The world is full of unknowns. Things can change in a moment. Your organization needs to be able to withstand and adapt to change as it happens.
Organizational resilience is essential to your business success. Whether the future holds financial, competitive, organizational, or environmental crises, your company needs to be prepared. You need more than just a plan to deal with whatever it faces in the future.
It is key to keeping your team on task and your company growing in any situation.
Here are some excellent tips on how to make your business more resilient from top to bottom.
Organizational Resilience Means Having a ‘Plan B’
Start with plans to cover the various “ifs” your business might face. If you want your company to have the resilience to weather any storm, you need to always have a Plan B. When customers rely on you to deliver products on time, they don't want excuses, they want results.
If all your shipping is done from one location, you could be in real trouble if something happens to disrupt the flow of business such as a tornado, flood, or extended power outage.
A car manufacturer that ships every car from one location could be crippled for months or permanently wiped out by a natural disaster or emergency. Depend on your computers and network to ship and run your business? Better have a rock-solid plan to be back up fast or be in bankruptcy court...
Having a Plan B that allows you to ship from another location would keep your business going and customers happy. Having a tested computer backup and restore plan will do the same.
While it may seem more efficient to streamline your production and processes, you're inviting disaster if something goes wrong in that location.
[quotesright]An untested plan in a drawer that doesn’t work is no better than an insurance policy from a bankrupt company.[/quotesright] Do a dry run of your plan, simulate a disaster unannounced and see what happens. You’ll likely make some big changes to your plan.
2. Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
Another part of having a Plan B is to make sure you have more than one way of making money. If you have a product that doesn't launch or is recalled, you can't let that put you out of business. A business coach would call that having a marketing Parthenon, i.e., there is more than one pillar holding up the roof and that’s why it’s still standing.
[quotes]A natural disaster or emergency can also bring your business to a standstill by affecting your access to data.
Whether it is a hacker holding your system hostage, a flood that wiped out your computers or a fire that destroyed your main office you need to safeguard your data and documents.
Check with your insurance broker for special coverage policies and riders that offer protection against unlikely events and keep you solvent while you recover.
3. Your Team Needs to Know Plan B
Your entire team needs to know how to implement Plan B. If there's a disaster or something happens that interrupts business operations, you need everyone to understand the procedures and policies for handling it right now – not after weeks of frantic meetings and confusion.
Top management will be the key to setting the tone for organizational resilience, but they can't do it alone, but if they don’t make it a priority, no one else will. Besides showing they believe this is a critical item, they can inspire and train the entire team to prepare for dangers and be a part of developing the plan.
Creating company transparency and letting everyone from the CEO to your frontline team know what is going on and what the recovery plan is will help you all work toward the same goal.
[quotes]Your people are smart.[/quotes] Make use of their creativity, ingenuity, street-smarts, and abilities to help with this and in every area of your operation. They’ll appreciate it, be happier, and require less “management.”
Human Resilience in the Workplace
[quotesright]It's not enough for your equipment and data to be resilient, you need your team to be able to withstand it all too[/quotesright]. If they're ready for anything and set up for success, then your business is in a better position to be successful too.
Many people think that the most important thing is to focus on your customers, and they are 100 percent right. While it's true that customer satisfaction is vital to your business, don’t neglect another pillar of business success: taking care of your employees and management team so they can take care of the customers.
[quotesright]It’s one of the four pillars of business success upon which Amazon is built.[/quotes]
As Sir Richard Branson says, it's employees who drive the success of a company. It's critical to your success for you to create a healthy and happy environment that allows everyone to reach their full potential and give 100 percent.
4. Creating a Healthy and Happy Team
You may want to have a healthy and happy culture for your team but have no idea how to start creating one. One of the biggest factors in a team member's performance, commitment, and health is their stress level.
Stress can be the leading cause of several physical and mental health conditions and the main reason for employees missing time at work.
5. Reducing Employee Stress
There are many ways you can help reduce the stress your employees feel. [quotesright]The majority of workers don't leave a position because of the paycheck. [/quotesright] High turnover rates are most often because of poor management or that they don't feel valued and rather are seen as commodities.
This includes having an open-door policy for good communication. This will help your team feel connected and valued. If you insulate yourself from phone calls from your employees and your customers, you may as well spend your time chiseling your epitaph for the gravestone you will be placing where your company once stood.
Prioritizing communication is about more than just sharing information. The team will feel more valued and it allows management and you to learn the strengths, weaknesses, and needs of team members… and get unfiltered feedback that will keep you connected to reality.
