Development Over Punishment: Avoiding The Loss Of Resiliency In Tough Times

Written by on January 12, 2016

Resiliency: it’s what ensures setbacks become speed bumps – not roadblocks – as an organization moves forward. But even the most resilient individuals can find themselves downhearted if they don’t have the right environment and support to push through tough times. Determination can only take you so far.

Without resilience, leaders, employees and even entire organizations run the risk of missing opportunities for growth and learning. This is why it’s important for organizations and individuals alike to mind the mechanics of resiliency retention; often these success factors are tied directly to the culture and environment of the larger organization.

Allow For Risk: It’s The Only Way To Grow

One way in which organizations can support their employees’ resilience is to properly reward risk-taking. When an individual feels that the consequences of failure outweigh the benefits of greater success, they take increasingly conservative actions. When staff abandon their ideas in their conceptual stages before they have a chance to flourish, this can cause an entire organization to stagnate.

On the other hand, a resilient employee will recognize that failure is only a temporary setback, and is part and parcel with life: it doesn’t have to mean a permanent loss. Only resilient employees can fully take advantage of the opportunities for growth that arise from decisions that involve risk.

So, what can the leadership at your organization do? Aim for a balance of thoughtful risk-taking; a “zero tolerance for error” leaves little room for growth. Organizations that place heavy penalties on failure stifle employee resilience by keeping employees from experiencing the growth that often follows a moment of failure. Allow some room where employees can fail without feeling harsh repercussions; this encourages them to maintain their engagement and innovation while knowing that, should they fail, they’ll have an opportunity to recover, learn and improve.

Everyone Is Responsible For Resiliency: Create A Support System

Resiliency doesn’t work in a vacuum; it’s much easier to see through rough patches when we know others believe in us and are there to help us. Mutual support keeps morale from dipping too low and can help a struggling individual refocus and envision positive results. This is true both at home and in the workplace.

When faced with a difficult challenge, it is easier to maintain resiliency knowing that your colleagues expect great things of you, are willing to help in whatever way they can, and – perhaps most importantly –will recognize the effort that it took to produce success.

With this in mind, leaders should make it a point to convey their support to employees, both in good times and bad. Leaders should set the example with an attitude of shared responsibility to motivate employees to rise up in challenging situations.

Resilient Staff + Strong Company Culture = Progress

A resilient employee paired with a culture of shared responsibility will get the most out of learning experiences as they arise. Creating the right environment for resilience to thrive is the responsibility of the company’s leaders. A leader who invests time and energy in fostering a sense of shared responsibility will see their employees are able to make better decisions and stay more focused and engaged.