Resilience is a business must-have

Why having a resilient leader at the helm and a resilient workforce is critical.

During my years in executive roles and more recently as OCS ANZ managing director, I’ve come to learn a thing or two about people.

I’ve had my own journey learning how to handle stress, financial and operational uncertainty and setbacks and have watched (and supported) many others on the same journey. What my experience tells me is that the most crucial skill leaders need is resilience.

I’ve witnessed leaders suffer major career setbacks. I’ve seen many bounce-back, but also some have lost their self-esteem, their motivation and in some cases, caused irrevocable damage to themselves and their businesses.

Recently, we’ve seen rapid change across the business landscape and massive upheaval to social, political and economic conditions. Having a resilient leader at the helm and a resilient workforce is critical.

Resilience is the capacity we each have to recover from difficulties – to adapt, learn and move forward, to understand what failure means and how to deal with it.

As truly effective leaders we should have that skillset ourselves of course and, more importantly, be actively building it within our teams.

Leaders should encourage their teams to look at failures as learning opportunities – and allow teams to have the freedom (and support) to learn and grow from mistakes. It demonstrates both belief and trust in their capability, and most importantly, will help them grow their own resilience.

Studies show that there’s a strong correlation between resilience and effectiveness; the top way to become a more resilient leader is by communicating powerfully and building positive and trusting relationships.

I’m an advocate of succession planning and building great leaders from within. It’s not rocket science, we know that when staff feel happy and supported, they’re more likely to succeed both personally and professionally. Spending time to build great relationships and in turn, resilient people, is crucial. Make the time, it’s that simple.

If you need further convincing, Forbes online shared an article on the statistics around the connection between employee engagement and wellness, citing that it’s increasingly clear that unhealthy and unengaged employees are a drag on productivity, innovation, and the bottom line.

By encouraging teams to be truly resilient we can empower people, increase productivity and overall create positive relationships from head office right through to the frontline. I encourage you to add this topic to your next HSEQ agenda.

Gareth Marriott is managing director of OCS Australia and New Zealand. 

Marriott will be presenting at the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo in October 2021 in Sydney. For more information about the event, click here

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