L&D Insiders: “Resilience Training Ain’t Cutting It!”

The Uncomfortable Truth We’ve Learned From Learning & Development Professionals

Leaders think resilience training will help employees power through our increasingly complicated world (one that’s changing at lightning-speed) with grit. Unfortunately, employees aren’t hearing “We’ve got your back.” They’re hearing “Suck it up and deal with it.” But, is that such a bad thing?

Let’s get real – we’re living through a collective existential crisis. Resilience and mental strength aren’t some nice-to-have skills, they’re absolutely critical for survival in every area of life, not just in the workplace. Unless you have a mental health professional on 24 hour speed dial, a bunker stocked with 30 years of non-perishables, or blind faith in robots, you’d better get resilient fast! 

Most people understand that without tools to cope with the weight we’re all carrying – without grit – there’s no way anyone can truly thrive, excel, or lead effectively. Which makes my next point all the more compelling.

If employees know how vital resilience is yet are still resisting resilience trainings, it means leaders are missing something huge. 

The quote “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” is especially relevant here. If leaders are hyper-focusing on toughening everyone up to increase productivity without addressing fundamental needs, they risk alienating their workforce. It’s also a massive opportunity lost. You simply cannot optimize humans for output without addressing their human needs first.

Until the core needs for safety, well-being and connection are met, good luck getting top performance out of anyone. 

Without these employees will struggle to bring their best selves to work and will feel less compelled to go above and beyond the bare minimum. Instead of just throwing resilience workshops at them, leaders need to get upstream. Connect on a human level and emphasize compassion and care by offering trainings on real issues: 

  • Fostering cohesive hybrid/ remote/ in-office relationships
  • Mastering uncomfortable conversations
  • Promoting wellness
  • Navigating trauma
  • Supporting mental health

Here’s the hard truth: The world has changed radically and there’s no going back. Grit alone won’t cut it anymore. Executives must understand that we’re operating in an entirely new paradigm. Rigid mindsets have to go and the art of change must be mastered. Stop focusing narrowly on pushing through no matter what and start building dynamic capabilities to embrace fluidity as the world transforms continuously around us.

What will it take to shift from mindless grit to conscious change-readiness? People’s well-being depends on leaders getting this right and those who resist this reality will continue to lose people and put their organizations at risk.

When there’s a focus on mastering change and prioritizing wellness – resilience will naturally develop.

Most importantly, leaders will demonstrate to their employees that they truly care. 

We’re ready to support and guide you and your teams in this new paradigm.

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