What Can Your Team Learn from the Olympics?
As you are no doubt aware, the 2016 Olympic Games are in full swing. Far from pertaining only to athletes and sports enthusiasts, the Olympics stand for everything the business world holds dear: professionalism, integrity, and sheer, unadulterated talent. Surprisingly, you can learn a lot about your workforce and team from comparing the Olympics and HR.
As the Rio de Janeiro games get off to a fantastic start, take some time to reflect on what the Olympic Games can teach you about your team management.
Olympics and HR: General HR Management
To create the most elite workforce possible, you must first consider the fundamental aspects of your business. What are your company’s strengths? Its weaknesses? Once you’ve assessed these conditions, do the same for your employees’ roles. You should consider general factors—do they play well with others?—as well as position-specific ones.
The Olympics attract the best of the best because they represent the top in their category; similarly, your business should provide employees with the quintessential workplace experience. Your employees should walk through the front door knowing that they are capable of handling any problem within their jurisdiction—simply by virtue of the fact that they’re a part of your business.
With that in mind, preparation is absolutely key. Your employees’ confidence should stem from countless hours of training, preparation, and application in the field. If you have an employee handbook, update and distribute it to all members of your team; if you don’t have one, now is a good time to make one. Make sure your employees understand and embrace your business mission.
Of course, if there’s one thing the Olympics have taught us, it’s to win and lose with equivalent grace and dignity. Reflect on your triumphs the same way you analyze your failures.
Hiring Talent and Creating Your Team
Just like your team creation, there’s more to the Olympics than finding the most talented athletes in the world and tossing them together like greens in a salad. As an otherwise perfect athlete might cave under pressure, your “flawless” candidate’s qualifications are not the only metric by which you should judge his or her eligibility for your team. Other criteria include the following:
- Strong motivation to succeed, regardless of justification
- Ability to view failure as an educational tool
- Ability to set goals, both personal and professional
- Strong personal discipline
- Personal and team-related skillsets
The best teams function as a sum of their parts rather than several functioning extensions thereof. Consider any country’s Olympic team: a myriad of competitors in various sports working in concert to further their country’s overall standing. Your business should work in the same fashion, with cooperation efforts like the tech department and human resources combining skillsets to reach the best possible outcomes.
Skillsets, both individualized and general, are the most important things your employees bring to the table. Just like athletes can be both specific players (e.g., swimmers) and general competitors, your employees will need to combine specialist skillsets with general workplace talent and application.
On that note, remember your place as the ultimate team leader. Your skillsets are equally as valuable and pertinent as anyone else in your office, so bring your talents to the table. Don’t just lead your team—be a part of it.
Developing and Maintaining a Winning Team
Once you assemble your team, your next task is facilitating cohesion—both between your team’s members and between you and the team itself. Knowing your role and making sure each individual knows theirs will eventually foster better communication.
Of course, you can’t expect your A-team to appear overnight. Here are a couple points to remember as you proceed:
- Everybody started at square one at some point—therefore, everyone should know humility
- Past experience is no guarantee of future success
- Professional athletes don’t stop practicing once they achieve elite status and neither should you
- The strongest teams work in tandem to ensure the best possible perspective and end product
- Each member of the team speaks for the team as a whole—keep this in mind when discussing social media and daily interactions (including business-related attire, etc.).
At the end of the day, your perfectly-tuned team is going to be your greatest asset going forward. Abacus Payroll is here to provide you with the tools your team needs to be as strong as possible, so give us a call today at (856) 667-6225 for a free estimate!