Every business will face challenges at some point. The way your team handles such trials shows whether they have a tendency to succumb or to overcome. Your team may experience unexpected supply chain delays, making it more difficult to meet deadlines. Or internal conflicts may arise due to differences in personalities or differing opinions on how to get things done.
Whatever the difficulties, savvy entrepreneurs know that team resilience is key to overcoming adversity and meeting expectations. Often the difference between success and failure comes down to the tools you carry in your proverbial tool belt. Here are four ways you can equip your team with one of the most powerful coping tools out there: resilience.
Table of Contents
1. Own mistakes
Resilience is not just about surviving tough times and coming out the other side victorious. It’s also about possession and learn from mistakes so you don’t have to recreate them. If your team members immediately blame others for their missteps, they will never become resilient.
Admitting and learning from mistakes is a crucial skill associated with resilience. You could argue that it is impossible to develop resilience without first failing. People who can handle the blows tend to view failure as an invaluable source of feedback. While setbacks are frustrating, a resilient person can learn from them and take a more successful path in the future.
To develop a team that can recover, foster a culture of admitting mistakes. Discuss the actions that led to those errors and how to avoid them in the future. In some cases, setbacks may be completely beyond your team’s control. That is why it is so important to consider on a case-by-case basis whether performance-enhancing measures are necessary. If you treat employees fairly, they will more easily take ownership of their actions and become more resilient.
2. Build a team connection
Resilience is so much easier to achieve when you know you have a team of capable people supporting you. Some of the most talented and influential teams are not necessarily made up of the most brilliant people in the world. Rather, they are made up of individuals who trust each other and know how to do so collaborate effectively.
Too often members of the same team feel they are competing against each other. This may happen due to competition for similar promotions or opportunities. It can also occur when employees want to curry favor with management. It is important to pay attention to how your team members interact with each other. If they seem suspicious of each other, it’s time to strengthen the team connection.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to line up your employees and make them drop confidence all day long. There are much more effective (and fun) ways to build resilience and camaraderie. Regular team lunch-and-learns, happy hours, and awards shows are great for building a sense of belonging. As your employees get to know and trust each other, collaboration will come naturally. You will also find that your team can handle setbacks better when the members work together.
3. Encourage resourcefulness
The Predictive resilience scale with 6 factors lists resourcefulness as one of the reasoning skills that play a role in an individual’s overall level of resilience. Other character traits associated with resilience are tenacity, cooperation, and vision. While there is (probably) no college class that teaches resourcefulness, you can help introduce this trait to your team.
The first step is to build a resourcefulness infrastructure. One way to do this is by providing the tools – the name says it all – for employees to answer their own questions. Project management systems let employees know who is doing what and who needs a project outcome when they are done with it. Knowledge bases make professional knowledge widely available. Cloud-based file sharing systems allow employees to access the documents they need without having to request them from a colleague.
Not that employees need to solve every problem on their own – you can further encourage resourcefulness by making it normal to ask for help. Resourcefulness doesn’t always mean relying on yourself for answers. Often the most resourceful people are those who lean on the knowledge of more experienced people to overcome a pressing challenge.
The best environment for resourcefulness encourages creativity and gives employees flexibility in problem solving. Give your teams clear goals and objectives, but let them determine the best ways to achieve those goals.
4. Watch out for burnout
Too often the idea of resilience is tied to unrealistic, superhuman expectations. But everyone has a limit, no matter how resilient they are. When your employees are pushed beyond their limits, they eventually become physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. Burnout is a phenomenon that can cost both your employees and your company dearly.
Burnout impairs job performance and often leads to major losses for employers. These losses can take the form of increased healthcare costs, increased employee sick days and lost productivity. Burnout can also cause employee morale to plummet. Common signs of team burnout include disengagement, reduced quality of work, and increased complaining. If you notice this behavior, pay attention.
There are several things you can do to improve resilience and prevent team burnout. One of the most important is to keep the lines of communication open. Ask team members how things are going and if they need more support on major projects. Welcoming feedback and addressing employee concerns can go a long way in minimizing or eliminating burnout altogether. You should also encourage employees to take vacations so they can relax and replenish their energy reserves.
The more resilient your team is, the less likely they are to become overwhelmed by the challenges they inevitably face. A resilient team knows how to handle failures and turn them into future victories. Incorporate the above strategies into your management approach and watch your team become stronger and more effective.