Resilience 3.0: Guidance Toward a Next Generation of Work-Centric Initiatives
Joel Bennett, PhD, MA, CWP
President, Organizational Wellness and Learning Systems (OWLS)
Over the past 20 years, my colleagues and I have implemented resilience and healthy culture interventions in dozens of settings. You can see some of our research here. Our programs have been acknowledged as effective by the U.S. Surgeon General and others. This includes training, and learning from, dozens of trainers who deliver our programs into work settings. Building resilience is an ongoing process. It requires sensitivity to the level of organizational readiness.
Various stress management approaches can be helpful. At the same time, let’s take things up a level. Let’s strengthen the process of resiliency within the workplace as a whole functioning system.
Defining Resilience: Beyond the Bounce
Scientific reviews suggest that the biggest problem in workplace resilience research is the lack of a clear and common definition. Resilience is a personal, messy, and open-ended concept; it means different things at different times to different people. Workplace resilience is even more complex.
However, almost all definitions include the “ability to bounce back or adequately recover from adversity or stress.” Our programs always add “the ability to learn and grow from the stress.” Resilient employees and organizations not only adapt and overcome, they also learn to lean in, take on stress, and thrive.
Otherwise, who really wants to only keep bouncing back?
Levels of Resilience Initiatives
As we learn from earlier challenges, we develop new skills and resources that allow us to embrace future challenges. Hence, we can upgrade resilience to different levels.
Resilience initiatives occur at three levels (1.0, 2.0, 3.0), as described below. Each can be effective. A more advanced level will be needed when chronic risks outweigh internal strengths. Still, even a solid “nudge” with a 1.0 program can move things along. Knowing these levels can help you select the right solution. Very often, the first step is a stress or resilient culture audit. We provide two assessments in Raw Coping Power.
There is great power in the resilience of entire groups of people—a power significantly overlooked by businesses.
Resilience 1.0 (Individual Level & Programs)
Resilience 2.0 (Organizational Level & Initiatives)
Resilience 3.0 (Systems Level & Integral Approach)
Resilience is an ongoing part of a process of transforming human potential. The secret of this work requires tapping into the process and holding stress as a potential for thriving. Resilience is an empowering step along the way.
1. Treat resilience as a way-station between stress and thriving.
2. Appreciate context, childhood, and trauma.
3. Attune to the Real Meaning of Resilience.
4. Consider NUDGE training.
5. Encourage multicultural sensitivity and inclusiveness.
The guidelines listed could benefit wellness, safety, or human resource staff. They may be best implemented by a dedicated workplace resilience coordinator, especially for a 2.0 or 3.0 approach. Currently, the “resilience coordinator” title tends to be used in disaster recovery, community resilience, and city planning. Workplace cultures can learn from these neighboring fields. Contact us for training options in building your resilience competency approach (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This article was republished with permission. It originally appeared here: https://organizationalwellness.com/blogs/blog/resilience-3-0-guidance-toward-a-next-generation-of-work-centric-initiatives