Various studies by the American Psychiatric Association and the National Institutes of Health show that an individual’s level of resiliency directly contributes to the overall resiliency and preparedness of the organizations in which they participate. Those organizations that promote resiliency have a competitive edge over their peers and a higher level of productivity. There are five reasons to add resiliency training to your organization’s curriculum for development.
Some groups naturally benefit from the extensive individual training their members receive during their extensive pre-employment training and the inherent nature of their jobs. Those more obvious groups include members of law enforcement, first responders, intelligence services, and the military. These groups receive situational awareness training, practical exercises with stressors, extensive classroom learning, and tactical exercises that often include “live fire” ammunition and even explosives. Some scholars argue – and I agree – that competitive athletes have similar skills, having followed a regimen of training, worked through challenges with teammates, and dealt with high-pressure victories and defeats at a functionally high level. It’s no surprise then that people coming out of those fields are “inoculated to stress” and more resilient. They have “seen” more and been tested in the field under real-world conditions – and have dealt successfully with the stress and bounced back… perhaps even flourished. Give me a veteran or a former competitive athlete, and I’ll highlight their added value as an employee.
Studies accurately predict that these traits can be added to groups that do not typically include rigorous training and practical exercises. Resilience can be learned and added to an organization’s quiver of competitive advantages. Examples include the staff of a corporation, members of a faith group or church, board members and leadership teams, and family members for the extended family or family office. Here are five key reasons to support these additions to your organizational culture:
Adding resiliency will make your employees or members happier. Yes, they will have to face the reality that the world is not a simple and safe place all the time. Bad things do happen, and one must be ready. We have fallen into a false sense of security with our smartphones, instant gratification, and “virtual” reality. Meanwhile, citizens of a country across the Atlantic are enduring a new land war, the likes of which we have not seen in 80 years. It is time to wake up and accept reality. In accepting reality, individuals can be liberated to work through any anxiety, NOT be surprised, and be prepared for challenges. With resilience, individuals can live their lives with lower overall stress and greater confidence.
Adding resiliency reduces people’s anxiety at home and in real life, thus making them more capable and creative. They will more confidently pursue the best versions of themselves, becoming more productive and more likely to solve problems on their own. Without having to bring in the supervisor or their parents, children can come into their own, begin traveling, and experiencing life in education and work. They need to accept reality as it is and be prepared for life’s curveballs. After receiving resiliency training, they will feel confident that they can handle most of what the world throws at them. What do you want for your rising college student? Confidence and happiness are at the top of most parents’ list.
Adding resiliency training to your organization increases retention of employees or members. People want to be a part of something – whether it’s a movement, a tribe, or a family. Individuals experience a heightened esprit de corps when any group they are a part of runs the gauntlet or endures hardship and comes out the other end successfully. After going through challenges together, they are more likely to stay together in the long run. Does your company feel like a cohesive tribe? Will they band together in a natural disaster or scatter to the winds?
Having resilient employees and members means that your company, your non-profit, your leadership team will be more resilient in the face of crisis, leadership challenge, business interruption, supply chain disruption, or pandemic. Making resilience a part of your organizational culture and training individuals to be prepared, self-sufficient, and emotionally and mentally strong will make your organization better. It will give your company a competitive edge, your faith group a greater sense of purpose, your non-profit the strength to attempt more complex activities, and your family to take on new adventures or protect their legacy. Is the rising generation in your family ready for tomorrow’s challenges?
Having resiliency in an organization adds to the resiliency of our society. Corporations can be better global citizens when their employees contribute during a crisis and are not just victims. The national security of a country can rely more heavily on a resilient business community, one in which resiliency is built into its culture. An organization that is ready in the face of natural disasters can help their communities, thus reducing the burden on the local, state, and federal governments to render aid to every single individual. Make resilience training a priority for your organization and be a part of the solution, rather than a burden on society during any future challenges.
In the face of a dynamically changing world – one fraught with cyber attacks, war, pandemics, family challenges, natural disasters, and so on – it is in everyone’s interest for all organizations to pursue resilience. It’s just good business.