Six ways to treat employees like athletes for better results

June 1, 2018

 

Elite athletes don’t reach their full potential on their own. These men and women are the result of countless hours of support from their coaches, families, and friends – and they’ll proudly tell you so. They are treated as highly valuable, unique assets.
Imagine your business if your employees had that kind of support.

Dr. Adrienne Leslie-Toogood, of Toogood Consulting, is a licensed psychologist, Past Chair of the Canadian Sport Psychology Association, and Director of Sport Psychology at the Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba. She uses this experience to assist businesses in maximizing the potential in their employees.

If you approach employees like elite athletes, they could become consistent top performers, too. Here are some ways Dr. Leslie-Toogood says you can get your employees – and your business – to go for gold.

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1) Make their unique skills an asset
Like athletes, your employees bring something special to the team. Help them embrace this uniqueness and find a way to make use of it.
2) Help them manage their humanity
The well-being of your employees doesn’t start and end at work. Their personal lives can affect their moods and their focus. Be proactive in helping them recognize when they’re not at their best and provide supports to maintain their productivity till they are able to excel again.
3) Provide structure
A regimen of best practices helps keep an athlete on task. Provide routines, boundaries and expectations for your employees to give them a track to their goals.
4) Fuel and hydrate
Dr. Leslie-Toogood says, when things get difficult, we tend to drop wellness from our focus and work harder. Encourage your employees to add wellness to their routine; help them stay healthy for strength; and promote mindfulness to manage emotions and stress. “Ask yourself what gives you energy; make sure you touch on that stuff.”5) Provide opportunities to fail
If an athlete fails, they study it, figure out what went wrong, adjust, and get better. “Failure is interesting, it’s how we grow,” says Dr. Leslie-Toogood, “Give employees permission to push their limits. It can actually be exhilarating because they’re learning and getting better.”

6) Connect with them
Everyone is fine sharing their successes, but nobody wants to show it when they feel vulnerable. Create a safe, open relationship where employees know they can come to you with the bad, not just the good.
When you treat your employees as the valued, unique assets they are, they will be emboldened to perform at the elite level.

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