The 7 Habits of Highly Resilient Employees

This post is submitted by Alanna Fincke and Linda Natansohn from Kronos partner meQuilibrium. They help organizations become more successful by developing resilient employees. In addition to this article, you can learn more about their approach in this podcast I did with their CEO Jan Bruce a few months ago.

Your employees are your business. They greet and serve your customers, they open and close the shop, they handle the money, they build your products, they work alongside you to grow the business. Each night they leave, and each morning you hope they come back.

You’ve got to ensure that your employees are happy. Otherwise, they’ll look elsewhere, call in sick more often. So, what are the driving motivators for employees to call out or change jobs—and what can you do to reduce absence and turnover?

Burnout, depression and anxiety, disengagement, absenteeism, and turnover are all at all-time highs. Why? Because we live in an era of rapid transformation and uncertainty. In the world, at work, in our home lives. And it’s hard on us. It’s hard on organizations, too, directly hitting KPIs and the bottom line. For a company of 10,000 employees, the costs are approaching $70M per year.

So, what do we do—as humans and as organizations?

While we cannot change the world around us, we can change the way we respond, adapt, and arm ourselves to tackle challenges and setbacks and show up in life.

This ability is called resilience. And it is a key capacity needed to not just survive, but thrive in the world we live in today. Resilience is defined as the ability to bounce back from challenge, recover from stress, and move forward and thrive. It not only gets to the root cause behind the big people issues, such as absence and turnover, but it can also prevent them from happening in the first place. A 2016 Harvard Business Review survey identified the ability to adapt as the most important skill for companies undergoing a digital transformation—more important than technical knowledge, communication skills or even customer-focused problem-solving.

The science is clear: Resilient people aren’t luckier—they build cognitive and behavioral skills that keep them afloat while others may sink. Best of all, resilience can be learned and meQuilibrium’s cloud-based solution delivers this at scale. Below are the seven proven factors of resilience:

 1. Emotion Regulation: The ability to control one’s emotions and maintain calm under adversity. It’s easy to understand how the skills of Emotion Regulation can be essential to people who face customers all day and how that impacts Net Promoter Score and other measures of customer satisfaction.

2. Impulse Control: The capacity to moderate your behavior when you’re experiencing challenges so you don’t burn bridges. Ever pressed “send” in a moment of anger on an email you immediately regretted?

3. Causal Analysis: Being able to look at all the causes of a particular problem and work out what you can control and what you can’t, so you can funnel energy into what you can change and forgive what you can’t.  

4. Self-Efficacy: A belief in yourself that you are competent and reliable. Or the belief that you can solve problems and succeed. This is critical and so essential as it impacts how people tackle change and setbacks—or not—and ask for help when needed.

5. Realistic Optimism: The ability to be optimistic to the extent that your reality allows without getting blindsided. Employees with this skill balance the ability to see opportunity while realistically assessing what could go wrong or deter success.

6. Empathy: Understanding what motivates other people, what they think and feel, and being able to put yourself in their shoes. It’s critical especially for leaders and managers who need to build a culture of trust.

7. Reaching Out: A willingness and ability to take on new opportunities even in the face of change or adversity. That’s agility and adaptability at its core. 

Would you like to learn more about resilience?

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