Only 2% of Teams Are Resilient – Here’s How to Change That - Glassdoor for Employers

Only 2% of Teams Are Resilient – Here's How to Change That

As the topic of resilience pops up in headlines across the industry, you might be wondering why it’s such a hot new trend in the HR space.

But in short, it’s not.

Company, team and individual resilience have long been important factors in a company’s long-term success, with notable coverage in books ranging from Jim Collin’s Good to Great to Adam Grant and Sherlyn Sandberg’s Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy. But we’re seeing a new emphasis on the subject because of the dramatic changes going on in technology and disruptive business models, and it’s more important than ever because, according to research from RallyBright, only 2% of teams fall into the category of “resilient!”

To find out why resilience is such an important factor for team performance and what companies can do to improve their team resilience, we connected with Dr. Karlyn Borysenko, Chief Science Officer at RallyBright.  

Why Is Resilience Important Today?

Why are more and more companies emphasizing the importance of resilience in employees and teams? Because there’s more pressure than ever before for individuals and teams to tap into their full potential to drive value for businesses, and teams that aren’t resilient are limited in what they can accomplish.

“When resilient teams encounter an obstacle, they’re much more likely to get back up and try again,” says Borysenko. “They commit to doing what it takes to achieve their goals, even if it doesn’t come right away or with an easy answer.”

“Companies that aren’t resilient are not going to achieve the business results they’re capable of,” Dr. Borysenko continues. “It’s interesting to note that when we measure performance, we ask questions about employees’ perception of their performance. A lot of the time we discover teams that are meeting their goals and KPIs just fine, but they measure their performance as low. They’re getting stuff done – perhaps the minimum they need to get done in order to keep their jobs – but they’re leaving a lot of discretionary effort on the table. Resiliency, in this case, is not about whether or not you feel good about your work, but whether or not members of your team are achieving their true potential over the long run.”

[Related: Why Your Most Frustrated Employees Might Be Your Greatest Asset]

What Does Team Resilience Look Like?

How do you measure something as intangible as resilience? You make it tangible by identifying specific behaviors that show a person or a team is resilient. In order to be able to measure and improve a team’s resilience, RallyBright has identified five dimensions of resilience, allowing organizations to pinpoint exactly where they can focus their efforts to improve overall resilience.

Image courtesy of RallyBright

  • Direction - Does your team have a shared purpose?
  • Connection - Do you trust your team members to do the right thing?
  • Alignment - Are you aligned with other departments within the company? Are you keeping up on trends in your industry and with the consumer of your company’s product or service?
  • Performance - Are you doing the things you say you’re doing?
  • Attitude - Does your team come to the table with a success mindset?

“The point of an assessment like this is to allow individual team members to focus in on the things they can do to make the most actionable impact,” says Borysenko. “Very few teams are perfect, and that’s not the goal the first time you review your team resilience. The goal is to strive to be a little bit better every day.”

Where Do Most Teams Fall on the Resilience Bell Curve?

By measuring the five dimensions mentioned above, RallyBright is able to rank the resilience into five categories from least resilient (antigroup) to most resilient (resilient group). The statistics below show the results of a survey of Fortune 500 companies and provides an estimated look at what percentage of teams fall into each group:

Antigroup (3% of teams)

The lowest level of resilience a group can have, which basically equates to a group of people who happen to be in a room together. Team members are individual contributors who are functioning on an individual level.  

Working group (17% of teams)

One step up from the antigroup, a working group is aligned around some purposes but they’re still functioning as individuals. They have not acknowledged that the team can do more as a cohesive unit than each individual person could do on their own.

Evolving group (62% of teams)

The majority of teams fall into the evolving group which has all the traits of a working group but has also started to perceive each other as part of a team. They understand the importance of a shared purpose and are working towards a shared, positive, forward-thinking attitude.

Performing group (17% of teams)

A performing group is one that has come together to acknowledge that the team can do far more as a cohesive unit than as a group of individuals. Group members trust each other and share common goals.

Resilient group (2% of teams)

Resilient groups have all the characteristics of a performing group with one distinctive addition: they’re willing to give of their resources to help others on their team because they truly understand that cohesiveness and compromise is a necessary part of the team achieving more as a group than it could on its own.   

[Related: 5 HR & Recruiting Metrics You Aren’t Tracking (But Should!)]

In Pursuit of Team Resilience

Do you see signs that your team dynamic falls into the less-than-resilient categories? That means there’s a lot of room for improvement in the way your employees collaborate and achieve their goals. Consider measuring and improving resiliency to help your team achieve its full potential.