Building Resilience In The Face Of Uncertainty

The importance of workplace resilience has gained increasing attention and recognition over the past few years, and with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the potential impacts of Brexit, this is perhaps more relevant than ever.

For many people, these are times of much uncertainty, with concerns over job security, possible relocation of organisation headquarters or the right to work in the country. It is not just a case of preparing for change; organisations are not even clear what exactly the change will entail – and it is crucial not to underestimate the impact of this uncertainty on employees. CIPD’s 2016 People Management survey revealed that staff at over a third of UK organisations expressed concerns about job security. Fast-forward to 2018, and almost half of UK organisations reported increased insecurity amongst their EU employees due to Brexit.

Whilst factors relating to Brexit may feel out of our hands, there are a number of steps organisations can take to help minimise the risk of negative impacts on wellbeing and, in turn, performance. Research has found an overwhelmingly beneficial effect of increasing resilience in such times of job insecurity; a 2016 study, for example, reported increasing resilience to lessen emotional exhaustion, cynicism, counterproductive work behaviours and burnout.

So, if resilience can be such an effective buffer from the negative effects of uncertainty and change, what can employers do about it?

Buffering The Impacts Of Change

The first step is to gain an in-depth understanding of the organisation’s current levels of resilience. At The Wellbeing Project, we draw upon our 5 Pillars of Resilience model to provide a holistic approach to this. Our new psychometric assessment, Wraw, was developed around this model for exactly this purpose, enabling employers to take stock of the levels of resilience and wellbeing within their organisation.

Looking at Brexit in the context of the 5 pillars, one pillar stands out immediately as a likely challenge: Future Focus. At a time when we’re almost second-guessing the future, this may feel out of reach. But our ability to deal with what lies ahead can be increased by setting smaller, more immediate goals. Another step is to strengthen the other pillars – for example, building trust and communication (Strong Relationships) and encouraging positive and adaptive mindsets (Flexible Thinking).

Bolstering the five pillars equips organisations and individuals with the resilience to not only cope in this environment of uncertainty but to thrive, being able to respond effectively to whatever change brings.

For more information about how you can use Wraw and the 5 Pillars of Resilience, get in touch with us by emailing or telephone +44 (0)800 085 6899.