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How to Develop Resilience in a Remote Workforce

How to Develop Resilience in a Remote Workforce

How to Develop Resilience in a Remote Workforce

“When fear rushed in, I learned how to hear my heart racing but refused to allow my feelings to sway me. That resilience came from my family. It flowed through our bloodline.”

—Coretta Scott King

In the face of this unforgiving pandemic, what organization doesn’t want to be resilient and turn a steep, staggering mountain climb into a glorious summit?

Take your organization, for instance. What if you could actually practice and model resilience to your directors, managers, and department heads?

Result: You inspire and equip leaders to maintain their bounce-back perseverance and be their best.

What if your organization’s resilience became your biggest “win” during COVID-19? It could happen. Here are four timely excerpts from respected sources to help you develop resilience and instill it in your people, especially when it comes to working from home and receiving online remote training.

Synonym for “resilience”: Improvise 

To make it through the current crisis and return to a new normal, you and your team will need to be resilient. The good news is that leaders can help create the conditions that make this possible. We’ve done multiple studies with U.S. Navy recruits that show how this can best be done—and, recently, in studying how leaders are responding to the crisis, we’ve come across valuable stories of how they can achieve this even when team members are working remotely. The key is to focus on two things:

  • People: Foster resilience-oriented conversations
  • Perspective: Ask questions

Resilient teams will learn how to improvise in these new modes of working together. . . . You can lead discussions on how well things are working, what processes can be improved, and the like. Highlighting what the team is learning during the adversity will collectively strengthen it in all three critical protective factors: confidence, disciplined routines, and support.

Any crisis is also an opportunity to build resilience among your reports. If you successfully implement the tactics we offer here, you just may find that they not only bounce back from these difficult times but emerge much stronger as people and as a team.

From “Build Your Team’s Resilience—From Home,” by David Sluss and Edward Powley, Harvard Business Review, April 14, 2020

Engaging your WFH teams right now

A recent report found that one-fourth of U.S. employees are feeling burnout due to the pandemic. Clearly, leading is not the same from afar. Distance creates a new set of challenges that leaders must acknowledge and conquer so they can connect with and inspire their people. Maintaining relationships with your people—and strengthening relationships among your people—needs to be a primary objective.

So, as you embrace this new all-virtual world, you need to set a new tone by modifying what you do and how you do it to increase engagement and connection, without sacrificing your sanity. These four actions will help:

  • Heighten The Humanity
  • Make Meetings Meaningful
  • Communicate Consistently
  • Train Your Talent

We're living in a new world of work and leaders are being called to venture into completely uncharted territory. This presents you with an amazing opportunity to prove that you're the right person to guide the organization through the most turbulent, transformative business environment we've ever experienced.

From “Four Ways Leaders Can Engage Their WFH Teams During Covid-19” by William Arruda, Forbes, April 17, 2020

Are you prepared to manage the crisis?

After two weeks of working from home, I’ve accepted that remote work will be the new norm for the foreseeable future for many of us. But for business leaders, the question now becomes: Are we prepared to manage this crisis? We have a responsibility to do so appropriately.

Four ways for leaders to set up their teams for long-term success in this new norm:

  • Be sensitive and compassionate with employees.
  • Become better thought-leaders.
  • Determine what’s essential.
  • Establish meeting cadences and milestones.

 None of us can predict when the COVID-19 crisis will come to an end. In the meantime, it's up to us as business leaders to remain patient, calm, and sensitive as we navigate the changing waters of this new norm.

From “How to Inspire Your Teams During the COVID-19 Crisis, by David Cardiel, PRsay, April 2020.

The perfect online training conditions

When we talk about online training conditions, we’re talking about everything from the training course layout to the multimedia you incorporate. It’s the emotional atmosphere that you cultivate for your employees. As such, your online training program must foster a personal connection while still retaining its professionalism. Here are the seven best practices for creating the perfect online training conditions for your remote employees.

  • Use uplifting visuals that resonate with employees
  • Add emotionally compelling stories and examples
  • Provide opportunities for real-world online training
  • Create an effective online support system
  • Develop a mentorship online training program
  • Collect ongoing e-learning feedback
  • Encourage managers to lead by example

From “7 Best Practices to Create the Perfect Online Training Conditions,” by Christopher Papas, eFront

How to put resilience to work

From welcoming a new employee on their first day of work via Zoom to training your teams online, people need to know their leaders will show up and care.

Whatever this "new normal" may come to look like, God is there in the midst with his people. As Ruth Haley Barton has said, "I think of a church leader who shared her journey of desiring a deeper intimacy with God and beginning to arrange her life more intentionally around this. As a result of her openness and vulnerability, her fellow elders felt free to voice similar desires and over time, the entire elder board was enlivened to seek God and pursue a deepening practice of discerning and doing God’s will together in the context of their leadership.”

In uncertain times, employees need leaders to show up, make the effort, listen, pray, and be present to where their people are. By acting on what your people need right now, you can look forward to a two-fold return:

The immediate impact of demonstrating courage, trust, and caring can help forge a new, lasting resilience so that your organization is poised to survive and thrive on the other side of the crisis.

Additional Resources

Download BCWI's four-page guide for inspirational leadership in crisis for FREE.