Building Employee Resilience in a VUCA World

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VUCA is a concept that received newfound interest in the workforce thanks to the pandemic and its aftereffects. While there isn’t any way to anticipate every sudden change in the industry and economy, there are ways to prepare your organization. And one significant buffer against VUCA lies in employee resilience. 

Arguably, the biggest challenge with VUCA is that usual business practices and strategies become obsolete. Affected practices include communications, scheduling, supply distribution, and more. The common link among practices and strategies is that they potentially result in disruption and losses due to sudden changes.

However, people are flexible, and it is their timeless resilience that will separate successful VUCA organisations from the also-rans. 

A vehicle might swerve off course with an unpredictable mechanical error, but an astute and well-prepared driver will know how to react in the case of such an emergency. Resilient employees are nimble drivers who know how to limit the damage when disaster strikes – and successful VUCA leaders are the instructors who introduced them to the wheel. 

Mistakes are Lessons 

Mistakes are bound to happen in a dynamic work environment. However, resilient employees should never wallow in self-pity or get fixated with the details. Similarly, workers shouldn’t shrug off errors without learning from them. Instead, workers should interpret mistakes as a reliable source of on-the-job-training and accept them as an integral part of work. 

Organisational leaders can encourage positive thinking at work through simple but effective interactions, such as complimenting staff on achievements and providing constructive feedback to improve their performance. 

Balance is Key 

A tired mind is incapable of making the most effective decisions. Work-life-balance is vital in employee resilience. Well-rested employees will have the energy and mood to act and make the critical decisions required in a VUCA scenario. Similarly, exhausted workers may commit careless and costly mistakes. 

Employers can prevent burnout at work by promoting the importance of self-care and relaxation. If possible, leaders may consider implementing flexible work hours and offering lifestyle incentives like spa vouchers. Additionally, employers may lead by example, such as reducing overtime spent in the office. 

Strengthen Creativity 

VUCA requires pragmatic solutions. Unfortunately, the power of creativity doesn’t occur overnight. Employees should stay proactive rather than merely reacting (and often panicking) to a full-fledged VUCA crisis. Brainstorming, teamwork, and decision-making are some of the many soft skills necessary when employees face a novel problem. 

Rather than scampering for solutions when a crisis appears, leaders should invest in developing creativity among workers during “peace times.” Lego Serious Play is an example of a practical workshop that hones your employees’ innovation, imagination, and collaboration. 

VUCA might seem overwhelming to the unprepared workforce. However, with the right mindset, employee resilience will help your organisation get through the darkest times. The golden solution to VUCA lies in tackling fickle unknowns with flexible minds. 

StrengthsAsia has helped many individuals and corporate clients empower leaders throughout the region by enabling breakthrough experiences for both leaders and followers. If you wish to learn more about the Strengths Leadership Program, please reach out to us here.

Maalikka is the latest addition to StrengthsAsia’s team of marketing and content extraordinaries. As an avid reader, writer and learner, she’s always on the lookout for new information online or interesting conversations to inspire her. Her other passions include gaming, Netflix and cats.

A devotee at the altar of language and a celebrant of expression. Laurenzo has written for various SMEs, MNCs, startups and international brands over the last three years. He specializes in topics of psychology, lifestyle, employee management, and digital trends.

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