The business world is a living organism. As things evolve both in the outside world and in the marketplace, companies are constantly compelled to find better solutions and reimagine their products and services. In the dynamic flow of the business environment, adaptability is an instrument for success. But organizational resilience means more than being adaptable in a competitive market.
Organizational resilience describes the ability of a company to prepare for unexpected events and survive paradigm shifts. Strong resilience is needed when a company encounters disruptions that go beyond the regular activity of the business.
Unpredictable situations may arise at any point. Here are some example of obstacles and major changes that test the resilience of an organization:
- Natural disasters (tsunamis, snowstorms, wildfires, etc)
- Important technological advances (smartphones, artificial intelligence, the rise of the gaming industry, etc)
- Social issues (social justice protests, elections or relevant political events, regime changes)
Let’s take a look at why organizational resilience is crucial in today’s business world and what are the characteristics of a resilient business.
The Year of Organizational Resilience
When we talk about professional endurance, we immediately think of COVID-19 and the disruption it brought to our lives, on both personal and professional levels.
Today’s business world can be summed up by the acronym VUCA, which describes four attributes of an unstable environment: volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. The events of the pandemic have impacted business models of any kind, which is why 2021 is often described as the year of organizational resilience.
In the face of the major shifts brought on by 2020, many companies have opted to downsize or cut back on the costs of human resources. Other organizations have failed to adapt and were forced to close up shop. This is why, in the aftermath of the pandemic, the business world strives to build resilience and prepare for hardship.
While the daily activity of a business was traditionally focused on durability, now the general mindset has changed. Instead of tackling just the issues at hand, leaders work towards creating daily routines that can be feasible in multiple situations, outside of a stable, optimal environment.
Let’s take a look at some of the traits of resilient businesses.
Flexibility is needed in a durable business model. Managers of all levels are responsible for the activity within their teams and their outcomes. This is why agile leaders who are always responsive to change play a significant part in the resilience of a company.
Collaborative environments have a better chance to survive difficult situations, and maybe even flourish when faced with challenges. When team members collaborate, it leads to fast decision-making, creative solutions, and accurate risk-assessment, all of which are valuable resources for building resilience.
Increased employee morale
As most corporations have moved their activity to the home office, we were able to understand the importance of employee morale for remote work and the new daily routine. Employees who believe in the company culture and trust their employers are more likely to bring innovation to the internal processes.
Each company has software, hardware equipment, and other tools that are essential for conducting business. Some requirements are technical, others relate to company culture and the core values of the brand, while some specifications are essential for security reasons.
Before COVID-19, many companies would have never considered moving their operations to remote locations. Resilient companies have learned to focus on versatility and adapt their tools for multiple purposes.
Implementing changes is a process that happens on many levels at once. Resilient businesses encourage workers to be self-sufficient so that they can align their daily routine with the new paradigm. Self-sufficient employees often possess a deep knowledge of their role, and they are better equipped to understand company-wide decisions.
How to Build Resilience in Your Organization
In the VUCA environment of the post-pandemic world, small businesses, as well as large corporations, are required to reassess their endurance and strengthen their organizational resilience.
Here are some tips on how you can build resilience within your company:
- Have a proactive mindset: instead of reacting to changes, think ahead and create scenarios for potential crises so you can be prepared.
- Stay on top of your tools: think of how you can optimize your current software and hardware to be more adaptable and secure.
- Create cross-functional teams: bring employees from different departments together so they can collaborate and develop creative solutions to unexpected issues.
- Promote self-learning: to build self-sufficient workers, allow employees to grow and develop on their own.
- Be ready to improvise: improvisation can be used as a tool for problem-solving. In a flexible and agile environment, improvisation can help you think beyond the present limitations and achieve fast results.
- Be wary of burnout and focus on employee retention: employee morale is a contributing factor to productivity, especially during times of change. Remote workers are prone to burnout and low morale. Take actions to prevent burnout and focus on keeping your best employees within the company.
- Consider dependencies and think globally: one of the most important things we have learned during the COVID-19 crisis is that our resilience is intertwined with the global situation. Think of other businesses that intersect with yours and how you can develop resilience together.
- Take a stance on social issues: the outside world is part of our daily life and it has an effect on business activity as well. Create an inclusive, diverse environment and take a stance on important social issues.
We love to help teams strengthen their collaboration. If you need help with your business, get in touch, and let’s see how we can build better services to grow your organizational resilience.