When change happens in the workplace, some may feel a loss of the familiar, an increased sense of uncertainty, or an overall concern about the future. Others may view change more positively – as creating new opportunities, a chance to be challenged and learn new things, an ability to be creative, and a time to rally self and others around the changes.
Keeping your organization’s productivity and morale up during these times can be a challenge. Organizations must focus on clear change initiatives and create a culture and capacity to undertake these change initiatives.
And so how do you build a team that can excel through change, and not be stifled by it? And how does an individual recognize their own capacity to adapt to change? The key is resiliency. Resiliency refers to the ability to recover from or adjust easily to change so that there are not significant declines in functioning; therefore, allowing quality work and effective operation of the organization to continue.
There are five characteristics of resilient individuals: positive, focused, flexible, organized, and proactive.
Positive: A resilient individual sees opportunity.
Although challenges might present themselves, a resilient individual will seek out positive aspects of change and embrace the opportunity to learn. This individual also expects change to occur and does not necessarily resist it.
Focused: A resilient individual can set and achieve goals despite changes or setbacks.
Despite disruptions, this individual can develop a clear vision of objectives and define what needs to be accomplished to meet new objectives.
Flexible: A resilient individual can find innovative and creative ways to approach new situations.
This individual is able to manage change by displaying patience, utilizing strengths, and modifying assumptions or frames of reference to adapt to change.
Organized: A resilient individual manages the ambiguity that comes with change.
This individual can manage the stress amongst new demands and changing priorities, and asks for help when needed.
Proactive: A resilient individual engages with change rather than evades it.
This individual takes initiative, implements new approaches, invests energy into problem solving, and can positively influence others and creatively resolve conflict.
Typically, individuals may possess a combination of resilient characteristics. One individual may be positive, proactive, and flexible, while another individual may be focused, organized, and proactive. Building a resilient team would include individuals that complement each other, and together as a team, possess the five resilient characteristics to draw on strengths rather than weaknesses.
Resilient characteristics are important, but they need to coexist with clear goals and the perception that reaching the defined goals depends on the effort of each team member. Team members must also value differences and be able to listen to input from others and be open to looking at different perspectives in support of the team and its goals.
Building resilient teams are not easy, but careful cultivation of a resilient team would reflect the following characteristics:
Positive: The team recognizes the contribution of each member to the team and its overall ability to positively influence during change.
Focused: The team remains focused on the common goal rather than individual agendas.
Flexible: The team appreciates each member’s ideas and recognizes the value of the whole team in creating the best solutions during change.
Organized: The team is able to make sense out of the confusion that may occur during change, filter out what is important, and set appropriate priorities during change.
Proactive: The team takes action in spite of ambiguity and makes adjustments as needed to ensure effectiveness.
The benefits of resilient teams will keep your organization functioning in the most productive and effective way during the uncertainty of change.