Adrian Moorhouse: How can employers use the Olympics to boost staff engagement?

The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are upon us and the excitement is palpable. The papers will be filled with stories of success and failure, of heartbreak and joy for the duration of the event. Although ‘Olympic fatigue’ is a very real possibility, this summer is a fantastic opportunity to make the most of these inspirational stories and for employers to drive employee engagement.

Identify specific skills demonstrated by our Olympic role models. Perhaps it’s the way Tom Daley quietly prepares himself before a big dive, with steady breathing and concentrating on his technique. Members of the sales team could use these lessons to help them thrive under pressure before a big sales pitch or presentation.

Or maybe it’s the way heptathlete Jessica Ennis celebrates winning. That very determined employee who works hard and focuses on the next challenge should take time to celebrate success. This isn’t big-headed or self-indulgent. Only by acknowledging that they did a good job, and understanding how they did it, can a person keep on a roll with positive momentum.

Or even emulating the dedication and passion of Jason Lee, coach of the British men’s hockey team. As a leader, are you fanatical about your team, understanding their strengths and weaknesses and how to get the best out of them? Following Jason’s lead can bring gold.

Turning inspiration into motivation by discovering lessons from the games will help employers and employees gain the edge.

Adrian Moorhouse, managing director at Lane4 and gold medallist in the 100-metre breaststroke at the 1988 Seoul Olympics:

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