How to Build Resilient Teams in Changing Times


April 21, 2021

By: Katie Marchetti

Is your company resilient? 

Does it navigate shifting tides easily, or do your leaders and teams struggle with every minor disruption? What makes certain people better equipped to roll with the punches? 

According to bestselling author and ADP Researcher Marcus Buckingham: “people don’t fear change, they fear the unknown.” To use a timely example, if your company is attempting to rush back to “normal” (going into a physical office, business travel, etc.) he suggests having a concrete plan that offers visibility to senior leadership and their teams as to exactly what this will look like.  

Simply put, it’s not enough to send a company-wide email that says: “Ok folks, starting Monday, business as usual!” 

Furthermore, according to his recent study on building resilient teams: Only 17% of the workforce feels “highly resilient.” Clearly, company leaders across business types, industries, and geographies have a tremendous amount of work to do in this particular area. 

Another interesting finding is the correlation between experiencing constant change and resilience. The data show that workers who experience five or more changes at work are 13.2x more likely to be resilient. 

To help make the findings actionable, Buckingham breaks down the workforce into three categories: (1) senior leaders(2) team leaders, and (3) self. For each bucket, he offers tips for how to help build resilience more effectively, based on questions posed to each group. These include things like vivid foresight and visible follow-throughanticipatory communication and psychological safety; and a sense of agency along with doing work we love 

If you’re a company leader, I highly recommend checking out the full study, or his related article What Really Makes Us Resilient in Harvard Business Review. (Bonus: Take his “Gift of Standout” assessment for free here.)