We took an indepth look at the challenges L&D leaders have faced as they’ve helped their teams build resilience and navigate the Covid-19 crisis and the creative solutions they adopted.
The first big theme was that staff resilience and wellbeing are not just a Covid-19 challenge – in fast growth scale ups and even bigger companies, high workload and the pace of change were already putting people under pressure at work.
Secondly, building resilience wasn’t (just) about training – feedback from staff was that they needed support not new knowledge at this time. Many leaders put their training plans (and their jobs!) on hold and focused on strengthening the sense of community and equipping a newly remote workforce to work effectively from home.
Managers were at the heart of this strategy and L&D played a key role in upskilling them on how to support their teams and develop the right vocabulary for managing their (and their team’s) emotions. One of the best things managers can do is to create psychological safety for their teams by modelling vulnerability and self care. Creating space for managers to share their challenges and support one another through group coaching sessions has been especially effective. Finally, company social events and creating a network of mental wellbeing champions or allies has also boosted employee motivation and morale. There are open questions about the best way forward if /when teams start to come back to the office. Feedback so far is that people are reluctant to go back to the pre-Covid status quo. They want more flexibility in how they work and hybrid organisations might be the new norm. There’s also a deeper question around how we build resilient organisations into the future as the pace of change won’t be slowing down anytime soon. For some initial thinking on collective resilience, you can read a post Odharnait Ansbro wrote earlier this year on what leaders can do to build it in their organisations.