Each match during the tournament is a chance to demonstrate and be rewarded for the skills they have spent the rest of the year working on in the hope of prize winning performance. It also gives the rest of us an excuse to enjoy a cold Pimms!
As spectators, we don’t get to see the player’s on-going dedication to achieving the smaller goals they and their trainers set in the run up to the big game, but what we do see is the spectacular result of achieving these smaller goals during the tournament.
Wimbledon is the big chance for players to gain the recognition they deserve for all the hard work they have put in over the year in order to perform at their very best.
The same is true of performance management in the workplace. Without motivating employees to take ownership of their performance, and without bosses behaving like encouraging personal trainers, setting small and ever more challenging goals, employees don’t feel engaged or challenged, and consequently, they don’t perform at their best.
Here are some lessons we can learn about improving our performance off the court from Wimbledon.
“I think my greatest victory was every time I walked out there, I gave it everything I had” Jimmy Connors
You don’t have to beat all the competition to be a winner - setting yourself challenging targets and doing your best is satisfying, and by continually striving to achieve small goals, you will continually improve until you too can be a champion!
“I'm a perfectionist. I'm pretty much insatiable. I feel there's so many things I can improve on”. Serena Williams
The desire to improve is what drives engagement and top performance. Support your staff and encourage them to take ownership of their own progression, and they will be engaged, happy and motivated.
“You don't have to hate your opponents to beat them”. Kim Clijsters
A little bit of competition in the workplace is healthy and encourages improved performance. By setting everyone challenging individual goals, and setting goals that involve whole teams as well as individual goals, you encourage staff to work at their best, and teams to work to achieve the overarching goals of the company.
“I made it look so easy on court all those years. No one realized how hard I had to work. No one realized how much I had to put into it. They underestimated my intensity”. Pete Sampras
The best performers put the work in – consistently. Working to achieve perfect performance can sometimes be a thankless task, as so much of the hard work that goes in to winning the big event can go unnoticed. That’s why HR and bosses need to check in with staff regularly. Though annual appraisal may seem like the ‘main event’, its keeping staff motivated to achieve the smaller tasks throughout the year that make all the difference.
So before you settle in to watch the game, remember…
Just as Wimbledon players have personal trainers to encourage them to keep going when they might want to quit, managers need to make sure that their staff’s efforts day to day, not just at annual appraisal, are noticed, and that they are given encouragement.
By setting smaller goals, staff will regularly feel a sense of achievement on the road to winning performance.