Cultivating Strong Attitudes and Behaviors to Help Organizations Thrive in Today’s Workplace

by Joe Hart  |  August 17, 2020

Resilience can be defined as an individual’s ability to bounce back from adverse experiences, negativity or challenges. It represents a strong capacity to cope, recover and learn from these hardships.

Resilient employees adapt and prosper in the face of new conditions and problems so they can continue to drive value. So, how can we help cultivate attitudes and behaviors to cope with adversity and thrive in today’s workplace?

5 Important Attitudes for Organizational Leaders to Cultivate

Here are five important initiatives for organizational leaders to keep in mind:

  1. Start with positivity

Coping with adversity and learning from it is critical to developing resilience. It starts with perception, and a positive attitude can make a world of difference. Rather than viewing adversity as an obstacle, people who view these conditions as challenges can more readily see opportunities for growth.

In many cases, positivity can also lead to better decision making, problem solving and flexibility, and help people think more innovatively and creatively. Most importantly, it can foster a stronger sense of self-confidence, enabling people to trust their skills and abilities. These foundational attitudes of resilience can be strengthened and supported in employees to create a healthier environment to cope with and learn from adversity.

  1. Put team communication at the forefront

Resilience, especially at the team level, calls for connectivity and strong communication. Many leaders have run into challenges with the sudden shift of employees working remotely. Whether the communication is in person or remote, the strength lies in the team’s social intelligence. This describes people’s ability to effectively manage challenging social contexts, understand other’s concerns, feelings and emotional states, as well as choosing the right words, in order to build and maintain positive relationships.

Teams with high social intelligence build supportive environments, which are essential to fostering a resilient team. When trusting relationships in the workplace are the norm, people feel more connected and are likely to rely on each other to complete tasks. Not to mention, these types of relationships also create positive emotions. Leaders should strive to be an available resource to their team, establish clear modes of communication (whether in person or remote) and express their sincere appreciation of the team’s hard work.

  1. Offer incentives that go beyond paychecks

Employees need (and should have) more than just a financial stake in the organization if you want them to be in it for the long haul. Creating a sense of purpose beyond a paycheck, especially in the current environment, provides orientation and meaning. Without a strong sense of purpose, a person’s ability to thrive in times of adversity can be seriously hindered. Every organization exists for a reason, and it’s up to its leaders to paint the bigger picture by offering a larger purpose that your employees can stand behind.

  1. Cultivate a culture of learning

Creating a strong culture in which your employees have room to grow and learn is another essential component in supporting resilience. Naturally, the need to adjust strategies, quickly find and implement new solutions and face the unexpected challenges that come with times of adversity offer valuable learning opportunities. Plus, there are many other ways to support a positive learning environment. You can facilitate brainstorms where employees can express a free-flow of ideas or introduce more training and development opportunities, such as webinars or a team seminar hosted over an online video conference.

  1. Maintain balance between work and home life

As these can certainly be stressful times for everyone, another necessary component to help your employees thrive and remain resilient is balance. One option, if it’s feasible for your team, is to reduce job demands. Many employees are struggling with increased workloads as organizations were forced to suddenly cut staffing in the wake of the pandemic. Reducing tasks and empowering your team to delegate them requires a clear strategy and disciplined prioritization. With a resilient team and a trusting environment, however, it can be accomplished.

The benefits of resilience come from building people’s personal resources: positive attitudes, confidence, and the feeling of connection, value and empowerment. Creating a resilient workforce is one of the best ways leaders can help their employees and organization overall cope and learn from adversity – and, continue these attitudes and behaviors when the crisis subsides.


Written By

Joe Hart

Joseph K. Hart  is the President and CEO of Dale Carnegie Training, an organization whose founder pioneered the human performance movement over 100 years ago and has continued to succeed and grow worldwide, through constant research and innovation building on its founding principles.