During the final weeks of 2020, everyone agreed we were a bit frayed and holding out for a much-needed rest. With New Year traditionally a time to review and plan, we have good reason to celebrate our achievements and resilience in navigating the past year. Looking ahead, our economy is in better shape than anticipated, but continued uncertainly means it would be brave to predict the course of 2021. Might a factor in our planning be the significance of well-being and resilience as contributors to individual and organisational success?
Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, toughness”. Or “the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape – elasticity”. Certainly, 2020 called for that capability. A business able to respond to disruption will out-perform less-prepared competitors. Perhaps we should view resilience as a type of “active insurance” – a readiness for unexpected contingency.
Digitalisation is an example. Companies with cloud-based platforms more easily maintained business continuity and the transition to working from home. Technology also enabled new delivery models in response to supply chain disruption. Digital solutions strengthen resilience and will continue to distinguish success.
“Well-being” gained prominence during 2020. Business leaders and teams were under pressure. Decisions had to be made quickly with shifting goalposts. Resourcing had to be managed, with uncertainty fostering anxiety. Working parents were juggling home-schooling. Winter holidays were off the agenda. Why is well-being important? Because it influences safety, decision making, responsiveness and productivity. It impacts competitive advantage and bottom-line results.
Fostering a culture where resilience and well-being form part of the conversation strengthens the ability to manage challenges and adapt. Results include more effective decision making and avoidance of burn-out by agreeing priorities. Being known as a workplace that invests in people and promotes well-being will elevate your employer brand and attract and retain the people you need. It will also positively engage customers, suppliers, unions and investors. Influencers on business culture include fair remuneration, clear communication, continuing learning, safety, sustainability, innovation and flexibility.
Robyn Webb, Career Consultant