Resilience in Times of Uncertainty

Resilience has become one of the most essential competencies of the future, as the challenges we face today such as pandemic, war, and climate and economic crisis require us to adapt quickly. Resilient employees create resilient teams, and resilient teams create organizations that thrive in crisis. And resilient companies and institutions create resilient societies.


Individual resilience refers to a person’s ability to adapt and cope with stressors and challenges. Team resilience refers to a group’s ability to work together effectively under stress and pressure. Organizational resilience refers to a company’s ability not only to continue functioning in the face of adversity but also thrive in the crisis. Social resilience refers to the ability of a community or society to withstand and recover from stressors and disasters.

The most resilient employees have almost 20% higher cognitive flexibility and a more robust growth mindset compared to their peers with the lowest resilience and are also the most innovative ones, with 22% higher innovation scores. Highly-resilient team leaders also have direct reports who experience 52% less burnout and have 78% lower intention of leaving the organization. The companies with the highest aggregated resilience scores have had 42% higher annual return on assets and 3.7x higher annual return on equity.

BetterUp Resilience in an Age of Uncertainty Report*

Strategies for developing resilient teams and organizations

  1. Foster a culture of open communication and trust: Encourage team members to share their thoughts and ideas, and create a safe space where people feel comfortable discussing challenges and potential solutions. Use The Reina Leadership Trust Quiz™ to check if your leadership style enhance trust building behaviours.
  2. Build a diverse and inclusive team: A team of diverse background, experience, and perspective better navigate challenges and find creative solutions.
  3. Encourage ongoing learning and development: Make sure team members learn new skills and take on new challenges.
  4. Develop a clear and shared vision: Ensure that everyone on the team understands and is aligned around the organization’s mission and goals.
  5. Create a plan for handling crises: Develop, test and refine a crisis management plan.
  6. Enhance a growth mindset: Foster a culture that encourages taking risks and learning from mistakes.
  7. Encourage collaboration: Create opportunities for team members to work together on projects, and encourage cross-functional collaboration.
  8. Empower employees: Encourage to take ownership of work and make decisions.
  9. Develop a sense of purpose: Help team members understand how their work contributes to the organization’s overall mission and goals.
  10. Reinforce well-being: Encourage employees to take time off and prioritize their well-being.

There are several other strategies that organizations can use to enhance resilience:

  1. Establish clear roles and responsibilities: Ensure that everyone in the organization knows what is expected of them in the event of a crisis.
  2. Develop flexible processes: Create processes that can be adapted to different situations, rather than relying on rigid procedures.
  3. Establish strong partnerships: Build relationships with other organizations that can provide support during the difficult situation.
  4. Invest in technology and infrastructure: Ensure that the organization has the technology and infrastructure it needs to continue functioning during a crisis.
  5. Manage risk: Regularly evaluate the organization’s threats and opportunities and develop plans to mitigate or enhance them.
  6. Build a culture of continuous improvement: Encourage the team to regularly assess and improve their processes, systems and ways of working.
  7. Foster a culture of learning and development: Encourage employees to learn from their experiences and adapt to new situations.
  8. Encourage a proactive approach: Encourage employees to identify and address potential problems before they become crises.
  9. Establish clear communication practices: Create a communication plan that outlines how information will be shared during a crisis, and ensure that everyone in the organization knows how to access it.

Additional material

Sign up for our newsletter. Each week you will receive a letter from us with articles worth reading, tools for working with teams, tips and interesting facts about project management.