Every worker today is surrounded by technology, which has become an integral part of our professional lives, shaping the way we work, communicate and collaborate. Knowledge workers rely on technology, of course, but even frontline workers are surrounded by it — electronic health records in hospitals, real time inventory systems in warehouses, tracking chips in transport vehicles and more. What tech has brought to the workforce over the last several decades is the promise of automation in the name of efficiency and productivity, saving time and effort for tedious tasks that were once done manually.
But most technology in the workplace is designed to benefit the employer, getting more done with less effort, time and staff, all in the name of being more effective and efficient. For many employees, the tech tools used to do their roles can be one of the largest sources of stress in a job.
What about workplace technology that’s intended to have a positive impact on the life, work and overall well-being of the employee? By investing in tech solutions that serve the employee’s personal needs, research shows organizations can significantly enhance engagement and productivity. This is particularly true when it comes to fostering stronger resilience skills among employees.
Workplace technology plays a vital role in providing employees with the skills of resilience. But why is resilience such an important skill? It equips employees with the necessary tools, resources and support systems to navigate challenges, adapt to changes and thrive in dynamic work environments.
Since resilience involves situational awareness, rethinking, perspective and—at times— reinvention, resilience is closely tied to positive qualities, including creativity, empathy and optimism. Resilience teaches us that each individual’s growth is intrinsically linked to that of others. The value that’s unlocked is greater than the sum of its parts, enabling employees to be more engaged, productive and motivated.
Here are the key capabilities that can be learned through work tech platforms:
- Emotion regulation: The ability to control feelings like anger, fear or grief in trying situations.
- Impulse control: The physical counterpart of emotion control. The ability to control one’s behavior.
- Causal analysis: The ability to think through issues in new ways so that current or cultural mindset does not limit one’s ability to address them.
- Self-efficacy: The belief in your own abilities and your impact on others.
- Measured optimism: The ability to be realistic while seeing how a situation might improve.
- Empathy: The ability to grasp someone else’s perspective and approach.
- Reaching out: The ability to make connections so you can lean on others or provide support.
The good news is resilience isn’t a trait that we have or don’t have; resilience can be learned, and like a muscle, improved over time. It can only be trained at scale using technology, specifically online tools, plus the power of AI to personalize the experience for each employee. Unlike other skills that can be taught using a one-size-fits-all approach, addressing the root cause of how people think which underpins their resilience level requires a hyper-personalized approach which can only be accomplished using technology. Building resilience requires breaking old habits and building new ones, and technology solutions are helpful at supporting habit formation. From scheduling activities to doing a daily mood check, employees can get a better sense of their personal journey to become more resilient through an app or online platform. They can use a chatbot and other advanced technology to support their personal growth.
And the results speak for themselves: Highly resilient people are 60 percent less likely to experience burnout, 31 percent more engaged, 80 percent less likely to exhibit signs of depression and 88 percent better at stress management.
And it goes beyond the individual. Resilience is essential for managers and leaders to support their teams. The ability of managers and leaders to model and mentor the principles of resilience helps build high-performing teams. Technology can empower managers and give them the ability to use actionable insights that show their team risks in real-time so they can act.
As business leaders, if we’re not helping our people go forward, and if we’re not helping our organization become a force for good, we risk getting left behind. Employee resilience and organizational agility have replaced efficiency as the best predictors of business risks, and success, over time.
Workplace technology plays a crucial role in the current context as it enables business leaders to empower their employees and propel their organizations towards growth. By embracing innovative solutions, organizations can enhance employee productivity, collaboration and creativity, enabling them to navigate challenges effectively so the organization can remain competitive in an increasingly dynamic business environment.