A Freedom of Information request followed the recent story of two individuals trapped in a crashed car for three days off the M9 motorway in Scotland. As a result, it emerged in the news that Police Scotland have lost more than 53,000 working days due to work-related stress in the last two years.
I personally find this unsurprising. Working in any of the emergency services has to be one of the most stressful jobs around. Of course they need to be equipped to deal with pressure, setbacks and challenges in order to maintain wellbeing and peak performance in their jobs.
In business psychology, this is how we define the concept of resilience. Take a moment to really think about that definition. Does it apply to you as well?
We all encounter some form of stress and challenge at work. Maybe it’s pressurised deadlines, or maybe it’s difficult changes in the workplace that you have to adapt to. Some are naturally better at dealing with these things than others.
The big question, from a talent management perspective, is should we actually be assessing resilience when recruiting people? Will this save some money later in extensively developing it?
I believe the answer is yes, and here are five reasons why:
1. It’s a complex world out there.
The rate of change in the world of work is greater than it’s ever been. Think about how quickly mobile phone innovation has advanced in the last decade alone. Now think about the changes in technology, the economy and in politics that organisations have to constantly adapt to in the modern workplace. For an organisation to be resilient to these rapid changes, its people also need to be individually resilient.
2. The cost of stress is high.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, the UK economy overall loses 13.3 million working days a year due to stress-related illness. As the average yearly salary is £26,500, or £73.60 a day, it’s a staggering £965.6 million that employers pay out for no productivity. Incorporating resilience in to selection decisions therefore makes commercial sense.
3. Resilience gives the right impression.
People want to work for organisations that care about them. The quality of a new hire is only as good as the quality of the recruitment process, and the better recruitment processes provide great candidate experiences to attract top talent. Not only will assessing for resilience make candidates believe you are concerned for the wellbeing of your staff, but it will also give them a more realistic (and face valid) preview for the job.
4. It’s a decisive factor in recruitment.
People who are resilient tend to have a greater fit with the organisation; according to research they are more engaged, more committed and more satisfied with their job. If two candidates score equally on technical and behavioural assessments, then resilience will often provide the deciding factor in who is best to take on in the long term.
5. Resilience delivers performance.
We know from research and practice that resilience actually improves the quality of an individual’s work, meaning that resilience has a tangible impact on technical performance of a job.
So, the next big question is how should you assess resilience?
Author: Jordon Jones