In all the crises of life and work, we are called to have only one thing that will help us through these dark times: resilience.
To be resilient is to know what it’s like to falter, to navigate through adversity even when we don’t expect it to hit so close to home. Oftentimes we lose that ability to rise to the challenge and we find ourselves trapped in the abyss, unable to get out.
Great employees know the value of having what it takes to survive in any organization, for it is the single most important trait that is needed in order to build a fruitful, successful career later on in life. Resilience, not inaction, has been proven time and again to help you get ahead in fulfilling your career goals, and many times over, it is resilience that truly empowers employees to stand up for what they believe is right.
Resilience is what allows employees to stay motivated. It’s a good guide to ensuring that you stay focused on what your goal is at work. Whether that be moving up and getting promoted, or finding that freedom to do the projects you want, resilience drives employees to be the very best that they can be.
We have to recognize though that it isn’t enough to just be resilient, and this is something that employers should foster at their companies. Employees ought to be happy with what the employer has set up for them, but at the same time they should be motivated to excel. Resilience often implies putting up with what a company has done wrong, but it should also be taken to imply pushing oneself harder because there’s a goal for you to set, no matter what that goal is in your head.
As an employee, if that goal is important to you, you should stick at it. If you want a promotion, you should be resilient in the hopes that you will get it.
If you want your employer to listen to you, you should be resilient to show them that you’re serious in building employee engagement.
Resilience is often considered anathema in organizations because it implies a certain rebellion against the established order. An established order is by default “comfortable”—it’s something that we’ve accustomed ourselves to and is rarely challenged by something new or unusual. Many corporate cultures encourage compliance and order, and to an extent that fosters resilience, but a kind that works against employers and only serves to damage relations between employers and employees.
On the other hand, encouraging resilience in a corporate culture allows for a stronger relationship between employers and employees. Recognizing common challenges and synergies lets both parties work together for the benefit of the company, and in turn serves to better employees and the companies they work for as well.
Employee engagement is never a one-way street. It’s not successful when companies refuse to budge, and likewise when employees are intransigent and refuse to see the bigger picture. Working together—being resilient together, rather than resisting one or the other—makes for better, more responsive companies, as well as more responsible employees. Those are the kinds of workers any company should have.