Author: Shilpi

Resilience: help your people to cope & even thrive during disruption

In organisations today change is continuous and fast-paced. Company priorities change quickly and for many people, a confusing and chaotic work environment seems to be the norm.

Having previously worked in an industry that was significantly disrupted, and while consulting in organisations that face similar challenges –  I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on what can be done to equip individuals to cope in these challenging environments. But just coping isn’t enough. We need people to continue to develop and even thrive during times of business change.  New tools to evaluate employee and organisational resilience may provide a more structured way to deal with challenge and change.

Has our ability to cope with change improved, or are we using the same tools that we always have?

Most of the research and information I’ve found suggests that our ability to cope with change has not improved in proportion to the amount of disruption that organisations have to deal with today. Not having the necessary skills and experience to deal with change comes at a high personal cost to individuals. Many of the clients I coach talk about being overwhelmed by the speed of change and unclear where to focus their efforts. This can lead to stress, burn-out, anxiety and depression. The cost to the organisation is also high. The direct financial impact on Australian business is in the vicinity of $11 billion every year, largely due to absenteeism and reduced productivity.

The good news is, many organisations are starting to invest in the wellbeing of their employees, and how they can help them cope with change. But it goes beyond lunch-time yoga and mindfulness classes (don’t get me wrong, I’m an advocate of both!).

Being clear on both the company and individuals’ purposes is the first step. Having people who are able to bounce back, regulate emotions and problem solve – in other words people who are resilient, is how you achieve wellbeing.

The even better news is that there are now tools on the market that allow managers and individuals to assess their current levels of resilience. Although resilience is not a new concept, tools that combine psychology and neuroscience are showing very promising results.

Organisations can get a quick and clear picture of not just individual resilience, but the overall resilience and wellbeing across the organisation. You can Identify strengths and risks, review lead indicators on future engagement, explore solutions to areas of challenges in change management, sustainability, performance, absenteeism and turnover.

Using a combination of online tools and coaching, individuals can learn to develop their resilience and ultimately achieve wellbeing. Plus, through the use of some great analytics, you can predict what individual and group resilience will be like when faced with challenging situations in the future. This allows us to quantify benefit realisation to prove investment return.

Get in touch with us to discuss how you can invest in your organisation’s future by investing in the wellbeing of your people and implementing targeted resilience training.

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Ten years with TMTT

Talent Management Think Tank has been working with Australia’s best companies since 2007.

In that time we’ve connected business leaders, academics and experts with our members to provide insights into the latest research, issues and trends in leadership and talent management.

For ten years we’ve provided our member’s Human Resources and Organisational Development experts with opportunities to come together, share ideas and develop their future leaders.

We’d like to thank all our member organisations who have worked together to tackle the big issues, share strategies and help navigate the future of work.

Here are some of our achievements…

10 years - 22 members from ASX200 & global companies

1400 leaders have developed new ideas, perspectives and leadership approaches

25 CEOS have engaged to share their insights and experiences in leading some of Australia's biggest organisations

20 Future leader forums run with high potential leaders across 12 different companies

20 academics, futurists and thought leaders have shared their skills and knowledge with 1200 leaders


In 2018 TMTT will enhance our client offering to include:

  • New Leadership Masterclasses
  • Exciting New Venue!
  • Exclusive TMTT member workshops at discounted rates


Membership for 2018 is now open. If you’re interested in learning more – please get in touch – Shilpi and Kerry will be happy to discuss what TMTT can offer.
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Preparing your people for the future of work…

Over the last 18 months we’ve been exploring how future of work disruptions, things like technological, demographic and socio-economic disruptions, will lead to changes in the employment landscape and skills requirements. These changes will result in significant challenges for recruiting, training and managing talent – some of which our members are already starting to experience.

Companies may find themselves in the situation of having positive employment demand for hard-to-recruit special roles, while at the same time experiencing skills instability across many current roles. Staff in lower skilled roles may find themselves being made redundant before having had the chance to re-skill. Companies could decide that re-training a large part of the workforce is not an investment they’re willing to make.

So what can be done?

Create a talent re-training strategy. According to the report, Australia’s Future Workforce by CEDA (modelling almost five million Australian jobs) – around 40 per cent of the workforce face the high probability of being replaced by automation in the next 10 to 15 years. While there’s no doubt that new jobs will also be created, many organisations need to consider how they will re-train staff if they want employees to be ready to move into new roles as and when required and avoid redundancies.

By mapping new and emerging job categories, anticipating redundancies and changing skills requirements, businesses can start to form effective talent re-training strategies.

As well as some good insights into where the business is headed and what talent will be needed (more about that in the next post), a shift in mindset about the transferability of skills is needed so that both employees and employers have a realistic view of what’s required to repurpose employee’s roles.

As part of their New Work Order series, The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) recently released a report titled the New Work Mindset. In it they discuss the urgent need to shift mindsets in our approach to jobs, careers and work. Using big data analysis they have identified 7 job clusters and discovered that not all jobs require the acquisition of an entirely new skill set. Instead, the skill sets of many jobs are ‘portable’ to other jobs. They report that on average, when an individual trains or works in one job, they acquire skills for 13 other jobs.

Knowing that re-training isn’t going to require a complete over-haul of people’s roles makes the task of designing a training strategy less daunting.

Here are some questions to prompt your thinking when embarking on a re-training strategy:

  • what’s your business strategy and what skills will/not be needed in the future to achieve it?
  • what areas of your business are the most likely targets for automation?
  • what skills will you need more of?
  • which skills/ experience do you really struggle to find in the market?
  • which roles can you start to retrain now?
  • will the company pay for all re-training or will staff be asked to contribute?
  • can you partner with private/ government organisations that have complementary resources?
  • how big are the resource gaps and how urgently do you need to close them?

You might find that it is more efficient to retrain people into those difficult to fill, specialist roles than you think. The knowledge of your organisation and selecting people with skills set from within the same cluster could significantly reduce the time and cost in equipping them for a new role.

Identifying the skill sets within your current roles will better position your organisation to respond to the opportunities of technological, social and economic change. By planning your re-training strategy now you will be better placed to pivot your workforce in new directions and reduce both redundancies and recruiting.