How can you help your employees become more resilient?

In our prior post we talked about how lower levels of resilience are contributing to the Great Resignation. To build on that discussion, there are also three things leaders can do to cultivate resilience and reduce turnover:

  • Offer Development 1-on-1 meetings
  • Help people grow
  • Ensure your approach to performance management is fair

In this post we will delve deeper into the specific leadership actions you can take to cultivate resilience for your team.

Offer Development 1-on-1 meetings

We have posted before about the critical importance of 1-on-1 meetings. We believe 1-on-1 meetings are the single largest leadership blindspot, with >90% of managers thinking they do these well and <10% of employees agreeing. The reason both statistics are actually true is that managers are thinking about tactical 1-on-1s and work check-ins, which largely happen, whereas employees desperately want leaders to also offer Development 1-on-1s. These are two completely different types of 1-on-1s and the best leaders offer employees both. If you are unfamiliar with the Development 1-on-1 concept, we offer a free Development 1-on-1 agenda in the SupportingLines Cloud™.

Help people grow

My favourite word of 2021 was ‘mostrado’. Mostrado surfaced during a Spanish-language client debrief and led to a powerful moment of leadership insight. Mostrado is the Spanish word for leaders showing an interest, as opposed to just having one. We believe the vast majority of leaders truly care about their employees’ growth and development, yet a smaller percentage of leaders actually show it. 

Helping people grow is the single most important thing you can do to cultivate resilience and reduce turnover. Showing a genuine interest in employee development is the number one factor in creating an environment in which people can think, act and feel their best – also known as psychological safety. You can make immediate progress with your team by focusing your Development 1-on-1s on how you can:

  • Help people develop skills relevant to their interests
  • Provide opportunities for development within each person’s role
  • Offer people access to the learning and development they need to perform

Ensure your approach to performance management is fair

Many organizations employ a performance management approach focused on creating ratings, ensuring ratings are evenly distributed and connecting these ratings directly to compensation. These organizations hire amazing people and then tell most of them they are average performers. They undermine the performance conversation by turning it into a pay negotiation. 

These approaches test people’s resilience and miss the very point of performance management in the first place: helping people perform. While individual leaders cannot easily change the entire system, there is still a lot they can do for their team to improve an individual’s experience of work. In the context of resilience and culture, it is critical that leaders offer their team a performance management approach that:

  • Sets clear performance expectations (including acceptable behaviour)
  • Ensures employees feel confident in their ability to do what is expected of them
  • Fairly assesses their performance once the work is complete (also considering behaviour)

This journey from expectations, to confidence, to fairness is absolutely fundamental to resilience and people feeling like they have an environment in which they can thrive. Of course your top performers will likely end up earning more compensation. To cultivate resilience and build a high-performance culture, review compensation as a separate process from the performance conversation.

Leader support is the key to rapid transformation.

Transforming your approach to 1-on-1s, employee development and performance management will pay immediate dividends. You will simultaneously support employee resilience, strengthen your culture and improve organizational performance. Perhaps the greatest news of all is that our simple approach will help you make common sense, common practice. Many leaders almost do these things right. The subtle nuances we weave into our approach truly help leaders and organizations implement common sense practices that create immediate, sustainable transformations.

Start your journey by predicting what your employees would say about your organization’s culture and resilience in our HPI Prediction. We are here to support your journey and help you make immediate gains.

Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith

Jeff is the Founder & CEO of SupportingLines. He is also a certified Master Corporate Executive Coach, seasoned C-suite business leader and yoga instructor.

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