Resilience in the Workplace

Resilience in the Workplace –

Empathetic Managers who know how to support their teams resilience, require flexibility in today’s workplace.

To be successful in this new hybrid environment, managers must lead with empathy and have some new tools available to them. We need to discover for ourselves why building resilience and agility (strategic, operational and behavioural) is critical to revitalise and refine organisations and businesses for these uncertain times.

In a 2021 Gartner survey of 4,787 global employees assessing the evolving role of management, it concluded only 47% of managers are prepared for this future role.

The most effective managers of the future will be those who build fundamentally different relationships with their employees, building resilience and showing empathy.

The empathetic manager

Empathy is nothing new. It’s a common term in the arsenal of good leadership, but it has yet to be a top management priority. The empathic Manager is someone who can contextualise performance and behaviour, who transcends simply understanding the facts of work, and proactively asks questions and seeks information to place themselves in their direct reports mindset.

Empathy requires developing high levels of trust and care and a culture of change and flexibility within teams.

Developing leadership capabilities

This is a lot to ask of any Managers without training. They will need to ask questions that discuss vulnerable answers without compromising trust, diagnose the root cause of an employee’s behaviour without making assumptions, and demonstrate the emotional intelligence necessary to imagine another’s feelings, whilst juggling their own workload and challenges.

To do this we will need to develop the leadership capabilities of our Managers to help our teams succeed, enabling resilience to be built at every level of the organisation.

Six models that can be used

Here we share six models that can be used in the workplace to enhance the teams resilience:

  1. Coaching helps people find their own resilience and capacity, even when we can’t change the external landscape. Any coach worth their salt knows to focus on the client, not the issue, but do your Managers know this? When people are, “looking within” through coaching, they see more possibility and find more internal resilience. This restores some sense of control in what feels like an uncontrollable world. Make sure your managers are converting even 10 minute conversations in to coaching opportunities. When stress is reduced through coaching, people have more access to creativity, empathy, and resilience, all of which are critical right now.
  2. Commit to Building Each Other’s Resilience: It’s essential to establish clear and unambiguous expectations around team unity and peer-to-peer support. Any hesitation or reluctance to help a struggling colleague is a sign that deeper interventions may be needed. Ultimately, team resilience is similar to a battery. It needs to be restored and recharged regularly. Teams that put in place measures to do that will find that they are better equipped and more importantly willing to undertake any challenge beyond the pandemic.
  3. Back to basics : Ensure all your team know the organisations why, the mission, values and strategy, as this will enhance resilience. Everyone will feel they are pulling in the same direction.
  4. Build on our natural ability to build our mental resilience through mindfulness. Mental resilience, especially in challenging times like the present, means managing our minds in a way that increases our ability to manage our thoughts. Resilience is the skill of noticing our own thoughts, unhooking from the non-constructive ones, and rebalancing quickly. This skill can be nurtured and trained. “Resilience is not a trait that you either do or do not have. It involves behaviours, thoughts and actions that can be developed in anyone”. It is the ability to bounce back quickly from unexpected challenges.

    If you can learn techniques for yourself, and others, to reduce stress, anxiety and strain under unpredictable and unstable times, this will improve resilience. Focus on finding ways to inspire yourself and others to step up, by focusing on the teams strengths, so they quickly feel they can lead and thrive again rather than just resuming the old normal.

  5. Do your own inner work You will need to ensure you have an ability to remain positive about the future even when you don’t know what’s coming next.
  6. Planning Make sure you plan in some focused time to stop, think and reflect on what you and your teams need to do.

Actions to consider to build resilience

  • Build your confidence in identifying complexity and your ability to anticipate where problems are most likely to arise, so that you can determine where resilience is required. Create a focus group within your leadership team, this is not a time to go it alone
  • Understand the key organising principles for making your business more resilient and how these can be turned into new management practices. Make sure you are sharing guidance with your Managers. 
  • Gain new perspectives, insights and tools that will help build individual and team resilience. Skylite offers a Resilience Workshop and a Staff training Workbook for Managers on Resilience. Email Louise Cantrill for a chat at: 
  • Reflect on your own resilience as an individual and develop strategies to succeed when faced with difficult circumstances.

Empathy for Managers and Leaders will not be easy, but it’s worth it. In fact, in that same survey already mentioned, 85% of HR leaders agreed that it’s more important now for managers to demonstrate empathy than it was before the pandemic. Further Gartner analysis shows that Managers who display high levels of empathy have three times the impact on their employees performance than those who display low levels of empathy. Employees at organisations with high levels of empathy-based management are more than twice as likely to agree that their work environment is inclusive. (Info source HBR)

Support from Skylite

Contact us for a FREE Resilience Flipbook:

To find out more or book a webinar for your organisation, contact Skylite Associates today:

t: 01736 756295 | m: 07808 277767 | e:


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