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What can the Premier League teach us about engagement?

Written by Robert Ordever on Thursday, 26 July 2018. Posted in Engagement, People

Motivating and engaging staff is crucial for business success – something the Premier League will be well aware of. After all, an engaged workforce means a productive workforce with low churn

What can the Premier League teach us about engagement?

Creating a truly engaged team does not come easily for many organisations and so perhaps it's time to take lessons from those teams at the very top of their game – Premier League football clubs, perhaps? High-performing teams, regardless of whether they work for a law firm or kick a ball for a living, have similar traits in common which shouldn't be dismissed.

Here’s what the Premier League can teach businesses about employee engagement:

(1) Appreciation and not money is the biggest driver

Don't assume that paying more will get you a more motivated and engaged team. Yes, Premier League players are paid huge sums but it doesn't always make them great players. Appreciation is in fact the single most important driver of success in football and business alike. 

(2) Create passion

If history has taught us anything, it’s that players who have lost the love for their team will not perform to their highest standard. Individuals need to feel part of something bigger than themselves to be truly motivated.

(3) Communication is key

Good communication is critical to driving change in football, bolstering motivation and helping to foster a sense of inclusion. In the same way it’s important to communicate expectations to employees and how the work that they do positively impacts the company as a whole.

(4) Good managers make great teams

Trust in leadership is paramount in the Premier League as you're bringing together a group of people who need to be inspired and motivated to perform. A good football manager, like a good business manager, must be trusted by their teams to have their best interests at heart. They must gain respect, show humility and give credit where credit's due. Without this, the team will gradually fall apart and lose their drive.

(5) Nurture your people

It’s all about the long game. Invest in people and nurture their growth so that they perform over time and develop a sense of loyalty. One great win is all well and good but companies, like football teams, need to look ahead and help their people to plan their career development. 

(6) Wellbeing is critical

Obviously for football players, health and fitness levels are a constant consideration. This should be the same for your employees. Encouraging healthy habits will result in less absences due to sickness and lead to a happier workforce with lower stress levels. 

 

About the Author

Robert Ordever

Robert Ordever

A proud dad and devoted Fulham FC fan, Robert Ordever joined O.C. Tanner, the workplace culture specialist, in August 2014 as he entered the role of European people and operations director before becoming managing director. With experience of operations across retail and sports, he knows how best to achieve results with teams.

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