensures the organization can keep performance high. It will create the best result even in challenging situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prioritize Mental Health
Many employees haven’t been doing as much socializing since COVID made huge changes to the world. At the same time, companies have moved toward more people working on a remote basis. This has created new risks to mental health, which is a serious issue. However, organizations can take steps to reduce mental health issues. Implementing programs focusing on mental health improvement is a good plan to start.
Some of the programs that might be good to include are the following:
- Team-building activities offered through an online platform
- Sessions designed to help with mental health issues
- Access to robust tools that offer social connectivity
- A strong and multifaceted communication system
The main goal is to build a form of constant communication that everyone can use. It’s also important to be sure that nobody feels left out. If someone is in a situation that is hard to deal with, they should be encouraged to open up. This lets the problem be assessed, and additional steps can be taken.
Regular Workforce Surveys
Another way to create a resilient workforce is by checking up on people using surveys. These should focus on the employees and their needs. Numerous questions can be asked to see how people are doing.
Consider adding questions that relate to the daily challenges workers are facing, what resources can help workers better do their jobs, and how management can step in to help. The more refined the survey, the better the insights that will be available for the company.
After survey results have been tallied, start to make needed changes for the team members. Make sure all needed resources are provided and work to help with performance as required. This can create a truly resilient workforce where everyone is efficient and productive with the tasks they do.
The first thing to realize is that creating a resilient workforce can be challenging. It takes proper planning, plenty of time, and the right execution. Implementing strong communication and unity makes it much more likely that the company will succeed in the future. Trust your employees and work toward a resilient workforce. Let them learn and get involved as they help nurture the environment that creates resiliency.