12:00 AM, 08 15, 2016

Building an Olympic Quality Team

If you’ve been watching the Rio Olympics, you may be wondering how you can build a highly functional working team that’s set to win Gold at work.

Here are some of the steps you need to get your very own athletes working together.

1.    Focus

Any sporting team has a clear focus with a high level of commitment to achieving the common objective at hand. In the Olympic example, the Gold medal is the ultimate goal! What about your teams at work? Do they have a clear focus – for example, increasing sales or customer retention, decreasing complaint handling times or making processes more efficient?

2.    The right leadership

Every team needs a leader – but in the sporting world they use a better term – ‘coach’. Are your leaders working as coaches? It’s not enough having people in charge by job title alone – they should be working to develop the team, working on building fun into work (yes, really!) and getting the very best out of each members strengths and weaknesses.

3.    Attainable goals

On the first day of learning to dive, a coach won’t be barking at a 7 year old swimmer about ‘bringing the medal home for Britain’. They will be teaching them to enter the pool, to move their arms into position, to breathe correctly. The same should be the case in your team. Even if you have had a brainwave that means you can triple your profits in the next 2 years – don’t dump this on your team without warning. Slow and steady wins the race. You might want to shorten a deadline here, to change a process there. After each satisfactory change, implement another small change. Think about marginal gains, getting an extra 1% of greatness out of the team each day, instead of going for 100% at 100mph.

4.    A culture that the there is no ‘I’ in team

It would be no use in a relay if the other team member sat down and waited for the other runner to meet them, or if each member was only out for themselves. A team is comprised of lots of individuals and each team member needs to be in sync with each other, picking up the slack when there is any, and helping others up. It’s the same with your business – which whilst made up of small teams, is itself one large team! For example, it’s no use leaving all the sales activity up to the ‘sales team’. Each person in the business has their role to play in improving the business. Make sure each member sees how they fit into the big picture.

5.    Performance checks

An Olympic team wouldn’t expect to go into the biggest competition of their lifetimes without endless hours of practise, or a full appraisal of their weaknesses and areas of improvements. Just like a sporting team, your own team members need to know where they are falling short so that they can improve. Regularly review and appraise, ask questions and monitor.

6.    Reward

If, after winning a bronze medal the media, coaches and friends and family didn’t celebrate the moment but instead said ‘Well, it’s not quite a gold’ you’d expect that the athletes would be mightily annoyed and upset.

What if an athlete beat their own personal best, or helped a team member, but they didn’t quite get the medal? You’d expect the very best coach to take this not as a failure, but as a different type of success and use it as a springboard to build on. 

Your business is the same and you need to ensure you are always looking for things to recognise and reward in employee behaviour. Not everyone can be a gold star in your business - but they can put in hours, effort and make small, incremental changes that work to pull your business forward. Make sure you never ignore the efforts behind great work and your team will continue to grow in strength.

If you want to reward in your business, consider a Gift card or a reward platform. Speak to SVM Global about how you can build a winning team with access to Gift Cards for 100’s of retailers – email hello@svmglobal.com or call 01709917278 today.


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