Have you ever wondered why some people love change while others hate it and feel exhausted by it? Why can some people recover quickly from a setback or failure while it is very difficult for others?
Resilience is about how you respond to change. It’s the ability to get up after a disappointment. It’s about being strong like a willow tree: flexible and adaptable, not brittle. Resilience is about being resourceful and thinking in the face of change or adversity: “Where do we go from here?” The same strategy applies to building resilience at work.
To learn how to be more resilient at work, we asked our experts: winners of the UKG 1 Champions Award. These individual U Krewers (our nickname for UKG employees) are playing crucial roles as members of our business integration teams, which formed from the 2020 Ultimate Software and Kronos merger.
The good news is that resilience is a skill that can be learned, rather than an innate characteristic. Here are their tips.
Six ways to build resilience at work
1. Take care of yourself.
Becky McKie: “When things get stressful, pause, take a deep breath, stay in the moment. Take a walk, clear your head, and look for new ways to see or understand the problem.”
Nancy Burdzel: “To get unstuck: Go for a walk. I also drive home from work in silence so that I have a few moments of peace to collect my thoughts.”
Jorge Aguilar: “Stay physically and mentally active. Take advantage of your time off. Maintain work/life balance. If all you do is work, you will burn yourself out.”
2. Build good relationships.
Niraj Shrestha: “Resilience comes from strong relationships with your colleagues. Your colleagues are the ones supporting you when times get tough. Connecting with your coworkers enables you to work together as a team to find solutions when problems come up.”
Gill Greene: “Having good relationships with your coworkers makes all the difference. Really get to know people personally. This way you’ll be able to adapt your style for each person, and people will feel connected.”
Nancy Burdzel: “Find a trusted colleague or friend to talk to and don’t be afraid to ask them for help or to share your thoughts and ideas with them to find a solution.”
3. Choose positivity.
Jorge Aguilar: “You can strengthen your resilience; it’s a muscle. It’s okay to initially have that ‘Oh, here we go, another change’ response—as long as you follow it up with reflection. Be conscious about it and think: ‘I just had a negative thought about this. Now, what can I find in it that’s positive? What positive outcome could this change bring?’"
Becky McKie: “Try to maintain a positive attitude. A positive attitude creates positive energy, which is a key ingredient as people are working through big changes.”
Manendra Johri: “Pessimists see difficulty in a problem; optimists see opportunity in each situation. Always look at change as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for betterment and improvement, and a way for you to contribute to success.”
Nancy Burdzel: “Have unconditional positive regard for the people around you. Remember that everyone has good intentions and there is no malcontent by others.”
Abhishek Anand: “There may be times when you are stressed or anxious. Just remember that this too shall pass. The current period of change won’t last forever. Things will settle down, and then we will all lead a better life.”
4. Focus on what you can control.
Jorge Aguilar: “Have the mindset that there are certain changes you can’t control. If you can't control it, you shouldn’t be worrying about it. What you should be spending your energy on is determining your next steps—what you can influence and control to make things better for yourself and the people around you.”
Becky McKie: “Seek to understand the “why.” Understanding the reason why decisions were made is important to accept the situation and move forward. For example, decisions may have been made before you joined a project, and these are not in your control. Don’t waste time fretting about it. Seek to understand, accept it, and move on.”
Marcy Guttadauro: “You can’t be successful when you try to control the uncontrollable. If you are stuck in that mindset, you are not going to be ready to overcome challenges.”
5. Adopt a growth mindset.
Abhishek Anand: “Seek to understand as much as you can about a change. This is what will enable you to figure out what skillsets you need to gain to flourish in the changed environment.”
Marcy Guttadauro: “Anything can be accomplished. Find a different way to do something. Be resourceful. Consider flexibility a requirement.”
Niraj Shrestha: “Change is inevitable. It will happen whether you like it or not. Adopt a growth mindset. Comfort and growth don’t go together. Put yourself in a constant uncomfortable position by making decisions and learning new things.”
Gill Greene: “Get involved with the change as quickly as possible. If you are actively involved, the change is something you are participating in rather than something that’s being done to you. Fear comes from not knowing. Action and motion pull you into the future, rather than standing on the side.”
6. Keep the end goal in mind.
Manendra Johri: “Make progress every day. Maintain a clear focus on your goal and keep the big-picture view of why a change is happening.”
Marcy Guttadauro: “Focus on your vision and the company’s priorities and find a way to do what you need to do. Be flexible in the how but maintain focus on the what.”
Niraj Shrestha: “Have the mindset of doing the best you can: Have a broader vision for your project or even your whole career.”
Abhishek Anand: “Seek to understand the big picture of why the organization is investing so much in a change. Gain an understanding of the benefits the organization is expecting from it. If the change is in your interest, why not join the party?”
About these U Krewers
- Abhishek Anand is an Associate Manager of Accounts Payable based in India.
- Becky McKie is a Senior Principal Business Process Consultant based in the U.S.
- Gill Greene is a Principal Business Systems Analyst based in the U.K.
- Jorge Aguilaris is a Manager of IT Software Engineering based in the U.S.
- Manendra Johri is a Senior Manager of Accounting based in India.
- Marcy Guttadauro is a Senior Manager of Business Data Analysis based in the U.S.
- Nancy Burdzel is a Director of Strategic Business Process Consulting based in the U.S.
- Niraj Shrestha is a Manager of Corporate Tax based in the U.S.