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  • Writer's pictureYamit Armbrister

Organizational Resilience with Fragile Employees – Can That Work?

We hear quite a bit about how important it is for an organization to have the ability to anticipate, respond and recover from a crisis, especially after the coronavirus period, the current economic crisis, cyber security attacks, and more.

The organization as an entity needs to have the right infrastructure, whether systematic, strategic, economic, to face challenges. But an organizational infrastructure without individual resilience of people on a personal level, is not worth much. In the end, it is the people within the organization that will be the reason or the cause of whether the organization will be able to get through a crisis. The strategy, systems, procedures or processes alone will not help if employees in the organization are unable to withstand stress, critical changes, anxiety or uncertainty.

Therefore, when thinking about organizational resilience, we must not forget or neglect the development of individual resilience of employees, as human beings. It is the employees who will have to deal with organizational pressure during a crisis, they are the ones who will have to continue to conduct themselves productively and operationally under uncertainty or fundamental changes, they are the ones who will need to be resilient, determined and optimistic that the crisis will pass, and better days will return to the organization.

When talking about organizational resilience, it is imperative to remember that within Risk and Crisis Management strategies, investing in developing individual resilience can be what tips the scales for failure or success in getting out of an organizational crisis. Even the most advanced system will not operate itself if there is no one to operate it, the most sophisticated strategy will not be realized if the workers collapse, flee, or do not function during a crisis.

Due to the current crisis in the high-tech industry, some organizations cut 5% or more of their employees’ salaries. The employees who are willing to absorb the worsening conditions, uncertainty, stress from layoffs, workload, are the ones who will keep the organization stable until the anger passes.

History proves to us time and time again that the human spirit is stronger than any system or infrastructure. It is the ability of people to stay calm, to think outside the box, to prevail, to support each other, to agree to compromise, that testifies above all other things whether the organization has the resilience needed to withstand a crisis.

In summary, it is important to plan strategies for crisis and risk management, to invest in systems, and processes, but perhaps most important of all is to prioritize an investment in developing the individual resilience, because they are the ones who will ultimately determine whether the organization will be resilient or not in times of crisis.


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