It doesn't mean all communication needs to be face-to-face meetings but understand you are filtering what you need to hear. There is no tone of voice, no subtle clues, no interaction when you use an electronic platform, it’s a filter.
While productivity and communication platforms such as Slack, Zulu, or Facebook at Work can help your entire team feel connected whether they're in your office headquarters, a satellite office or a remote worker, they are no substitute for talking. [quotesright]Don’t become a machine. You deal with people. [/quotesright]
You can say the same for customer feedback. Wouldn’t you rather hear early on that there is a problem than read months later you have 34,900 negative reviews on Amazon or some site?
7. Team Building
For your business to run like a well-oiled machine you need to have a team that works well together. Team building is one of the best investments you can make in your company. The stronger your team is and the more they value and respect each other, the better your company will be.
Disgruntled and disconnected staff can affect your company and your profits. A high turnover rate costs businesses millions in human resources, training and other staffing costs.
Holding workshops, activities, and other group events helps your team grow stronger and healthier – both individually and together. The more appreciated and effective a team members feel, the less stress they feel and the happier they are with their jobs.
8. Mental Health and Well Being Initiatives
Making mental health and employee well-being a priority is critical to your company's success. One in four people battles mental illness which affects every aspect of their lives including their performance and motivation at work.
Wellbeing initiatives can help your employees deal better with the stresses of life and concentrate on their job. This is better for them and for you. A healthier and happier team increases productivity, creativity, and overall performance, which brings us to why you need:
9. Employee Assistance Programs
Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) can help your employees handle the demands of the job and cope with the stresses of life. It also lets each team member know you value them and care about their health.
You need trained professional counselors who can take charge of workplace problems and personal ones and get an employee the professional help they need. You can’t do that unless you are a trained psychologist and even then, you don’t want to go there.
You have employees with various needs and demands in their lives. Multigenerational teams mean diverse problems and require individual solutions. For as little as $3.50 an employee, you can offer an EAP. Just be sure you get one who is more interested in helping than going through the motions. Many do little more than let you check the box on a government form saying, “you tried.”
Good plans offer initial conversations with psychologists, not clerks and multiple visits with clinicians and other professionals.
10. Opportunities to Grow
The best way for your company to succeed is by helping your team succeed and grow within the company. If employees feel like they are in dead-end jobs they'll either stop giving their work their full attention and effort or they'll leave for a position where they can grow.
Knowledge is power and giving your employees that tool not only empowers them but your business as well. Incentives for team members to continue growing and further their education helps you create a more motivated and powerful team.
Whether it's through in-house workshops for company training or scholarship awards and tuition reimbursements, you can build team loyalty and dedication by offering to invest in them to show you appreciate the effort they give to your business.
Promote from Within
You don't want employees to outgrow their jobs and decide to leave for a position that's more challenging and fulfilling. [quotesright]You don't have to hire a stranger when you have a talent pool within. [/quotesright]
Just the prospect of in-house promotions and company advancement can improve your team morale. It also means that you have team members and management that know each other, understand more of each other's jobs and of the company because they have been there longer.
An employee that is encouraged to reach their full potential and given the opportunity to advance farther than they ever imagined will not only have loyalty to the company but work harder and be more resilient than someone new.
Why first turn to an outside hires and take time to build trust and form a new working relationships while they try to learn the job and get a sense of company pride and loyalty when you already have qualified individuals working for you?
Offering flexible schedules to employees so that they can reduce life stress and work at improving themselves is not only good for team morale, it will give you a more well-rounded team.
Giving your team options like mental health days, working from home opportunities, and time off for education can help you build a stronger and more resilient team.
Self-Care and Self-Improvement
Providing your employees with a place to exercise, meditate, and get childcare at work is good for your company and for your team resilience. [quotesright]Your employees need to blow off steam and where better to do that than at work? [/quotesright]
Some of the most successful companies in the world have made employee culture a priority with things like nap pods, video game consoles, catered meals and Zen gardens for their team.
They know it pays back in productivity, loyalty, and lower stress because, well, they are being treated like adults and helped, not monitored and regimented like a maximum-security prison. Millennials and younger employees get it, want it, and will reward you with low turnover as well as high loyalty and productivity.
Organizational Resilience Starts at the Top
Organizational resilience isn't just about making your employees feel like part of the team. It is providing leadership and an example of resilience straight from the top.
Leadership at the top of the company needs to get back to the basics and remember why and how you started at the bottom.
Being passionate about the mission and vision of the company will help everyone work towards the same goals and be more resilient together and individually.
If you want a more resilient and productive