Building a resilient workforce

Have you recently returned to work after a break, either school holidays or at the very least, a long weekend, feeling refreshed, relaxed, able to effortlessly handle problems as they arise?

Notice that sometime after that, the stress levels may start to rise, and soon the holiday seems a long way in the past! Ever wondered why some people seem to bounce back at these times and others start to increasingly wilt?

Resilience is someone’s ability to bounce back in the face of challenges …..

A recent Health report on the ABC looked into this phenomena, and came up with a key strategy to combat this: try changing how you respond to the stresses you meet at work and build resilience. It said that an individual can strengthen their resilience in a range of ways including;

  • Build resilient thinking by reminding yourself of what works well, previous accomplishments and break tasks into smaller manageable chunks, focusing on what you can control and accept that mistakes or challenges can occur.
  • Take a break and come back to the issue with “fresh” eyes
  • Get balance – your lifestyle is important, take time out of work to do things you enjoy. Exercise, diet, leisure time all have an influence.
  • Have a support network both in and out of workplace to help buffer difficult situations

Organisations can help their people become more resilient too, by implementing a few simple strategies:

  • Resilience training programs to help deal with stresses and challenges, especially around times of change.
  • Coaching to improve performance, skill and well-being, and mentoring to support long-term career development and build on the coaching outcomes.
  • Physical activity programs are known to be good for mental health, and encouraging it in the workplace makes good sense.

Roleplay Australia customises programs for organisations who recognise the value of a resilient workforce, especially when meeting the challenges of organisational change, and our expert coaches and mentors are there to support individuals at all levels of responsibility in the organisation.

See the full report from the ABC here.

Roleplaying at the FBI Academy

This is the first of occasional news stories from Roleplay Australia. Each story will include links to interesting articles related to training and development, innovative roleplay use, and useful tips on aspects of communication.

This first story includes an article I came across recently about integrated case scenarios used by the FBI. It shows how valuable it is to plan scenarios and use professional roleplayers to secure results.

Be Like the FBI:

Here at Roleplay Australia, we’re interested in research; it’s part of what we do in our acting careers, and to stay up to date with what we do. Every now and then we come across research that provides insights into professional roleplaying.

Like this not-so-recent article written by Chris Whitcomb published in Training and Development Journal in 1999, about Integrated Case Scenarios.

Training complete with bad guys and good buys at the FBI Academy honed agents’ skills so they were ready to hit the street running. The key was integrating courses into one realistic scenario.

It seems that since 1972, the FBI had been putting all new agents through a rigorous training course over 4 months, learning all kinds of things, but they were graduating without a clue how to conduct a complete investigation. That was until 1996 when they reviewed their curriculum and introduced Integrated Case Scenarios. This new system brought the seven different areas of the course together into one comprehensive 14-week long scenario to incorporate all aspects of their training in a simulation of the actual job of an FBI agent. The simulation took an agent from receiving a telephone tip-off through to a simulated trial including things going wrong like they can do in a criminal investigation.

These days Integrated Scenarios are used in successful Management Courses to inter-relate all knowledge and skills to produce graduates who are “more than the sum of their individual competencies”.

Whitcomb outlines the necessary steps to achieve Integrated scenarios for any organisation:

  • Gather trainers from each disciple to bring their unique perspectives
  • Decide on the theme or matrix through which all objectives can be recorded
  • Turn the matrix into the plot line by using an experienced scriptwriter
  • Develop the characters and allocate specific and controllable instructions and dialogues
  • Review the scripts by the team of trainers, and develop assessment tools for recording and tracking progress
  • Prepare the behind-the-scenes props and requirements
  • Engage professional roleplayers who will ensure that all of the roles are convincing and realistic

Improve the results you are getting from scenario-based training, and apply the same process to develop graduates and staff ready to implement new skills with experience and confidence.

If you are looking for script-writers, who also understand the necessary constraints of training and assessment recording and design, drop us a line. Roleplay Australia has deep understanding of compliance, training and assessment and a team of writers and roleplayers with these skills.