Category Archives: employee recognition

Encourage your team

Encourage your team

Encourage your team to do their best by taking some lessons from the Olympics. If these help win gold medals, what impact they can have on your team?

Nine years ago, I was hooked. I’ve never really been a big sports fan, but as my husband enjoys athletics, we’ve always enjoyed the Olympics.

Particularly in 2012.

I’d always regretted not taking up the opportunity to work at the Sydney Olympics when Sodexo (who I was working for at the time) were heavily involved in the catering and support services.

So, I wasn’t going to miss out a second time, and got involved with delivering customer service training for some of the local temporary Tourist Information Centres, and the Games Makers. I went along to see the Olympic flame come through our local town of Petworth on a wet and miserable Monday morning.

Then, I think like so many people, I was captivated by the opening ceremony; who could ever forget The Queen dropping into the stadium from a helicopter?! On the opening day of events, I made my way up to Box Hill to cheer on our cyclists.

And for the next 15 days, I can safely say I got very little work done!

But so far this year, I haven’t watched a single event in Tokyo.

What’s changed?

For me, without the crowds, it’s completely lost all atmosphere. Is this important? I think so.

The other day I was reading an interview with Greg Rutherford. He was recounting his feelings as he entered the Olympic stadium on what became known as “Super Saturday”, and how the crowd’s reaction really spurred him on (and even isolated one voice in the crowd who called out “Come on Greg, this is your time”).

Of course, Greg went on to win the gold medal, along with Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah both also winning gold medals that same evening.

Drawing on the energy of the crowds, I’m sure it makes a massive difference to people’s performance.

So, what has this to do with managing people?

I believe, just like those athletes, people in your team can get spurred on and encouraged by those around them.

Here are 7 lessons I believe we can take away from the Olympics or sports in general and apply in business:

1. Set goals

Every athlete knows what their goal is. It’s not always to win, it might be to qualify and get through to the next round, it might be a personal best, or simply an improvement on their last performance.

Does everyone in your team understand their goals and what constitutes success for the day ahead?

2. Focus on strengths

Whether within a team, or in an individual event, sportsmen work to hone their skills. They don’t compete in events that are not suited to, and in team events they complement one another.

How often within our teams do we create a Jack of all trades, but masters of none?

3. Supportive feedback

When sportsmen perform, they don’t just get feedback on their performance compared to competitors, but also some specific feedback on their individual performance. If they didn’t win or achieve their goal, they want to know what to do differently next time; if they did win or achieve their goal, what did they do to achieve this.

Do your team members always get useful feedback on their performance?

4. Coaching

There’s a reason why so many sportsmen give credit and recognition to their coach. It’s one thing having feedback, but it’s quite another having the support and guidance to act on that feedback.

Does everyone in your team get the necessary coaching and guidance from their line managers to improve their skills.

5. Putting it in perspective

Goals can be less inspiring and motivating when they are too far-reaching. It can be more encouraging sometimes to look back at how far they’ve come, rather than how far there is still to go.

This is a useful strategy to use with people who lack confidence or doubt their ability to succeed.

6. Lap of honour

When a sportsman’s been successful, they can revel in the limelight with their lap of honour, audience applause and prize-giving.

Do your team members get an opportunity to revel in the limelight, to get the recognition they deserve, when they’ve done a good job, supported a colleague, or gone out of their way to make a customer’s day?

7. Continuous improvement

No sportsmen will stay at the top of their game if they become complacent. Even after a big win, it’s not long before they’re back in training and fired up again, working towards the next goal.

What do you do in your business to get your team fired up again after a big event, or after reaching a significant goal?

If you only do one thing to encourage your team:

Review these 7 lessons and pick just one to do more of over the next 2 weeks of the Olympics.

Related video: 5 Ways to help employees feel valued

Related blog post: Setting mini goals


Celebrate

celebrateTime for celebration?

If you’re anything like me, you love having an excuse to celebrate. I have three things to celebrate today. Firstly, I am being taken out to lunch; my first time eating out since October. Secondly, I have a hair appointment; I know I’m not the only one celebrating some trivial events! Goodbye grey hair and wonky fringe. Last, but not least, it’s my 36th wedding anniversary today.

Marking a special occasion is a perfect way to engage with both customers and team members. Recognising a personal milestone, proud moment or a significant event shows you care.

Success

If you’ve recently reopened or are preparing to reopen, celebrate your team coming back to work: share with them and celebrate any changes you’ve made in the business over the past year.

Celebrate what’s gone well so far, so everyone gets the recognition they deserve for the effort that’s gone into reopening. It’s easy to get wrapped up in activity, but take a step back to see how far you’ve come, and create a buzz for the day, week and month ahead!

Continue to set mini goals so you and your team all see some quick wins, and keep the momentum going.

The anniversary of….

Mark anniversaries, both business and personal

  • the date each of your team members joined your business
  • the start of your customer/client’s business
  • a customer becoming a customer
  • past awards you’ve won
  • special events or milestones in your business, such as the start of your business

Proud moments

What’s been happening in the lives or your team members (and customers) to warrant celebration?

  • The birth of a child or grandchild
  • Any charitable achievements however minor
  • Learning a new skill; many of your team may have picked up new skills whilst being away from the business.
  • Anniversaries – look back at the events you held in previous years: what anniversaries are coming up?

New developments

What changes have you made to the business during lockdown? New products and services, refurbishments, new team members. Share and celebrate these with your team and customers. If nothing else, celebrate the fact that you are open!

Better late than never

Lastly don’t forget all those postponed events – many of which would have been to celebrate a special occasion. Even if people can’t celebrate with you, the date should still be marked and celebrated in some way.

Celebrations don’t need to be lavish. What’s more important is that they are sincere and relevant to those you are congratulating.

Recognise that whilst some people love the limelight, others hate it. Sometimes a quiet “congratulations and well done” is all that’s needed and will have more impact than any razzmatazz announcement.

If you only do one thing: Find a reason, however small, to raise glass and drink a toast with your team.

Related Articles:

Lessons in Loyalty  https://www.naturallyloyal.com/2015/05/

Recognising your team (video)