Building a Resilient Workforce in 2021

As we move away from 2020 and embark on a new year, many companies have started to compile lessons learned from the past 12 months to better prepare and build a resilient workforce in 2021. We recently heard some useful insights on what it takes to build a resilient workforce, from Laurie Ruettimann HR Influencer, author and entrepreneur, and host of the Punk Rock HR podcast.

Keep Moving Forward

Laurie believes that self-leadership is the number one ingredient to building a workforce that has the capacity to manage and cope with difficult situations and events. At its core, self-leadership is self-awareness. It is the act of defining who you are and what you stand for so that you can operate like a leader no matter where you fall on an organizational chart.

Through experience, Laurie has found that self-leadership is the answer to “fixing oneself”, taking control of ones life, being one’s own agent of change, or in other words, leading oneself in order to become a better being, and a better employee who can stay calm, cool and collected regardless of what life has in store. 

To lead others well, you must first be an expert in your own thoughts and behaviors, and know how to lead yourself. After all, you can’t be an effective boss or leader without first addressing your own responsibilities and striving to live a life with integrity and purpose.

According to Ruettimann, self-leadership includes three components: 

1. Self-awareness of personal values. Self-leaders have a set of personal values that guide their interactions in the world. They’ve done the hard work of getting to know themselves and strive to create a life where mindset informs their words and deeds, says Ruettimann. The way to develop personal values is to become self-aware. Get to know yourself on a deeper level. Interview yourself, journal or meet with a counselor who can help you develop a stronger and more vivid sense of self. After all, you can’t lead others—including yourself—if you’re not crystal clear on important facets of your personality, such as preferences, communication style, values and expectations.

2. Self-awareness of intentions and behaviors. Self-leaders are clear on what’s important in life. They have aligned what they do, with what they want- meaning their actions match up with their goals and values. Most importantly, self-leaders don’t blame others or look outside of themselves for solutions to their problems. Ruettimann says that self-leaders first look within as usually we have all of the answers that we need, we just have to be brave to stare long enough to find out.   

3. Self-awareness of personal perspective. Self-leaders are emotionally regulated individuals. According to Psychology Today, “emotional regulation is the ability to exert control over one’s own emotional state. It may involve behaviors such as rethinking a challenging situation to reduce anger or anxiety, hiding visible signs of sadness or fear, or focusing on reasons to feel happy or calm.”  Life can be hard. Work presents us with difficult problems to solve. Everybody has a bad day. Self-leaders are emotionally regulated individuals who don’t panic, ruminate or fantasize. There is only one direction in life, and that’s forward. When the world falls apart, self-leaders aren’t looking for answers from other people, notes Ruettimann. They’re ready to go with problem-solving techniques because they’ve meditated, journaled and invested in continuous learning to gain insight into themselves and human behavior.

Most of life is like a roller-coaster, ups and downs and occasionally the opportunity to stay the course. The important thing is to keep on moving forward. Embrace the ups, learn from the downs and enjoy the calm.

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