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Resilience: how to improve team performance and wellbeing

Following the success of our ‘working resiliently’ course, our tutor Shona McFarlane is now offering training in this area specifically for leaders and managers.

The course is entitled ‘Resilience: how to improve team performance and wellbeing’ and we are now taking bookings for the session on 18 April. We sat down with Shona to get her insight into the role of leaders in building their team’s resilience:

This is the first time you offered this course in Guernsey – have you run it elsewhere?
Shona: Yes, I’ve run it several times in London, and I’ve also delivered it in other countries as part of a bespoke in-house development programme for two major pharmaceutical companies and a global retail chain.   

What is the key message you want delegates to come away from the course with?
Shona: If I could get one message across to the managers and leaders I work with, it would be this – as people leaders we have a responsibility for our people. We must be aware of the behaviours we role model because these effect our team. Perhaps more than any other factor, our management style and behaviours affect the environment and the levels of pressure people feel at work. Happy and fulfilled people perform better, produce enhanced results, are more motivated and creative. Resilience is a key ingredient of fulfillment at work.

What are the hallmarks of a resilient team?
Shona: You know you are managing a resilient team as they will be: positive, courageous, and focused. They have fun, and are energetic. They challenge each other, but remain cohesive. They are inspired by their “Why?” (I explore what this means in the course). Failure and error is viewed positively – as something to be learned from. And crucially, change is not feared in a resilient team – they welcome it head-on, with an open mind.

How does a resilient team benefit business?
Shona: One of the foundations of organisational success is your team’s ability to sustain performance in the face of adversity as well as during ‘business as usual’ periods. Resilient teams bounce back from adversity quickly and positively, and apply what they learned in the process – working more efficiently and improving performance as a result. Businesses with resilient teams report less sickness and absence, and higher staff engagement scores. They encounter less negativity around change initiatives. Where resilience really has transformative power is in how it can strengthen relationships – not just within the team members themselves, but also the team members’ relationships with their leaders.

Tell us a success story about increasing team resilience.
Shona: One of the pharmaceutical companies I delivered this course to have seen a rise in staff happiness and productivity, whilst absence and negativity have fallen. The leaders achieved this by changing their approach in these six ways:
1. By increasing their managers’ emotional intelligence;
2. By being aware of the impact of management behaviour and style on their people;
3. Through increasing feedback and sharing successes;
4. By increasing autonomy of individuals in teams;
5. By allowing flexible working where practical;
6. Through creating a culture of wellbeing.

Give us a quick run-through of the main issues you address in your course.
Shona: We look at a manager’s current resilience levels;  management styles; managing through change to reduce the impact on their team; understanding the neuroscience behind the human threat and reward response; role model behaviours for energy management; understanding the team ‘why’; and creating wellbeing culture.

Are there any interesting stats or scientific research you draw on during the course?
Shona: There’s a lot of research to draw on in this area, and some of it makes for quite shocking reading. For example in 2015 Gallup research reported that 70% of an employee’s motivation is influenced by his or her manager. That gives you a grasp of the sheer size of the opportunity managers have to make a real difference by educating themselves in resilience. A 2005 study by University of California found that motivated employees were 31% more productive, had 37% higher sales, and were three times more creative than demotivated employees. They were also 87% less likely to quit, according to a Corporate Leadership Council study on over 50,000 people.

Find out more: Resilience: how to improve team performance and wellbeing (18 April)

Contact: Aly Keeling alyson.keeling@gta.gg or call 732867

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22nd January, 2018

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