What’s the #1 Skill today’s workers and teams need to be successful?
According to a recent LinkedIn News article, Resilience is the skill we need.
This should come as no surprise given the dramatic amount of change we have experienced over the last several years. The world changed almost overnight. Events forced us into a virtual workplace and then required us to adapt into a new hybrid model. Isolation and anxiety increased.
One study by the Journal of Occupational Health found the financial cost of occupational stress was estimated to be up to $187 Billion in 2018. In 2019, the American Institute of Stress found that when they include factors such as absenteeism, turnover, and increased medical and legal costs, the number was closer to $300 Billion.
And that was pre-COVID.
Since the Pandemic, the numbers have skyrocketed. Burnout is one of the major causes of employee turnover, and a recent Gallup study estimated it at a 1 Trillion dollar problem.
The Harvard Business Review found that 75% of workers felt isolated, 67% reported higher stress, and 57% felt deep anxiety. Even though we are post-pandemic, the rate of change is not slowing down.
Learning new collaboration strategies and stress management is critical.
Experts acknowledge the only way to combat constant change is to build resilience. Sounds great? But how do you build it?
Because of the urgency for installing bulwarks of resilience inside organizations, Fierce sent our researchers and developers into overtime to analyze the issue. Our ultimate goal was to find the right levers to create resilience as rapidly as the rate of change.
The research has been enlightening.
Here are just 3 of the tips we’ve learned to begin building resilience inside your organization.
1. Proper Understanding of Resilience – Traditional thinking focused on grit or eliminating stressors. That approach eventually fails. Avoiding problems or attacking without greater fervor doesn’t provide the skill sets to manage and mitigate the stress that bombards us daily.
The Center for Workplace Mental Health defines resilience as “the ability to bounce back and even thrive through major challenges”, and a “key strategy that helps employees tackle stress.”
Digging in and leaning hard into obstacles often accelerates anxiety and burnout. You may overcome the challenges but bear the scars of the struggle on the other side.
Building resilience is a mixture of tools and techniques unique to what causes stress in your team.
2. Proper Understanding of Stress – “It’s silent, everyday stress that gradually and then suddenly leads to a state of being overwhelmed,” says Dr. Gabriel De La Rosa, Chief Behavioral Science Officer at Fierce Conversations.
When we think of stress, we tend to imagine the big events – the intense conflict with co-workers or direct reports, job changes, tragic events, or failure to meet large goals.
We rarely notice the small events that eat away at our psyche, until one day we feel immense burnout and overwhelm.
Every incident of stress affects your biology, but until it builds to critical mass, we don’t notice.
As we’ve analyzed stress, we’ve discovered that stress is individual in nature. In fact, boredom and apathy can be as stressful to many of us, yet a confrontational encounter doesn’t affect us at all.
Learn to think differently about stress. Here are a few questions to help analyze the role stress plays in your work life.
- What items cause stress to your team and yourself?
- What events or people generate stress for you and your team?
- What type of healthy stress management works for you?
3. Build Intense Self-Awareness – Studies have shown that while 95% of people think they are self-aware, only 10-15% truly are.
Why is this a problem and how does it impact resilience?
No two people have the same lived experience, we’re all unique, and our perception of stress plays an even bigger role in what causes us stress than even the stress event itself.
Without self-awareness, we don’t identify the true causes of stress in our life. This is the major reason most wellness solutions don’t work. Participants never have access to personalized objective data and feedback to their internal state.
At Fierce, we have developed several tools to increase self-awareness. Not only have these tools helped participants, but have given us deeper insights into what creates stress.
Through self-awareness training, a recent Fierce client discovered a surprising insight into workplace stress. Using our bio-metric Pulse app, she noticed that one of her regular meetings triggered the highest stress response. She was shocked because this was a mandatory meeting where she had no contribution beyond participation. However, the apathy and boredom-induced meetings created stress. With this insight, she pivoted with her boss to either become engaged in the meeting or drop off her schedule. The results showed instant relief and productivity improvements.
Develop self-awareness of how stress impacts you and you are on the road to resilience. – Eurich, Working with People Who Aren’t Self Aware by Tasha Eurich, Harvard Business Review, October 19, 2018.
How Fierce is Building Resilience
Through our own research into resilience, it should be no surprise that we learned how important self-awareness is. We learned that the body responds to stressors and these can be tracked. Most of us aren’t intuitive enough to notice these subtle changes in our biology.
You need a stress detector for your biometrics that connects to your daily activities. Only then can you identify those small stressors that eventually wear you down.
This is exactly why we created the Pulse app. Pulse links with wearable devices, tracks daily stress responses, identifies workplace stressors, and provides tools to mitigate their effects. You can finally see what stress is doing in small increments and adapt before a crash occurs.
Coupled with the Pulse App, we built a new course called Fierce Resilience. The purpose of the course was to build self-awareness and the necessary tools to manage and mitigate stress. In tackling these issues, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in resilience among early participants.
Fierce Resilience is working because it:
- Combats toxic stressed-out work environments with empowered self-aware individuals ready to tackle any obstacle.
- Transform resentful, negative, and frustrated people into energized mentally fit employees.
- Trains the fearful, unprepared workforce into a resilient force ready to navigate a hopeful future.
To build resilience in yourself and your team, understand how unique stress is to every individual. We all process circumstances differently. However, you can build the skills to mitigate stress by being aware of how stress affects you and others. Begin by stepping back and thinking deeply about how stress impacts you. Taking that step will help you and your team become stronger in the face of change.