Building a resilient team
Challenging times reveal a lot about our character. This past year has had its share of challenges, any of which could have defeated us. But – I'm sure like many of you – my team inspired me with their perseverance on a daily basis.
This resiliency – the ability to overcome hard times – takes effort. Sure, some of us might have more of an inclination toward this mental fortitude, but there are ways to develop it. In the workplace, it requires leaders to provide employees with the support they need.
A recent study from ADP Research Institute found that only roughly one-fifth of American workers are "highly resilient." The study identified three characteristics of resilient workers, and employee engagement expert Amy Leschke-Kahle has some tips to help promote growth in these areas:
- Strong sense of agency: Micromanagement is a characteristic of an insecure leader. Great leaders give employees space to do their jobs – without continuously being told what to do or how to do it. Workers with agency feel responsibility over their efforts and outcomes. They strive to perform to the best of their ability. Leaders can help cultivate this agency by providing praise, constructive feedback, and the resources needed to do their jobs well.
- Ability to compartmentalize at work: Compartmentalization is a component of emotional intelligence. You have to be aware of your emotions and how to work through them effectively. Resilient workers are able to hunker down during times of stress and chaos and maintain productivity. This doesn't mean ignoring these emotions but understanding how to healthily address them. Despite 2020 being a year of uncertainty, our employees stayed focused on our organizational missions and performed incredibly well under the pressure.
- Ability to do work that makes them feel strong: We are most engaged when we are passionate about our work. While there are big projects that make us feel like we're making a difference, there are smaller, everyday tasks that may seem inconsequential. It's up to leaders to communicate how all roles and responsibilities build up to the organization's overall success. Take time to show appreciation for your employees. Have regular check-ins to talk one-on-one with your team and demonstrate your commitment to their success.
As we work to overcome the adversity of 2020 and prepare for new challenges on the horizon, don't lose sight of where your strength comes from: Your employees. Be mindful of the resources and environment needed to help them bounce back stronger than ever.
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About the Author
B. Dan Berger first joined NAFCU in 2006 and helped turn the association into the premiere advocate for the credit union industry. Since becoming president and CEO in 2013, Berger, who is also an author, economist, and one of Washington's top lobbyists, is credited with bringing national attention to key policy issues, while ensuring NAFCU's members meet policymakers at the highest levels of government.