Building Resilience:
The New “R” in RGP’s Culture

Apr 2, 2020 |
mins Read

As a global organization, I think RGP has shown great resilience during these trying times. We’ve communicated, followed guidance, maintained revenue, won new deals, shared stories and problem solved—together.

According to SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management) the future of organizations lies with “Type Rs”: Resilient people and entities that individually and collectively turn challenges into opportunity, progress and innovation.

SHRM describes a “Type R” culture as one in which shock absorbers enable people and organizations to cope with day-to-day stresses as well as seismic events. This equips them to thrive in an increasingly volatile world by providing a vehicle for navigating the demanding times in which we live and work.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my own personal levels of resilience and how to build and maintain them. Our CEO reminded RGP’s leaders that we have all been playing new roles during this crisis and that really resonated with me. Advisor, counsellor, friend, etc. I’ve heard many people talk about the impact this period is having on our mental health, but for me, protecting myself starts with building my resilience. So, I got to thinking.

How do we build resilience?

Here are my thoughts:

1. Be positive and try not to worry
I love this video a colleague shared recently. It’s a good reality check. Yes. We’re living in anxious times; however, the sun is shining after a long winter so I’m going to follow the advice and focus on what I can do rather than worry about all the unanswered questions.

2. I limit my news and social media intake
Let’s face it, we generally don’t see stories of cute pandas being born and recently, the news is not any fun to watch. I’m actually longing for a whole news broadcast being dedicated to Brexit! So, I limit myself now to one check-in of the news every evening. Other than that, I avoid it altogether.

Social media is an interesting one. Many of the fantastic ideas on home school have come from Facebook and there are lots of positive poems and inspirational quotes being circulated which I always try to share. Then you have the other aspect of negative thoughts and comments. I’m making an active effort to only comment or re-share positive posts. All the rest sends me into a downward spiral which I actively avoid.

3. Using what I have
I’m cooking so much more from scratch and using what I have in my cupboards—we have had a lot of pancakes for breakfast recently as I have a surplus of eggs right now! We’ve also enjoyed having a family game night with all the board games that have been collecting dust on the shelf. It’s really fun and it’s tuning my mind into feeling good about not wasting things and moving away from being such a prolific consumer and user of one-click online shopping!

4. Learning new skills
A lot of people have been sharing that they are taking the time to do all the things that they’ve never had a chance to do. A colleague in our Talent team is trying to learn a new skill every week and I’ve been doing the same. It’s so satisfying! I learned how to make bread last weekend and it was delicious (looked a bit dodgy though!).

5. Breathing
I now realize that taking the time to breathe deliberately and deeply has a massive positive impact on one’s mental health! If you’re feeling stressed, I fully advocate lying on the floor for 2 minutes and breathing in and out—it works!

6. Take the time to care for yourself and others
With home-schooling and work, it’s been a crazy week so far and it’s set to continue. And yet…there’s always five minutes to quickly check in with people – especially those who have gone quiet and may be struggling on their own. Don’t forget to take care of yourself too and give yourself small treats. Be realistic and deliberate about the truly important items that need your focus immediately and be kind to yourself.

7. Home-schooling
Well, there’s a word I hadn’t given a second thought to! I would never have even considered this as a possibility in my life but here we are, navigating it. In all honestly, although juggling work and home-schooling is undoubtedly tough, I’m seriously enjoying time with my son, helping him to learn and grow. Physical Exercise “class” today included tidying up and doing laps around the garden. My thanks go to RGP’s resilient, empathetic and human-first culture, and for being so accommodating and realizing that this is our “new normal” conversation about work/life balance.

8. Be thankful
My son goes to a parochial school and we now “say grace” before every meal as he has asked us to. There simply hasn’t been a time in my life where gratitude and thanks have been needed more. Thanks for the safety of our families and our homes and for giving us this opportunity to get to know our colleagues better.

Do you have other tips on how you build and maintain your own resilience? Contact us and share your recommendations.

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