HR Indaba Africa 2019: Equip employees to weather life's storms through RISA


They help employees to thrive by not letting their personal stresses affect their productivity.

Aimed at overall employee wellness and development, The Resilience Institute of South Africa (RISA) is a training program that seeks to equip employees with the ability to bounce, grow, connect and flow without letting their personal stresses affect their productivity in the workplace. It is a trusted providence of face-to-face and digital resilience training programs worldwide. 

RISA CEO Njabulo Sithole says their mission is to deliver high-impact, practical, evidence based and integrated resilience training by bringing together modern preventative medicine, positive psychology, emotional intelligence, cognitive behavioural (CBT) and neuroscience. Their programs are designed to build competencies across mental health, stress management, wellbeing, emotion, positivity, focus and flow.

Says Njabulo: “People, teams, and leaders operate under complexity and pace that demands advanced personal and interpersonal skills. Succeeding as an organisation is much more likely when we build resilience into our strategy, culture, and day to day practices. A resilient organisation enables individual resilience.  A resilient organisation can adapt and thrive in times of uncertainty, pressure and ambiguity.” 

RISA supports organisations with face to face training, online video learning experience and toolkits that result on average, in a 38 percent  growth in resilience.  Our Resilience Diagnostic enables measurement of organisational resilience, revealing group resilience strengths and risks.  It also provides individualised team members with personalised resilience reports on the 60 factors of resilience, individualised recommendations and a comprehensive self-development toolkit. Overall, the resilience diagnostic provides a detailed insight into the resilience, wellbeing, and the effectiveness of people in the organisation

Indaba attendees in for a treat

The Resilience Institute International was founded in New Zealand over 20 years ago by South African born Dr Sven Hansen and it opened its doors in South Africa in 2018.  Having signed up as partners for the HR Indaba Africa 2019, attendees can anticipate a sneak peak into their offering to get a clear understanding of resilience, how it applies to work, how resilience fails, how to detect it early and how to measure resilience using their comprehensive, self-development Resilience Diagnostic app. 

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“Our programs lead participants on a learning journey designed to engage, inform, and build confidence in the key skills that underpin personal resilience. The method involves assessing resilience, acquiring practical skills and behaviours, followed by ongoing focus themes and habit tracking to drive behavioural change,” says Njabulo.

Culture, training and leadership

On what she believes are the biggest challenges facing the HR profession, Njabulo name culture, learning and leadership as being key pillars to success. Corporate culture is a big one because, as companies are operating under a lot of complexity, ongoing demands mean the culture of the organisation will change, coping with these changes requires advances of personal and interpersonal skills from employees. 

“In the process leaders and employees may experience less productivity and low morale during period of change. HR has a role to play to pre-empt such reactions and thus ensure support and effective resources are available to support the workforce during such changes thus preventing stressful responses,” says Njabulo 

Leadership development  is also key as leaders set the tone for the rest of the organisation. If leaders are demotivated or exhibit unethical behaviours, it has a cascading effect to the whole organisation.  Ongoing development of the leaders must be part of the values statement thus ensuring its embedded in the culture of the organisation.  If properly managed leadership has a role to play as mentors of their subordinates leading to a learning, adaptive organisation. Success in this area means continues investment in effective, value-based development. 

Says Njabulo: “Lastly, I think workforce training and development is a pillar of every organisation.  Handling employee’s wellbeing and mental health issues are examples of serious issues that employers must take notice of. There are so many resources aimed at the workforce however it is difficult to measure the effectiveness. Employers must investigate programs that are integrated, preventative and long term in nature in order to have support for the wellbeing of the employees. Communication is vital so training is based on the needs to support them.”


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