5 ways to build the resilience of your business

    • Resilience is our ability to adapt and recover when things don’t go as planned or we experience any of life’s challenges.Moreover, with half of the adults we polled agreeing that a low level of resilience can adversely affect work performance, it’s something that shouldn’t be overlooked or underestimated in helping your business to thrive.

      • 50% of the people we polled agree that having a low level of resilience can adversely affect performance at work*
      • 66% say being more resilient would help them at work, in their day to day life and relationships or because they don’t cope well with change*
      • 50% of SME managers employing 1-75 people say they feel stressed all or most of the time**

      Having the inner resource to assess a situation, look at what’s needed and take appropriate positive action, can help when everyone is looking to you to steer the way.

      Improving your own resilience and encouraging your employees to do the same will ensure your business can adapt to change and stay realistically positive in the face of uncertainty. How a business copes when things don’t go to plan dictates its ability not only to survive, but thrive in a competitive environment.

      Dr Mark Winwood, Director of Psychological Services for AXA PPP healthcare, comments: “Resilience doesn’t mean avoiding risk, it’s about learning from experiences and recognising opportunities. Like any set of skills, we can develop and strengthen resilient behaviours, traits and beliefs by making subtle changes to our lives, our relationships and our thinking – it just takes practice. For example, addressing our work-life balance and taking time to identify and focus on our strengths and priorities can increase our ability to bend rather than break when confronted by adversity.”

    • With this in mind, here are our five ways to build and strengthen your resilience:

      Work on your Emotional Intelligence

      Resilience1Being able to identify and manage your emotions as well as identify those of others’ can help you to build a well-functioning team, as interpersonal skills can help you to connect and work well with others. For example it can help with:

      • Seeing things more objectively and understanding and respecting different views. This important skill can help when dealing with conflict and adapting to change at work.
      • Recognising how you deal with pressure and not being afraid to talk about it or to ask for help when you need it can help you deal with pressure and stressful situations more effectively.
      Stay energised

      Resilience2A physically or mentally demanding lifestyle can leave you feeling drained, especially if you don’t balance this out by getting sufficient, good quality sleep. This, in turn, affects how resilient you may feel. To help reduce sleep disturbance and help you feel more alert you could try:

      • Taking a lunch break away from your workplace, a short brisk walk in daylight hours, staying hydrated and curbing caffeine intake in the afternoon and evening to help improve your levels of alertness and quality of sleep.
      • Modelling this approach to your employees and enabling more positive behaviours will help boost their engagement and motivation and create a positive, supportive team environment – factors that can help your business to thrive.
      Nurture professional relationships

      Resilience3Supporting and comforting others can enable you to learn from each other so thinking about who your support network is and what types of support they offer can help. This could include:

      • Having a support network of family, friends, colleagues and other people who run their own business, who can help you feel connected and valued. This is important when you’re facing awkward or difficult situations because you’ll know where to find helpful advice.
      • Team-based socialising can help to build a collaborative, supportive business culture that can give you and your employees confidence to embrace change.
      Keep your perspective

      Resilience4When your attitude towards something is balanced and rational it can support your resilience as it helps you to have a clear view of reality and see the bigger picture. For example:

      • Taking a reasonable and considered approach can help you to recognise that mistakes are part of life and find solutions when you’re dealing with a problem. Stepping back (mentally and physically) from a challenging situation can help you to identify and focus on what you have control over so you can set realistic goals rather than focus on things you can’t influence.
      • Setting an example by managing boundaries between work and home, such as not emailing outside of working hours, can help you and your employees to switch off.
      Prioritise and play to your strengths

      Resilience5Having a clear sense of purpose for yourself and your business is key to developing and maintaining a positive outlook. This includes understanding what matters to you most. For example:

      • Reflecting on your successes and acknowledging what you’ve achieved can help you to challenge any negative feelings you may have and focus on the positives.
      • It’s important to take time to relax and think about your personal and business goals based on your values and strengths. Consider if there’s a way you could better use your – or your employees’ – strengths and how you might develop these further.
      • Please register below to download our Manager Guide, to help build resilience in your business.


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      • *AXA PPP healthcare survey of 2000 UK adults, conducted online in January 2017 by Vitreous World.
        **Online survey of 1000 senior business managers, MDs, CEOs and owners undertaken in February 2015 by market researcher OnePoll. 610 respondents worked for organisations employing 1-75 people.