In the face of adversity, fostering team resilience is crucial for business continuity. We’ve gathered insights from fifteen industry professionals, including founders and presidents, to share their best tips. From cultivating a culture of psychological safety to promoting trust with open communication and transparency, discover a spectrum of strategies to bolster your team’s resilience during challenging times.

  • Cultivate a Culture of Psychological Safety
  • Prioritize Transparent Communication
  • Encourage Sharing Personal Resilience Stories
  • Empower Team Members with a Vested Stake
  • Implement a Feedback Loop and Shared Purpose
  • Combine Clear Communication with Skill Development
  • Reframe Challenges as Innovation Opportunities
  • Visualize Long-Term Objectives and Rewards
  • Over-Communicate Context and Vision
  • Practice Empathy and Openness
  • Foster Ownership and Decision-Making
  • Prioritize Team Well-Being and Support
  • Lead by Example with Open Communication
  • Build Unity and Perspective
  • Promote Trust with Open Communication and Transparency

Cultivate a Culture of Psychological Safety

Most teams are going to run into challenging situations, but the most resilient teams will include a culture where people aren’t afraid to fail. Leaders and team members can support one another in trying new ideas and focus on creating psychological safety. 

If everyone is afraid of criticism or retribution for a mistake, you won’t get their best efforts. But a resilient team knows they can learn together from mistakes when things don’t go as planned.

Logan Mallory, Keynote Speaker, Logan Mallory Speaks

Prioritize Transparent Communication

I suggest prioritizing transparent communication. This means keeping your team informed about the current situation, including any difficulties the business is facing, as well as the steps being taken. Transparency helps build trust, a sense of unity, and cohesion. It’s also important to encourage open discussions, giving your team a chance to share their concerns, suggestions, and feelings. 

By combining clear and honest communication with a supportive environment, you can build a resilient team that is better equipped to face and come out stronger from business challenges.

Bayu Prihandito, Founder, Psychology Consultant, Life Coach for Men, Life Architekture

Encourage Sharing Personal Resilience Stories

From my extensive experience with Stay Here, a mental health organization I founded that emphasizes hope and healing for the broken-hearted, I’ve come to understand that fostering resilience within a team, especially during challenging times, is deeply rooted in cultivating a supportive and empathetic environment. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is the importance of creating a sense of purpose and belonging among team members, which significantly boosts morale and resilience.

A concrete strategy we’ve implemented at Stay Here involves openly sharing personal stories of overcoming adversities, which showcases real-life examples of resilience and hope. This approach has not only encouraged team members to openly discuss their struggles but also to support each other’s growth and recovery. By fostering an environment where vulnerability is seen as a strength, we’ve built a tightly-knit team that’s capable of weathering challenges together.

Moreover, implementing practical, hands-on training sessions, like our ACT Suicide Prevention Training, equips team members with tools and skills to navigate crises, whether personal or professional. This not only helps in building individual resilience but also reinforces a collective resolve to support each other. Encouraging participation in such trainings and discussions about mental health and resilience has proven invaluable in our organization, providing a solid foundation for our team to thrive even in the face of significant challenges.

Jacob Coyne, Founder, Stay Here

Empower Team Members with a Vested Stake

Give people a vested stake in your organization. If you foster an environment where every team member is not only heard but can also make an actionable difference in the success of the company through their ideas put into action, there will be a collective resilience among everyone when the environment around you gets challenging. When employees truly feel like they’re a part of the team, they’ll act as such through good times and bad.

David Bishoff, President, E.V. Bishoff Company

Implement a Feedback Loop and Shared Purpose

Business leaders should consistently offer and accept team feedback, especially during high-pressure and challenging sprints. For instance, call out exceptional efforts when you see them, offer constructive project or workflow notes, schedule check-ins, and directly ask the team how you can support them.

The feedback loop dedicates time for celebration, adaptation, and collaboration, enabling teams to survive and thrive during rapid business growth.

Also, during challenging times, staying focused on the team’s shared purpose becomes more important than ever. It helps everyone steer their efforts toward what matters most and endure obstacles in service of a higher goal.

Shannon Ewan, CEO, ICAgile

Combine Clear Communication with Skill Development

Fostering resilience in a marketing team during challenging business periods requires transparent communication and a shared sense of purpose. My best tip is to consistently communicate openly about the challenges the business is facing, providing context and emphasizing the collective goal. 

Encourage a culture where team members feel comfortable sharing concerns and ideas. Acknowledge the difficulties, but also highlight the team’s strengths and past successes. Additionally, provide professional development opportunities, training, and resources to enhance skills and confidence. By nurturing a culture of continuous learning and adaptability, team members are better equipped to navigate challenges. 

Regularly recognize and celebrate achievements, no matter how small, to boost morale. This combination of clear communication, skill development, and positive reinforcement builds a resilient team that can effectively weather uncertainties and contribute to the long-term success of the business.

Omer Lewinsohn, General Manager, Marketing Expert, Management.org

Reframe Challenges as Innovation Opportunities

One of the best ways to foster resilience within your team during challenging times is by encouraging innovation and creativity. When things get difficult, come together as a team to brainstorm new project ideas, strategies, or approaches you normally may not have considered. Being open to changes in direction or fresh perspectives can boost morale.

Focusing on innovation also takes people’s minds off short-term setbacks by reframing difficult periods as opportunities to improve. When a team is actively working together on new solutions, problem-solving, and thinking outside the box, it builds resilience through optimism and momentum toward future opportunities. Challenging times don’t have to be purely negative—they can instead spawn new innovative workflows, processes, or offerings that may not have emerged otherwise.

