In today’s fast-paced and unpredictable business landscape, leaders must proactively take steps to enhance their organization’s resilience. Being able to withstand disruptions and bounce back from adversity is critical for long-term success.
What is business resilience?
incidents, disturbances, and emergencies while ensuring uninterrupted operations. With the current environment of economic instability, often weather-related natural disasters, and cybersecurity risks, establishing business resilience should stand as one of the main objectives for companies across all sizes and industries.
Building business and organizational resilience involves a combination of investing in people, nurturing a resilient business culture, adopting the right technology, fostering agility, and taking proactive measures to manage risks. Here are the six key steps to achieve this:
People are an organization’s most valuable asset. The first step in building resilience is to invest in the individuals who make up the company. This involves ensuring employee well-being, providing training and mentorship, and promoting mental health. A resilient business is one in which the workforce is engaged, empowered, and capable of problem-solving. It’s essential to go beyond conventional employee benefits and explore innovative ways to keep employees engaged and supported.
A recent study by Deloitte found that “most workers expect their organization to challenge societal norms, support their holistic health, and be more future-oriented than ever before.”
Develop a supportive business culture
A resilient business culture is one that unites people, encourages productivity, and fosters resilience. Creating an environment where employees are encouraged to learn from mistakes, recognised for their achievements, and where collaboration is promoted across all teams and hierarchies is a great place to start. Building a strong organizational culture means nurturing a sense of community and belonging that helps employees feel committed to the company.
Promote effective leadership
Resilient leaders manage with purpose and values that align with the organization’s vision and mission. They set the tone and are responsible for fostering a culture of resilience and transparency that builds trust and camaraderie among their employees. Effective leadership involves prioritising employee well-being, nurturing a resilient culture, and establishing precise crisis management plans. By offering clear direction, setting achievable expectations, and maintaining open lines of communication with employees, leaders create a sense of trust and stability during crises and critical events.
The right technology is a crucial component of building a resilient business. However, more is not always better, and a one-size-fits-all approach to technology may not be suitable. Technology that fuels resilience should build efficiencies while being scalable to meet the needs of an organization both today and years down the line. Resilience-focused technology should improve business continuity, disaster recovery, and risk management. These tools should seamlessly integrate or operate on the same platform, ensuring ease of use during a crisis. The right technology can optimise operations, enhance efficiency, and reduce costs. Investing in solutions that contribute to business resilience allows organizations to better adapt to changing market conditions and withstand disruptions.
Building resilience necessitates cultivating an agile mindset and working methodologies. Agility involves creating processes for decision-making and problem-solving, adapting to new challenges, and being prepared to pivot when necessary. An agile approach enables organizations to respond quickly to changing circumstances, make data-driven decisions, and identify and mitigate risks before they become major issues. Embracing an agile mindset ensures businesses stay flexible and adaptable, ready to face challenges head-on.
Be proactive, not reactive
Building a resilient organization requires a proactive approach to business continuity, disaster planning, and risk management. Identifying potential risks and threats before they occur and implementing measures to prevent or mitigate them is key. A robust crisis management plan should be in place, regularly tested and audited to ensure effectiveness. Reactive organizations tend to spend more on crisis management and take longer to recover from incidents. Proactive organizations with tested plans in place respond far more effectively to unexpected situations. Regular risk assessments and contingency planning minimise the impact of disruptions and expedite recovery.
In today’s dynamic business environment, building business resilience is not a choice but a necessity. Leaders must prioritise resilience-building efforts to safeguard their employees’ well-being and maintain business operations during critical events. The six steps outlined above provide a guide for companies to assess their resilience and make necessary improvements. By investing in people, fostering a resilient culture, exhibiting strong leadership, adopting the right technology, embracing agility, and taking a proactive approach to risk management, organizations can become more resilient, enabling them to adapt, recover, and prosper, even during crises. It’s also imperative for businesses to measure their resilience to understand their current level of preparedness and identify areas for improvement. By prioritising resilience-building efforts, organizations can protect their people, ensure smooth business operations, and prepare for the unexpected.
Owen Miles is Field CTO, CEM Business Solutions, Everbridge.