Can your team also enjoy golden success?


Team GB is enjoying a successful Rio Olympics and our athletes currently sit second in the medals table. Their efforts are the culmination of years of preparation and attention to the tiniest of details. Team GB is to be applauded but can employers take anything from this Olympic effort and apply it to their workplaces? Here are a few thoughts …

Preparation yields success

Imagine if Max Whitlock didn’t have a pommel horse to practice on or Mark Cavendish didn’t have a bike. Would they be ready? Employers have high expectations of employees, but sometimes fail to provide the tools and resources that employees need to get the job done. When is the last time you asked someone in your team if she or he has all the tools needed to do the job?

Employees who work on the coal face have a keen understanding of what is working, and what isn’t. Many times technology is outdated, or more training is needed. If organisations expect employees to be successful, they need to be willing and ready to make the necessary investment in training and tools to set them up for success.

Teamwork matters

Even in sports where compatriots compete against each other, the entire team wins when one succeeds. Think Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner.

In divisive and competitive workplaces, colleagues withhold information and take credit for work performed by others. Organisations cannot survive in these environments. Employers should establish and foster a culture where information sharing is expected, and one person’s success is the team’s success.

Coaches matter

There isn’t a single athlete at the Olympics who got to where she or he is without a great coach.

Managers should ask themselves whether they care enough about the people who report to them to provide necessary feedback to help them be successful. They need to evaluate what strategies they have to develop each staff member to reach his or her potential.

All employees want to feel valued and needed; most want to learn and grow. It might mean you are helping that person to grow and move on to something better. And that’s a good thing.

A great coach knows how to get the most out of his or her people, can give tough love when needed, provide praise when deserved, and isn’t afraid to operate on the front line.

Rewards matter

The Olympians aren’t just competing for bragging rights – they want a medal. They want the noticeable tangible reward. What are your employees working toward? If it’s just a salary, then you can expect minimal engagement. However, if employees are rewarded with public praise, bonus money, time off, office socials, gifts or something tangible, they will work toward it.

We all know the feeling of walking into a shop – it’s usually obvious which sales staff are working on commission. They work really hard to make the sale. Setting goals and establishing rewards is a good way to get the most out of the people working there.

Have fun

Some workplaces are so regimented and stressful that employees dread coming to work each day. Employers can and should make efforts to make the workplace a pleasant and enjoyable place to go each day.

Many Olympic athletes have posted happy photos on social media. They’re working and competing hard, but having fun too. When employees can take a breather, the workplace is a better place. Take the time to have post-work drinks, or do something different during special events like the Olympics or the Air Display. The point is to make an effort to do something different.

The Olympics provide an ideal reminder that to be the best and succeed above our competitors, we have to provide resources, coaching, teamwork and an ideal environment to yield success.

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