HR lessons from Wimbledon

HR lessons from Wimbledon

As the eyes of the sporting world turn to SW19, and the hopes of Britain are pinned on Andy Murray, HR Grapevine asked a former international sportsman what the industry can learn from the upcoming fortnight.   

Speaking to HR Grapevine, Jeremy Snape, former England cricketer and Founder of Sporting Edge, drew parallels between HR and high-pressure sport: 

Motivation is temporary, talent is permanent

“Learning and development should be offered and have a consistent balance of support and challenge for all employees. When people have lost their motivation it may be due to a wide range of factors such as an uncertain future, a recent setback or lack of recognition or purpose in their work. Generally, companies have great reward systems in place to support employee success but have less in place for people who have lost their spark.

“Even the world’s top sports performers have periods of low motivation; the key is developing long term commitment.One of the best ways to create an engaging workplace is to create a learning culture.No matter whether employees are at the top of their game or falling behind, if we can create an appetite to grow and learn more skills, the business will always maintain its energy as they strive for improved results.”

Learn from the past and believe in your abilities

“Confidence comes from successful achievements in the past and a realistic assessment of the challenges you face in the future. By reflecting back on your past successes as an individual, as a team or as an organisation you will see that you have created a bank account of confidence from your achievements to date. The key to approaching future challenges with confidence is knowing your strengths and breaking down the new challenge into manageable chunks. When we have bite-sized targets and goals we feel like we have a more controllable reference point rather than a huge goal that could be many months away. Whether you are in business or sport, keeping things simple is the key to great execution.”

Know the true value of reward

“The traditional methods of rewarding success through financial bonuses and increased salaries are great to a point but the best reward schemes offer tailored elements too. For some having extra days holiday might be the perfect solution and for others the ability to attend some personal development may be more valuable. Some of the most powerful rewards don’t cost money, the immediate recognition of great work is one of the most powerful drivers of motivation because we all have a need to feel valued and like our work makes a difference. When rewards are delivered at unpredictable times it can also improve motivation - a predictable annual bonus loses its impact when it’s expected as the norm. We also assume that financial reward is the best option but experiences can be the most memorable way to celebrate your staff success. “

Have the right team around you

“Even the world’s individual sports stars have a carefully selected team around them. Ideally you need a diverse group of specialists who are all passionate about a common goal. When we are under pressure there is a tendency to recruit people who are similar to us but by recognising and over-riding our own personal bias we have a far greater chance of recruiting the best skill sets to deliver success. The other key element in terms of creating a high performing team is to embrace the viewpoints and constructive conflict which diversity brings. Decision making is stronger when we consider different perspectives on how to solve a problem. The key is to prevent the challenges from becoming personal and keeping them focussed on the end goal of the team.”


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