Updated: May 24
No matter what type of organization you help run, if you are a leader, you should be promoting resilience and agility in the workplace.
When the individuals that make up an organization are better able to face challenges, the entire system is strengthened. Resilience mitigated risks, ensuring that challenges won’t set your business back as far they could.
Organizations improve their overall resilience when they can:
· anticipate disruptions
· prepare for roadblocks
· respond to sudden changes
· adapt to new systems
Resilience is essential if you want your business, systems, and teams to not just survive but prosper.
But resilience in an organization requires both collaboration and trauma-informed strategies. It’s easier said than done.
Luckily, I have 7 methods for promoting organizational resilience that you can start applying today.
Take an inside-out approach.
With trauma-informed work, it’s crucial that you, the leader, do the inner work before expecting to see the same growth in your employees.
Trauma-informed leadership is always an inside-out job—which means you must start with yourself. Bear that in mind as you read through the next strategies for resilience!
Encourage curious thinking.
Questioning attitudes help us adapt quickly to new situations. Resist the mindset that things will always go according to plan—because they probably won’t.
Curious thinking is the antithesis of rigid thinking, and it will help you approach unfamiliar problems with a fresh lens.
This agility of the mind isn’t easy, especially when we consider how trauma may prime the brain for rigid thinking. However, actively promoting curiosity in the workplace is a great place to start.
Establish a safe work environment where emotions are freely expressed.
It’s a shame that there is a popular misconception that feelings are unprofessional.
However, a business that ignores the reality of feelings is a workplace that promotes little to no resources to cope with difficult emotions (which we all experience).
You can liken this situation to an employer that does not provide bathrooms to employees because they’d prefer to ignore the reality of someone’s bodily needs. Sure, you may still get the work done, but at what cost?
Express your emotions openly and freely and encourage your employees to do the same. Vulnerability in the workplace opens up a safe space for team members to be themselves, and it can even foster better connections between employees.
Communicate on every level.
To promote resilience, you must open lines of communication across various situations.
Relationship dynamics shift depending on who is in the room, so you must promote healthy relationships:
· one-on-one with each of your employees
· within teams or departments
· between individuals across your organization
Discuss both strengths and weaknesses.
Too often, we take a lens of all-good or all-bad. Instead, focus on creating a balance in your organization.
Normalize constructive criticism and acknowledge both virtues and flaws without judgment.
When we can discuss weaknesses without shame or guilt, growth and resilience come naturally.
Educate your team about basic trauma theory.
When employees on all levels understand how trauma can impact the body and the mind, many behaviors start to make more sense.
Trauma theory and training sessions create a deeper sense of understanding, enable an acknowledgment of one’s humanity, and promote compassion in the workplace.
Implement trauma-informed systems.
Many of these methods can be integrated into the workplace without the addition of new processes, but trauma-informed work can make faster progress when you establish new standard practices.
So, adjust policies and procedures accordingly with these methods.
Do you want more guidance on how to apply a trauma-informed approach to promote resilience and agility in your organization? Sign Up for our Trauma-Informed Masterclass that begins in August.