10 Ways to Make your Company and Your Employees More Adaptable

Drake Editorial

The working world of business as we knew it is no longer recognisable. Familiar routines have disappeared. Organisations need to accept that the world is uncertain. The critical component for companies and for employees will be the ability to be comfortable with uncertainty and be able to quickly adapt. Adaptive organisations and individuals are the future of work.  


Here are 5 ways organisations can model adaptability within, and 5 ways they can help their employees become more adaptable: 

5 ways companies can model adaptability:

  1. Create a positive environment that encourages diversity of thought and ideas. Welcoming innovative thinking and input from everyone will enable companies to deal with challenges and overall uncertainty better and faster. This is key if you want to quickly pivot and adapt as things change.
  2. Drive decision making down to the front lines. CEO’s spend the least amount of time with those most responsible for the company’s success. Front line managers and their staff will more quickly detect changes in the environment that affect them. Providing greater autonomy will enable them to respond proactively and more quickly adapt to threats or opportunities. 
  3. Keep your antennae up. Always be on the lookout for any signs of change in the external environment.  Summon the troops to help decode the risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect the company. Adaptability is all about leveraging signal-reading capabilities to make operational interventions in real time. 
  4. Engage employees in any change transitions. Offer employees pathways to personal involvement when adaptability changes are made. Using their skills, abilities and thought processes will more quickly shape new ways to deliver services to ride the waves of uncertainty. 
  5. Adopt adaptive leadership. Adaptability is a sought-after competency. When hiring, ensure candidates have a range of behaviours that enable them to shift and adapt to ever changing situations. Adaptive leadership is the ability to quickly mobilise people to tackle tough challenges and thrive.  

5 ways companies can help employees become more adaptable:

  1. Let them learn from their co-workers. Put people with adaptability characteristics in charge of team projects. They more easily accommodate changing circumstances. Their mindset can influence others who struggle with change. Open, curious, and flexible minds can be a positive and learning influence on others, as well as outcomes. 
  2. Encourage a growth mindset. Gently push employees out of their comfort zone. Give them opportunities to learn and develop new skills by taking on different duties and working on special projects. This enables them to think with a more flexible mind, become inspired, all while learning how to adapt to changes in routine.  
  3. Put a focus on collaboration.  Encourage teams to come together to share knowledge, ask questions and support each other. Pooling knowledge enables them to quickly assess new situations, consider new ways to deliver services and make intelligent decisions. Together, they learn to adapt to external pressures and revise plans as needed. 
  4. Give teams veto power over new hires. Adaptable teams need to work on solutions and be focused on coming up with new ideas. New hires must be compatible and be able to work with others as a collective unit. Include team members in the hiring process. Listen and give them a veto if they have a strong and reasonable objection to hiring a particular person. Having the right people on their team who can quickly adapt is crucial. 
  5. Dispel the fear of failure. Create a leadership and managerial environment that encourages creativity, and innovation. Fear of failure or negative consequences can prevent thoughts and ideas from being suggested. Empowering staff to work towards solutions is powerful and paramount. 

Adaptability is an important survival skill and increasingly needed in the workplace. It is both an attitude and a capability. Organisations must create environments that encourage knowledge flow, risk taking, sharing, diversity, and autonomy on which adaptation thrives. 

Hiring the right people with adaptive behaviours and putting together adaptive teams will help ensure you always have opportunities over obstacles. We can help you stay on top of this rapidly evolving world with a portfolio of Talent Management Solutions. Visit us at au.drakeintl.com

Looking for more information? Contact Drake today on 13 14 48  or visit us at au.drakeintl.com.


Discover how Drake International’s portfolio of Talent Management Solutions solves your people, productivity, and performance issues.

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