The ray of sunshine that shone over the UK during the Olympics and Paralympics may now seem like a distant memory; but the inspiring and humble attitudes of the athletes involved has left a lasting impression on many of us.
The dignified yet highly productive behaviour demonstrated by these athletes and their hard working attitude is one that many employers would love to emulate within their organisation. While on the other hand, week in, week out we bear witness to the antics of premier league footballers on the news as they display all the characteristics of spoilt children, who, like most employees, need more than just a huge salary to motivate and engage them.
Pay alone is not enough to create a star
Encouraging employees to encapsulate certain behaviours, no matter what their profession, requires more than just a large reward – recognition of achievement and strong guidance from peers (be they coaches or managers) will have a far greater impact.
The conduct displayed by many premier league footballers has sparked much controversy about whether footballers really are ‘overpaid underachievers who make poor brand ambassadors’. When compared to Team GB, it seems a number of footballers have forgotten (or completely ignored) the need to maintain a sense of professionalism and respect on (and off) the pitch.
Team GB athlete’s showed a credible amount of humility and respect both during and after the games, whereas certain premier league footballers seem to have developed arrogant attitudes, a consequence of their pay-driven mentality and as a result we are entertained/shocked by many a scandalous story. Team GB, on the other hand, demonstrated their passion for achieving recognition in a sport they love and the entire nation has applauded their example of true sportsmanship.
What can companies learn from Team GB?
The coaches for 2012 acted as managers in other organisations should, ensuring that the workforce maintains high levels of engagement, motivation and drive, which is vital to high productivity. However, it is just as important to instil high levels of camaraderie and respect to ensure your team values themselves and one another.
Our athletes will be the first to admit that success does not come easily; but learning to overcome obstacles would not be possible without the support and cohesion of your team. Both companies and premier league footballers alike can learn from the exceptional example that was set in the summer of 2012. By adopting the Olympic attitude you too can make your employee’s feel proud to be part of your organisation.
John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
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