Even the most cohesive workforces can become unbalanced due to the many variables that influence the current working environment. The ability to navigate such an environment is an invaluable attribute for both organisations and individuals to ensure future success. The burning question is, how can individuals become resilient and how can organisations promote resilience in the workplace to foster professional and personal growth.
Resilience, defined as the ability to recover from challenging and adverse situations in resolute fashion, is an attribute that allows organisations and individuals to be agile in the face of constant change.
With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, the impact of digitisation requires skills and capabilities that may not currently exist. A shortage of knowledge workers with the cognitive abilities of critical thinking and complex problem solving will be in great demand, necessitating the ability to remain abreast of future trends and requirements.
The seismic shifts resulting from Industry 4.0 has created an environment that propagates job insecurity and feelings of unpreparedness in the workforce. There is an increasing urgency to continue to attract talent to meet future workplace demands and the inability to adapt demonstrates inertia that has far-reaching consequences for organisations and individuals.
Rapid digital and technological change has given rise to the gig economy and accelerated by the increase in the number of Millennials and Gen Z participating in and entering the workforce.
By 2025, over 75 per cent of the workforce will consist of Millennials and Gen Z.
As digital natives who are comfortable with technology, they desire flexibility in how, where and when they work.
Over the last decade, there has been a significant shift from permanent full-time to fluid employment. Both business and the workforce has demanded this transition to more flexible and independent working situations, facilitating ‘gig work’ as a norm. The gig economy has created short term employment situations that contribute to insecurities in the workforce, impacting wellbeing. The resilient individual needs to be adaptable and create their own opportunities to become Independent Professionals and entrepreneurial by nature. They must be forward thinking and visionary and unafraid to try something new. The future workforce will consist of skills that are yet unknown and opportunities lie in the ability to remain at the forefront of these changes.
Fostering a resilient environment requires the organisation to tailor to individual capabilities by providing ‘bite-sized’ challenges and the provision of continuous learning and development. An organisation that propagates a culture of continuous learning establishes a workforce that is agile, with the ability to withstand the constant flux of the global business environment.
To strengthen personal resilience, the aspiration and drive to learn is essential, as actively engaging in personal and professional improvement heightens knowledge and performance. Remaining current with industry movements, trends, technology and advancements, allows individuals to be resilient and avoid their knowledge and skills from becoming stagnant and redundant. Continuous learning opens opportunities to connect, collaborate and engage in and with diverse thinking and perspectives.
Change is always an opportunity – an opportunity to learn, to develop or to prosper. With greater flexibility comes greater challenges. Resilience allows organisations and individuals to be better prepared to meet the challenges of tomorrow with confidence, flexibility and determination.
More than ever, resilience is becoming a necessity for both organisations and individuals. Resilience provides mental toughness and the determination to be successful.