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Leadership and performance in the World Cup

8th Jul 2018
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The moment has come, and The World Cup has already shocked and awed since we last highlighted some fantastic brands that scored in their marketing campaigns. And now that everything’s underway your favourite teams have probably had their fair share of cheers and jeers (sorry Germany, Spain, and Argentina).

The unfortunate part is that the later can have negative effects on any team, decreasing moral and effecting overall performance, and the same can be said for the workplace. A survey by IIP found that a third of UK employees are unhappy at their current job, which we understand affects productivity, culture, and over all wellbeing.

But never fear, these teams face the same challenges as your business when it comes to attracting, developing, and inspiring players to perform at their personal best. Like a close-knit team training to perfect their technique, let’s look how you can inspire your employees to win in the workplace.

Assemble the Team

First and foremost, it’s about the culture. Think about the mindset and aura of anyone’s favourite club, their performance and dedication influences generations of fans and in return their fanfare keeps them going. In business the importance of having employers, like the players, motivated, culturally-aligned, and equipped with the right mindset and skillset is to deliver exceptional customer experience at every interaction. In addition to maintaining brand values that you and your employees are proud of to stand by.

Any football team worth its salt knows that doing things well off the field is just as important as competing on the field. Your brand needs to recognise that consumers today are a part of a world that is starting to care about your brand’s ethics just as much as they do its price tags. And remember your employees are consumers too. Your associates or agents may not hesitate to leave you if your environment doesn’t align with what they believe is fundamentally important. 

This is deeply felt in the younger generation of employees that swell your ranks. A generation that share’s their world views and connects with each other, and across social media. Encouraging strong corporate values and responsibility to your team can make your employees believe in you. Think of that star player you idolised as a child. Additional findings from IIP survey stated that over a third of younger employees believe that being part of a brand that values them is a key quality when looking for new employers.

And this doesn’t mean just reaching inwards, but outwards as well. The Manchester United Foundation’s “United for UNICEF” has been running campaigns to raise money for schooling, physical education, and welfare for children in the global community. Even good will on the local scale can yield fantastic results for your team - a Deloitte study found that 38 percent of millennials are more likely to stay with a business for at least five years if they support their local community.

Consider what the Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh once said in a NY Times interview, “We decided that if we get the culture right, most of the stuff, like building a brand around delivering the very best customer service, will just take care of itself.” Every football team has a culture they believe in, a goal worth sacrificing for. Your team needs to believe in the same, even if it doesn’t mean winning the cup.

Engaged and Connected

It’s easy to see that talent goes far in the football pitch, but your nation’s team can’t make it if they’re disconnected and undetermined. No matter how much your star player shines, it takes a whole team to light up the stadium. Similarly, your workforce needs to discover how to get it right and have an engaged team that is competent, collaborative, and connected.

We at TTEC believe that to master motivation, your associates need to create a winning identity.  We like to think of this mindset as changing from ‘success or failure’ to ‘win, learn, and change,’ which can lead to new insights and success. Consider this, the ‘wins’ are what went well and what your team can be pleased with, then your team ‘learns’ from the situations that didn’t plan out as expected, and you ‘change’ by plotting out a new course for the next set of actions. This ideology helps your team focus on success and creating new opportunities for continues improvement.

To see this mindset at work you only need to look back to when England was prepping for the Group G game against Belgium. It was during a press conference that their manager Gareth Southgate said, “We want to win the game… I go back to the fact we’re trying to develop a winning mentality. I can’t imagine a situation where I talk to the players about anything else. It wouldn’t be authentic for what we’ve been trying to build for the last two years. We could have played easier teams in the friendlies, but we wanted a better challenge against top teams.”

Build for the future

Just like every promising boy or girl that first kicked around a football, you want to build up and develop long term goals for your employee’s career. Like young athletes who join clubs and academies to hone down their skills and team work, you need to help them shape their own career path and allow them to feel valued in the process.

In our experience we have created value in the workplace with our own learning and development techniques that combine human and AI teamwork. And by training our IVA’s to be customer ready and prompting associates to the Next Best Action, we have provided them with an assistant that is always on the job. This frees up their time for tasks that have meaning and value to their company. We use AI as a tool to handle the easy work, while associates tackle the jobs that are worth it. In the end everyone needs a good partner or coach to bring out the best in them.

The Spirit of Success

So, enjoy the rest of the World Cup and remember that the key to winning in the workplace and on the pitch is about your team believing in themselves and their work. There needs to be consistent effort during all parts of the employee lifecycle to create a culture they are proud to be a part of and contribute to. And for all the England fans out there remember, “It’s Coming Home.”



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