Organizational Resilience: What it is & how to build it

We can agree that we all face crisis situations frequently, so it becomes important to learn how to resist and face difficult situations. We ask ourselves then, how do companies adapt and demonstrate their resilience in times of crisis? Today we will learn about organizational resilience.

We will talk about what are the optimal conditions to develop organizational resilience, that is, the ability of an organization to cope with an uncertain and potentially threatening environment. In other words, the strategies that must be applied so that the actors of the company recognize the need to adapt and to deploy the necessary resources to achieve the established goals.

What is organizational resilience

Organizational resilience is the ability of a company to anticipate, plan and respond to difficulties when they occur. Which manifests as an organization that is both flexible and sustainable to transformation:

  • Resilient organizations are those that recover and are resistant to impacts through good risk management, as well as adaptable, elastic and sustainable.

Characteristics and importance of a resilient culture

To be successful in this volatile and complex environment, organizations must be more adaptable and agile, especially in situations of crisis.

One of the main setbacks for organizations that don’t succeed is the increased stress level of the work team. It can lead to reduced performance, productivity and employee morale, and strain relationships in the workplace.

Additionally, developing organizational resilience is important because it demonstrates the ability to maintain competitive advantage over time. This is achieved by simultaneously driving excellent performance and effective innovation. By doing so, organizations will also show the adaptability of their business objectives to market changes.

A resilient organization is capable of:

  • Create and adapt structures. It has a precise and timely decision-making process that allows the organization to operate with dispersed physical and digital operating systems, but at the same time independent.
  • Provide security. Resilience helps organizations continually manage and mitigate risk in the midst of change.
  • Manage the emotional effects. Undergoing a transformation and continuous change is a factor in producing high levels of anxiety, stress and work burnout in the work team. By advocating for organizational resilience, you can demonstrate your commitment to leadership-level management and ensure the health and stability of your employees.
  • Foster a diverse and empowered workforce – A resilient organization has the power to establish a well-connected, collaborative and creative workforce that works together to develop competitiveness and prosperity.
  • Learn, develop and grow – A resilient organization invests in both physical and digital infrastructures to make them more adaptable and flexible in the long term.

How to build organizational resilience

Building a resilient organization is a long process of change. Here are some ideas for how you can leverage your workplace to boost organizational resilience:

how to build a resilient organization

  1. Effective leadership

One of the most important factors driving organizational culture is strong leadership. Resilient cultures start with committed leaders who understand and support employees. The lack of support from managers creates the risk that the workforce will be disengaged and, therefore, that the company culture is weak.

One way to create a stronger connection between leaders and employees is to provide harmonious top-down and horizontal communication. This will create a strong bond between employees and leaders, regardless of whether they work in the same office or are in a different time zone.

Leaders of resilient cultures must take personal responsibility for effectively involving their employees and, during periods of transition, must make the tough decisions to protect teams.

  1. Transparency and communication

After gaining the support of leaders, your organization must make sure to promote transparency and, of course, apply it to all internal communications. Resilient cultures understand that communication is a powerful tool for driving behavior in the organization and creates open conversations around ethics and values.

  1. Safe and secure work communities

The workplace culture can be stressful and overwhelming, especially when there are changes or disturbances. Build a safer and more social work environment.

Employees are constantly connecting and collaborating, so make sure you give them a place where they can share their interests and create social connections with their colleagues.

  1. Innovation in knowledge management

Organizational resilience is driven by performance and adoption. But how can we achieve high performance rates when we don’t adapt to innovations?

Knowledge management is a very important pillar in building resilience, but organizations often fail to successfully integrate innovations. Results are difficult to measure and organizations prefer to focus their efforts on more tangible elements.

Technological advances offer numerous opportunities to design agile and open knowledge management systems. Using cloud technologies, knowledge sharing is easier and reaches a broader base of employees, while at the same time they can safely store knowledge for many future generations. Consider investing in innovation that can facilitate change processes and prepare your business for turbulent times.

  1. Complexity and responsibility

Today, many companies operate in multiple time zones, geographies, and departments. To function effectively at this level of organizational complexity, it is necessary to increase cooperation and information sharing, while establishing shared responsibilities across the team.

Equip your company with digital collaboration tools created to help international companies looking to centralize their efforts. Resilient cultures understand the benefits of shared responsibility and empowered teams. This can prepare employees for crisis situations by establishing a clear understanding and a strong sense of responsibility.


Remember that organizational resilience gives you the ability to successfully adapt to threats to your sustainability. Building a resilient culture takes time, but the rewards for any company are vast.

The results may not come as quickly as the next challenge, but it must not be forgotten that the most important thing is to learn to adapt to any situation. And only then can you truly become a resilient and sustainable organization.

Reimagine the future of work. Use our employee experience management platform to help you shape your culture and drive employee engagement through data-driven decisions.