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By Saadiq Samodien, Online Event Specialist, Top Employers Institute
By Saadiq Samodien, Online Event Specialist, Top Employers Institute

Key takeaways | How Amazon, Rituals and Boehringer Ingelheim build resilience

The Top Employers 2021 Certificate Celebration held on 28 January 2021 brought together HR industry experts from around the world to celebrate the work done in HR and knowledge share the best people practices.   

One of the breakout sessions, called "Creating a culture of resilience”, focused on how to foster resilience as a value in an organisationThe Q&S session was hosted by Bronwyn Wainwright, Global Content and Brand Specialist at Top Employers Institute, senior HR leaders Véronique Rouzaud pf Amazon, Irene Vernie of Rituals and Esteban Blanco Ziegler of Boehringer Ingelheim. The session was a highly interactive conversation, which focused on practical tips and research on how to build on the factors that make up resilience. This includes how to stay balanced, build optimism, create psychological safety in the workplace, and how to deal with difficult emotions. Because resilience is built on behaviours and skills, it can be taught and learned by anyone. 

Watch the full session by filling in the form (on the right) or read the key takeaways here:   

Takeaway #1: Building resilience is an individual and collective journey 

Two crucial factors in creating a resilient organisation are dealing with change and providing a safe working environment. Safety is often viewed in the physical sense, but it is also about a sense of mental securityTo demonstrate this, Véronique Rouzaud explained how Amazon adopted and reviewed 150 workplace processes across Europe and the world. This included a full review of their layout of the workspace and the movement of workers. Part of this review was also assessing the ergonomics of employees’ workstations. The review's outcome was a practical application of social distancing, the distribution of millions of masks to employees. Furthermore, specific jobs were created around safety to train employees on dealing with change and on building resilience. To complement this, everyone was provided training on resilience and had access to one-on-one coaching sessions.  

Takeaway #2Well-being is key to resilience 

A big part of resilience is having employees take ownership of their physical and mental well-being. Due to the pandemic, employees had an increased need for connectedness with fellow employees due to remote working. Irene Vernie of Ritual Cosmetics highlighted how they started "The well-being winter challenge" to combat this. It was a bi-weekly challenge, where they invited all employees to work on their well-being. The first challenge was called the Shinrin Yoku challenge, a Japanese tradition that means 'bathing in the forest'. Once a week, employees were asked to walk in nature, take a picture and share them with colleagues. Challenges in the following, which followed a similar pattern, were based on themes such as gratitude and physical health. The idea behind the challenge was to give employees control over their resilience and well-being in a creative yet uncomplicated way  

Takeaway #3: Build a culture of trust instead of a culture of control.   

One of the keys to building organisational resilience is adapting and transforming culture in response to change. Esteban Blanco of Boehringer Ingelheim noted how their company had to undergo a fast and rapid transformation and directly attributed their success to focusing on purpose, physical and mental health, social responsibility and building a caring leadership. Taking care of employees and ensuring their security during the pandemic was critical to accelerating a cultural transformation. Furthermore, virtual working demanded that trust be the cornerstone of the culture. Remote working also promoted new communication methods beyond the typical hierarchy of the organisation, which also developed resilient behaviours in new ways.  

To learn about more ways that Amazon, Rituals Cosmetics and Boehringer Ingelheim build resilience, fill in the form.  

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