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WSP knows corporate resilience can relate to employee wellbeing

WSP knows corporate resilience can relate to employee wellbeing

 May 04, 2021

The wellness of people is essential to businesses, write Kealy Herman and Emily Wasley in an article for WSP's magazine The Possible that considers corporate resilience in the same terms as wellness and self-care.

Kealy is Senior Project Director for sustainability, energy and climate change at WSP in Denver; Emily is WSP’s US practice leader for corporate climate risk, adaptation and resilience, and board leader of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals.

Proactively investing in people

"Companies cannot function effectively if their employees are burned out. Even if your business is technology, it will not survive unless you proactively invest in people, because they are the ones who operate facilities, monitor early warning systems and lead the organization’s direction. Natural light, plants or outdoor space have historically been seen as “woo-woo” or frivolous but there’s a good reason for them — these are simple things that can really make a difference to someone’s day and help them to keep going," explain Kealy and Emily.

"It’s interesting to talk about personal and organizational resilience in parallel, because truly resilient leadership must encompass both, and many of the strategies can be applied in both arenas. Resilience is a term that is being used a lot more these days, often in the sense of responding to or recovering from acute shocks. But crisis management is just one of the tools in a resilience framework. For individuals, if that’s all you’ve got, life can feel very chaotic. And if you never break the constant cycle of stress, burnout can happen very easily. It is the same for organizations: there will always be crises, and we must be ready for them, but that doesn’t mean we always have to be in crisis response mode," they continue. 

Being part of a community

"Making connections with people and being part of a community is another aspect of personal wellness and self-care that can be applied to business. When disaster strikes in life, your neighbour is going to be the person who helps you — if you don’t have that connection, then a crucial part is missing. In the same way, a company needs its host communities to be resilient and sustainable, for example, to ensure that it has redundant power and can be confident of operational continuity. It needs to know it can rely on these communities to provide safe drinking water for its employees, and get them to work," they add.

Providing tools for personal resilience

"Of course, if you want good people to stick around and to thrive, you have to invest in them. You have to empower them to take care of themselves by providing the tools for personal resilience, and normalizing their use. Some of this is just about using existing resources more wisely or making them more available, but in a world that — at times — can feel incredibly uncertain, a little investment will bring a significant return. The wellness of people is essential to the wellness of businesses: organizational resilience is simply self-care writ large."  

Read the full article by WSP's Kealy Herman and Emily Wasley about corporate resilience and employee wellness.

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