in Your Small Business:
October is NSW Small Business Month and this year’s theme is MY Small Business, which encompasses the different aspects of being a small business owner. In this series of articles, our expert business coaches have each shared their ideas and insights on how to shape your business to be the best it can be.
As small business owners, you face various challenges, but the ability to adapt and thrive is crucial for success. This article explores the concept of resilience and how fostering it among your team members can provide your small business with a competitive edge, particularly in the face of uncertainty and unforeseen challenges.
Resilience is a term deeply ingrained in the Australian ethos. While it once referred to physical toughness and stoicism, today it’s better understood as the capacity of an individual, team or business to persevere in the face of setbacks, failures, challenges, and uncertainty.
Fostering resilience in your business begins with your team members. Empowering your employees to build their emotional and psychological strength will enable your business to thrive no matter what obstacles comes your way.
As our MTC Australia business coach Jay Mani explains, “Resilience and mental health are intricately linked. A resilient workforce can better cope with stressors, reduce burnout, and maintain good mental health.”
“By fostering a workplace culture that supports mental health, values diversity and inclusivity, employers can create a resilient and mentally healthy team that thrives in the face of adversity.”
So, what does building a resilient workplace look like in practice? Jay helps us delve into three key aspects:
Offering flexible working arrangements to your employees –
Depending on your business, this can take the form of developing a hybrid working model or giving employees the ability to negotiate working hours that match their other responsibilities or goals outside of work, such as family and study.
Set realistic expectations around working and communication. While flexibility is a two-way street in terms of employee-employer give and take, it’s important to establish clear boundaries around when employees are expected to be working or contactable to ensure they feel empowered to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Benefits: Offering flexibility to your team members will be especially beneficial to your small business because it enhances work-life balance, job satisfaction, and overall productivity.
Fostering a supportive work culture –
Related to flexible work arrangements, encourage employees to take breaks and disconnect from work outside of business hours. When employees have the freedom to recharge and step away from their professional duties, they return to work more refreshed and motivated.
Normalise making mistakes. By embracing a culture embracing mistakes as an inherent part of progress, your team can approach challenges with resilience. They’ll be more willing to explore new ideas, experiment, and navigate uncharted territories, which is essential in an ever-evolving business landscape.
Actively seek out ideas, suggestions and criticisms that will help improve the processes and systems of your business. When your employees feel that their input is valued and appreciated, they become more engaged in their work and motivated to help improve the organisation.
Foster an inclusive and diverse work environment. Implementing policies and practices that combat discrimination and bias is not just a matter of ethics but also smart business strategy. A diverse and inclusive workforce brings a variety of perspectives and experiences, which can lead to more innovative solutions and increased resilience in the face of challenges. Moreover, an inclusive environment often results in improved employee retention and client satisfaction, positively impacting your business’s bottom line.
Benefits: A supportive work culture equips your team to collaborate effectively, innovate, and address challenges with resilience, knowing they have your support. By encouraging a work-life balance, embracing mistakes as learning opportunities, actively seeking input, and fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace, you not only enhance your employees’ well-being but also empower them to face adversity head-on.
Helping your team develop key skills –
Monitor employee workloads and encourage realistic expectations. Regularly monitoring employee workloads is essential for maintaining a balanced and sustainable workflow. Encourage open communication and transparency so that your team feels comfortable discussing their workloads and expectations.
Address issues of excessive workload and provide necessary support. You can do this by encouraging employees to communicate when they feel overwhelmed or overburdened, and where possible, re-assigning tasks and delegating responsibilities to foster an even workload distribution.
Train managers and leaders to recognise signs of mental distress and promote a culture of empathy and open dialogue. Make mental health resources and support available to your team. This might include access to counselling services, stress management workshops, or Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs).
Benefits: By equipping your team with essential skills to manage their workload and lead others, your business will be better prepared to navigate turbulent times, whether that is in the life of the business or the life of an employee. When teams are too stretched and have no give in their workload, whole workflows and systems can grind to a halt.
Resilience can be built into your business in so many ways and it can be the superpower that sets your small business apart from the crowd. As NSW Small Business Month celebrates “My Small Business,” remember that fostering resilience within your team is a powerful way to transform the inevitable storms into welcome challenges you will be confident your business can weather with ease.
Require assistance in implementing Resilience in your Business?
Still deciding if Self-Employment Assistance is right for you?
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Our track record of success
“I’ve really enjoyed mentoring sessions with Kathleen through the Self-Employment Assistance Program. The sessions helped me to voice out my business vision and plan, get feedback on my ideas, stay on track with my tasks and communicate new offers.
It is so important to have someone that keeps you accountable and listens to you as working for yourself can get overwhelming, especially at the start of the business endeavours. I would highly recommend the Self-Employment Assistance Program to any new business entrepreneurs.“
“MTC has provided me with a wide range of skills, abilities, and knowledge. Further, through their mentoring program, they have provided extremely valuable advice in many aspects of the business operations.
Finally, as I gained a Bus (Management) / LLB (Honours), I incorrectly assumed I would not learn anything new or of value. The course work, combined with the classes, were a great foundation for the establishment of my business, and the ongoing mentoring has provided guidance to keep me on track to reaching my personal set targets.”
“Being a Mum of 5, life can easily get in the way, especially when it comes to my business. I knew how to do some things but had no real business knowledge until I found MTC Australia.
With Workforce Australia’s Self-Employment Assistance, I learned how to operate my small business. The ongoing mentoring was also super helpful and has continued to drive my success. I had an amazing experience learning through MTC Australia and have come leaps and bounds ever since.”
“I have been delighted to have Simone Moss (Redfern) as my Industry and Skills Coach. In the short time I’ve had Simone’s assistance, I’ve become very aware of her amazing, and realistic, understanding of the nature of being a small (seed) business owner. Particularly one who has survived an unplanned, global pandemic, and the associated business challenges that came, unexpectedly, with Covid.
Thanks to Simone, I now have an MTC business mentor, and I am able to access other small business avenues of support and training, relevant to the nature of my business. Accolades of thanks to Simone and MTC Australia!”
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