Juliet Dreamhunter, Founder & AI Strategist, Juliety

Visualize Long-Term Objectives and Rewards

In our agency, we get motivated to keep up with the challenges by visualizing our collective long-term objectives and the rewards that come with achieving them. It’s a practice that helps us maintain perspective, ensuring we understand the purpose behind the hard work and the benefits that our perseverance will eventually bring. 

This vision acts as a beacon during turbulent times, guiding and motivating the team to push through adversity.

Tristan Harris, Demand Generation Senior Marketing Manager, Thrive Digital Marketing Agency

Over-Communicate Context and Vision

Fostering team resilience when times get tough is critical to coming out the other side stronger than ever. My best advice is to over-communicate context and vision. When business conditions are difficult, uncertainty breeds fear and disengagement. Combat this by arming your team with crystal-clear insights on exactly where things stand today, how decisions are being made, and where the company is headed long-term.

Schedule regular all-hands meetings to honestly discuss challenges the business is facing, along with the proactive steps you are taking to weather the storm. Show you have a smart plan forward backed by solid logic. Provide space for people to ask tough questions and voice concerns. The more context and logic you offer, the more people will trust in the path, even when sacrifices are required in the interim.

Additionally, inspire confidence in future success by underscoring the organization’s vision and strengths. Celebrate wins, highlight customer testimonials, and remind people why the mission matters. Outperforming the competition starts with an empowered team aligned around growth ahead. Cascading reliable insights on the real business landscape, while rallying people around the vision, enables teams to stay resilient when it matters most. With strong communication that demonstrates transparency, logic, and authentic care for people, any business can counter uncertainty with conviction.

Brian Meiggs, Founder, My Millennial Guide

Practice Empathy and Openness

It’s easy to become occupied as a business leader during challenging periods, working your employees hard to navigate the crisis while ignoring their well-being in the process. However, I believe the opposite can make your difficulties work out for the best, paying off in the form of a strong, resilient team. Keeping your workers a priority and taking the time to check in, gather feedback, and discuss their concerns can help you inspire confidence in your team while motivating them to perform their best.

Rather than being an absent boss, it’s essential to be more present than ever before, hold group discussions to address concerns about your organization’s future, ask employees what they think and feel, and create a safe environment where everyone can contribute honestly. It’s also important to be considerate of their workload and avoid burdening your team members with unrealistic deadlines and impossible tasks. 

Ultimately, feedback, whether gathered in person or anonymously via surveys and digital tools, can help you determine how to best support your staff during a challenging period.

Ben Lamarche, General Manager, Lock Search Group

Foster Ownership and Decision-Making

In my experience, instilling resilience during tough times hinges on fostering a sense of ownership and empowerment among team members. Drawing inspiration from my adventures in photography, where each frame captured is a decision made under varying conditions, I encourage my team to take initiative and make decisions as if the business were their own. 

This empowerment leads to collective resilience, as each member feels personally invested in navigating challenges and contributing to solutions. It’s this blend of personal responsibility and collective effort that equips us to face and overcome hurdles with confidence and creativity.

Alex Taylor, Head of Marketing, CrownTV

Prioritize Team Well-Being and Support

At Empathy First Media, fostering resilience starts with prioritizing well-being. Providing resources for self-care and encouraging open discussions about mental health creates a supportive environment. When team members feel valued and supported, they’re better equipped to navigate challenges together, fostering resilience that extends beyond the workplace.

Daniel Lynch, President & Owner, Empathy First Media

Lead by Example with Open Communication

In the ever-changing landscape of business, periods of challenge and uncertainty are inevitable. As an entrepreneur, fostering resilience in my team has been a cornerstone of navigating these turbulent times. One of the most effective strategies I’ve found is cultivating a culture of open communication and psychological safety.

Encouraging team members to express their concerns, fears, and ideas in a supportive environment can create a sense of unity and solidarity. By actively listening to their experiences and validating their emotions, we foster a sense of belonging and trust within the team. This not only strengthens interpersonal connections but also empowers individuals to navigate challenges collaboratively, drawing upon each other’s strengths and insights.

Furthermore, as a founder, I’ve learned the importance of leading by example. Demonstrating resilience in the face of adversity, being transparent about challenges, and showing vulnerability can inspire and motivate team members to persevere in the face of adversity. By sharing personal experiences of overcoming setbacks and demonstrating a growth mindset, we create a culture that values resilience as a key ingredient for success.

Ultimately, fostering resilience in a team requires a multifaceted approach that prioritizes open communication, psychological safety, and authentic leadership. By creating an environment where team members feel supported, empowered, and inspired, we can weather any storm and emerge stronger and more resilient than ever before.

Manuel Schlothauer, Founder, HeyManuel.com

Build Unity and Perspective

It might seem like a simple approach, but encouraging your team to share their stories and experiences during testing times can have a huge impact on creating a perspective shift. 

Throughout history, stories have been a unifying force, bringing people together through shared experiences. When facing challenges, allowing team members to share their stories creates a sense of unity. It reminds everyone that they are not alone in navigating difficult times and ultimately builds a resilience that isn’t just surface-level.

Another important thing to remember is that this approach serves as more than just a way to exchange anecdotes—it becomes a new and valuable learning tool. Each team member brings a unique perspective and approach to challenges. Listening to these stories can provoke a shift in perspective, offering fresh insights and solutions that may not have been considered.

As a leader, you’ll also witness how everyone on board sees that others have faced similar challenges and have emerged stronger. This realization boosts morale and cultivates collective resilience.

Riley Beam, Managing Attorney, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.

Promote Trust with Open Communication and Transparency

Create an environment of trust and collaboration where everyone feels valued and supported by promoting open communication and transparency. Team members should be encouraged to express their concerns, share their ideas, and ask questions freely. An honest manager who acknowledges the challenges will be far more successful than one who ignores the difficulties their team is facing.
Kate Burroughs, Project Manager, Pen Air Credit Union

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