How do we build resilience and use it to prepare for post covid-19?

Resilience has been seen as a critical part of personal and workplace success for some time, however recent events with Covid-19 have really brought it to the forefront of our minds and shone a light on the importance of individuals and organisations building their resilience so they can respond and bounce back in times of crisis.

Globally, we have all been pushed into a situation that we were not expecting or prepared for. We have been forced into a position where our lives have been changed, movements have been restricted and in some cases business halted.

At the same time, we are worrying about our personal health, the health of our friends, families and loved ones and waking up in an uncertain world daily.

These are huge changes for any individual or organisation to cope with, especially if unprepared.

Resilience is important for several reasons; it enables us to develop mechanisms for protection against experiences which could be overwhelming, it helps us to maintain balance during difficult or stressful periods, and can also protect us from the development of some mental health difficulties and issues.

Being resilient as an organisation means being able to absorb and adapt to survive and thrive. Over the past few weeks, we have seen some great survival examples. Businesses moving to homeworking overnight and seamlessly transitioning to alternative manufacturing and distribution models to support the NHS and care sector.

It has been incredible to witness how quickly employees and organisations have adapted to these circumstances, however with so much uncertainty still surrounding this area it is clear that resilience will support in managing and preparing for the other side of Covid-19.

How can we build resilience?

  • Focus on what we can control
    The most powerful weapon against uncertainty is perspective. We cannot control a lot of what is happening around us currently, so it is important to focus on those areas that we can control. This may mean changing business strategy or diversifying your offering, however allowing yourself to focus on the positives will keep things moving forward rather than dwelling on what should have been.
  • Keep communicating
    On a personal and business level, communication will be key. Speaking with your customers and supply chain to ensure you are as prepared as you can be for what is to come. Be sure to communicate change initiatives to everyone, especially to those who may be resistant or fearful of change. Clear and consistent communication helps keep you and your team motivated for the long road of shifting priorities and recovery once this is over.
  • Be agile and act efficiently
    It is also important that we continue to be flexible and respond efficiently to what is happening around us. It is that ability to react that will help us come out of this situation in a better position than we went into it. Whilst businesses cannot control an unpredictable and uncertain external environment, they can be flexible in response and these organisations will be in a position of strength post pandemic.

Striking that balance with communicating as much as possible, focusing energy on what can be controlled and an ability to adapt quickly will be the best that leaders and business owners can do in these uncertain times. It will also undoubtedly shape how our organisations develop in the future.