Building Resilient Teams
Resilience is more than just a buzzword. Resilience is also more than just being able to continue carrying on. Resilience is about the ability to grow from tough experiences, to bounce back effectively after setbacks, and come together to stay strong when facing challenges.
Resilience in teams is about a team’s ability to navigate challenges, to maintain health and abilities of the team members, and to collectively recover from setbacks. There are clear differences between resilient teams and non-resilient teams in terms of what they do and how they handle warning signs, how they address chronic issues, and how they follow through after challenges.
Why is resilience important in teams? According to organizational psychologist Karlyn Borysenko, “a team that demonstrates resilience will produce better results over an extended period than a group that is not resilient because they are invested in the mission of the organization, able to adapt in the face of a challenge and support each other to achieve their mutual success.”
This is great! We want resilient teams. They will perform better, come up with more creative solutions to challenges, keep going and recover well from setbacks. But how do we get there? Resilience in individuals is about skill building providing individuals with the tools they need in order to be resilient. Resilience in teams is about changing the culture. Changing the culture creates the environment and provides the resources that allows individuals to use the tools that make them resilient, and the team to grow.
There are three cultural shifts we need to make in order to build resilient teams. We need to build a culture of engagement, a culture of adaptability and a culture of trust.
A culture of engagement is about passion and commitment to the work and to the team. A culture of engagement is also about moving at a sustainable pace; knowing what is expected of you, knowing you have the energy and resources to get it done, and having the ability to properly recover to maintain health and productivity.
A culture of adaptability is about handling change. A culture of adaptability is a culture where we take risks, make mistakes and learn from them, a culture where we anticipate challenges and change tactics to meet those challenges. It is also a culture where we can shift roles and workload based on individual and team needs.
A culture of trust is the foundation of everything else. A culture of trust is about knowing all individuals on the team are about the mission while having the best interests of each individual at heart. A culture of trust is about a team where each individual, with all their skills and differences belongs and has what they need (tangible and intangible) to get the job done.
Stay tuned for my next few blog posts where I share some tools for building cultures of engagement, adaptability and trust.
Alliger, G. (2015). Team resilience: How teams flourish under pressure. Organizational Dynamics, (44), 176–184.
Borysenko, K. (2019, January 2). Why Team Resilience Is The New Employee Engagement. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/karlynborysenko/2018/12/27/why-team-resilience-is-the-new-employee-engagement/#7189cbc45176
Davis-Laack, P., & Westfahl, S. (2019, June 17). 5 things that resilient teams do differently. Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/90364553/5-things-that-resilient-teams-do-differently