Bouncing Back

How prepared are we to deal with natural and manmade disasters both personally and professionally? And how quickly can we bounce back?

Dressed in multiple layers and wrapped in a fleece blanket, I huddle closer to the space heater and listen to our oil burner struggling to pull sluggish oil through almost frozen lines. The house temperature remains at 59 despite the heat being set to 68. Ice-encrusted snow glistens in crystalline pyramids outside, and an arctic wind howls with minus 20-degree fury. This would be a normal winter for my colleagues in Minneapolis, but not for us in Long Island, NY. And our fellow Northeasterners in Boston have had it even worse—buried under five-plus feet of snow in just two weeks in February. Even Florida hasn’t escaped as the mercury plunged to below 30 degrees at one point.

Seems like Mother Nature is on a rampage lately. From flooding rains and stultifying heat to destructive tornadoes and hurricanes and gale-force winds, just about every country in the world has been subject to her wrath. The question is: How prepared are we to deal with these and other disasters both personally and professionally? And how quickly can we bounce back?

Smart companies today are turning to resilience training, incorporating it into employee education and development strategies. Building resilience is about making people more capable of bouncing back quicker and emerging stronger from these shocks and stresses. See "Training for the Worst" to learn about creating continuity plans and the four principles of resiliency training.

Helping employees to manage pressure and stress—both during disasters and in everyday life—also can contribute to their resilience. See "Content Under Pressure" to learn about the components of a successful pressure management training program.

Another part of resiliency is the ability to bounce back from mistakes— whether your own or someone else’s. This is not an easy lesson to learn as we tend to beat ourselves up when something goes wrong. I experienced this firsthand earlier this year when I learned after the January/February 2015 Training Top 125 issue had gone to press that DPR Construction’s Training Top 125 application somehow did not get uploaded even though the company received a confirmation (the first time this has happened in my eight years at Training, although it was the first time using a new technology system for the uploads). As a result, the judges did not review this application, so DPR Construction was not named to the 2015 list (DPR ranked No. 10 in 2014). The DPR team demonstrated true grace and resiliency as it accepted my heartfelt apology and resolved to submit a 2016 application (and I promised to personally confirm receipt!).

The 2016 Training Top 125 application will be available April 14, 2015, on www.trainingmag.com. Also on the Website you will find the Training Matters video—the song and video were created exclusively for Training magazine by singer/songwriter Dave Carroll (you can learn more in the Show Wrap-Up, "Training Matters—And How!"). You are welcome to download the music and create your own video to celebrate your organization’s dedication to training and share the good news that Training Matters!

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