Resilience – the Core of Today’s Business Strategy

by Kathleen Gramzay

Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic marked a turning point for both humanity and business. The scale of uncertainty, loss and prolonged threat to physical and financial well-being left deep imprints of chronic stress at a neurological level.

The continuing ripple effects on business and society become more apparent when the consequences of chronic stress on the mind, emotions, behavior and health are comprehended. These ripple effects manifest in a myriad of challenges that leaders currently confront: employee burnout; production disruptions; retention and recruitment hurdles; escalating healthcare expenses; and demands for broader benefits, a more inclusive culture and engagement in social responsibility.

At the heart of a sustainable, resilient organization lie resilient individuals. The essence of a resilient human being lies in a healthy nervous system and the ability to respond rather than react to stressors. Advocating for individual resilience as a core organizational principle provides pragmatic benefits for today and the long term.

Three critical facets of this paradigm shift illustrate why embracing resilience as a core organizational priority is a potent business strategy for sustainability and success.

Mitigating the Ongoing Impact of Chronic Stress and Burnout: According to the Gallup State of the Workplace 2023 Report (, 44% of the global workforce experiences chronic stress or burnout, with rates in the U.S. and Canada reaching 52%. In such a state, individuals’ cognitive abilities, problem-solving skills, health and interpersonal relationships are significantly compromised.

External stressors such as market fluctuations, geopolitical unrest and environmental concerns have become commonplace, exacerbating the underlying sense of insecurity.

Workplace stressors, including increased workloads, communication challenges and a lack of professional development opportunities, further contribute to chronic stress and burnout.

Given the persistence of external stressors, implementing a resilience strategy that enhances individuals’ capacity to manage stress effectively offers a fundamental solution for sustainable success, benefiting both employees and organizations alike.

Balancing the Shift in Power Dynamics: The pandemic precipitated a shift in power dynamics as a decentralized workforce demonstrated its ability to work remotely. The convergence of work and personal lives on virtual platforms brought clarity to individual contributions and priorities, leading to phenomena such as the “great resignation.”

Employees now wield greater leverage in negotiating for flexible work arrangements, improved mental health support, a nurturing organizational culture and enhanced diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Cultivating personal and team resilience starting at the executive level serves as the neurological foundation for fostering a healthy, engaged and inclusive workplace culture.

Enhancing Adaptability to Accelerated Change: The pandemic necessitated unprecedented levels of adaptability to accelerated change. However, the anticipated respite to recalibrate has been elusive, with leaders and teams contending with incessant demands for heightened productivity and responsiveness. Striking a sustainable balance that enhances adaptability and the capacity to manage change becomes imperative amidst perpetual expectations for increased output and 24/7 availability.

Implementing a resilience strategy provides leaders with a systemic approach to striking this balance, effectively addressing productivity; retention; recruitment; employee well-being; organizational culture; and diversity, equity and inclusion concerns for long-term organizational sustainability.

Key Components of a Resilience Strategy

Leaders interested in implementing a resilience strategy should consider the following three components and explore design, implementation and training support to mitigate overtaxing internal leaders who may already be stretched thin:

Mitigate chronic (toxic) stress. This can be done by conducting baseline assessments of leaders’ and the workforce’s current resilience levels, particularly focusing on HR, managers and supervisors, and by identifying and addressing process and initiatives frustrations.

Cultivate resilience and trust. To do this, employers need to provide resilience training to equip individuals with self-regulation skills during challenging situations. They should then follow up by assessing and fostering psychological safety within the organization.

Foster a proactive culture of resilience. This requires two steps: securing executive support and budgetary allocations to execute and embed the resilience strategy across the organization, and then evaluating and enhancing existing well-being initiatives and employee assistance programs by offering programs that promote adaptability and destigmatize mental health issues.

Embracing and implementing a resilience strategy represents a holistic approach to effectively aligning the needs of individuals and organizations, fostering greater sustainability for both parties.

Kathleen Gramzay, LMT, is an entrepreneur, body/mind resilience expert, speaker, author, and founder of Kinessage LLC. The Kinessage® methods are taught nationally to transform stress, chronic tension and pain, and increase mental resilience and long-term health for greater well-being and sustainable success. Her programs empower leaders and teams to be present, think more clearly and work more productively, confidently and collaboratively.

Did You Know: Gallup’s 2023 surveys estimate that actively disengaged and low-engagement employees cost the global economy $8.8 trillion, or 9% of global GDP.

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