Resilience in the workplace focusing on creativity, collaboration and culture

Companies need to focus on redeveloping and evolving their workforce culture to meet everyone's needs as well as being resilient.

By Lisa Cochran February 7, 2022
Courtesy: Dewberry

As consultants to a wide variety of clients, we know that it’s important to practice what we preach. For many years, as we’ve assisted clients in developing their own resilience plans, we have also explored this concept within our own practice. As a result, we have actively embraced resilience measures in our leadership, policies, programs, and ultimately, our culture.

Creating and maintaining connections

The last year has not been easy for anyone, but it has pushed us to think more creatively, work collaboratively, and focus on what makes us who we are – our culture. We’ve challenged workplace norms and realigned resources, creating opportunities for some fundamentally positive changes.

I am constantly interacting with our employees, through training, onboarding, and simply getting to know people. Over the past year, I have become more resourceful in connecting with staff. This has included facilitating virtual trainings, such as our project management training and work style evaluations. At first I felt somewhat disconnected, but I was able to adjust and reach more staff in a virtual environment.

Focusing on health and wellness

In light of rising stress, uncertainty, and the overall toll the pandemic has taken, we put a heavy emphasis on employee mental health and wellness. Increased isolation and a lack of normal routine has underscored the benefits of our employee assistance program. The program provides professional counseling and referral services to support employees’ individual needs.

At the height of quarantining and social distancing, we established a family resource group. A regular venue open to all employees, participants share ideas and discuss the challenges they are facing, including juggling childcare and distance learning with their work responsibilities. The family resource group is a place where colleagues can listen, learn, and know that they aren’t alone by sharing stories and resources. I have personally learned a lot about resilience from watching my two young children adapt to a virtual learning environment and finding our rhythm as we figured out how to co-exist at home for several months.

Supporting positive change: Internal transfers and remote work

During this challenging time, many people have reflected on what is important to them in their personal lives and careers. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to how our staff want to see their careers move forward. With the rise in flexible work schedules, many employees are working with managers to discuss what is best for them and their career trajectory, which has increased the number of recent internal transfers. To some this means working closer to home to be near family or making a move to a different market segment or geographic area. We encourage flexible work arrangements that result in a win-win for employees to pursue their personal and professional goals and allow the firm to retain valuable talent. We believe this is vital to continuing to provide exceptional client service and maintaining our success as an organization.

Our ability to bounce back, adapt to change, and never lose sight of who we are as a company has been evident in our employees – from leadership to new hires. Our leadership has demonstrated genuine compassion as they listen to and support their teams with managing the changes we’ve been facing.

Perseverance is one of our core values. We believe in thinking big, focusing on the long haul, and staying flexible. Like a lighthouse, our culture guides our employees in the right direction, even during the most turbulent of storms. It seems like nothing since March 2020 has been normal, but one thing has remained the same: our commitment to our people. We don’t know what the future will bring, but by fostering a collaborative and supportive environment for our staff, I have no doubt we will come out of this more resilient than before.

Dewberry is a CFE Media and Technology content partner.

Original content can be found at

Author Bio: Lisa Cochran, PHR, regional HR manager, Dewberry