‘Don’t make me angry’ said British sailor, Ben Ainslie, before he went on to win his 4th consecutive Olympiad and became the most successful Olympic sailor of all time. His tactical strategy played an enormous part when it came to beating his opponents but it also took determination and focus to achieve great things. And, boy, team GB has achieved great things over the past week. We have streaked past our goal of getting more medals than we did at Beijing – Team GB are currently standing proud with 16 gold medals, and still counting. We have witnessed amazing personal achievements and a level of excitement about our country’s success not witnessed for many years – our team is delivering again and again and we are standing behind them and willing them on with every new victory.
As well as euphoria and excitement, the Olympics have also caused their fair share of controversy. There has been criticism that retailers and other tourist attractions across London have lost out on business due to the Games and that productivity has suffered more than usual. There’s always two sides to a story but whatever effect the Olympics has had, what can organisations learn from this unique event? Can we harness the wave of euphoria, hope and national pride to help push British manufacturers, retailers and service organisations across the winning line and get us out of the stagnant economic mire many businesses find themselves in?
Organisations rely on good leadership and high levels of employee engagement to become successful. Employee engagement can be achieved many ways, but a fair, equitable, workplace where great performance is rewarded and all employees are supported so that high performance becomes achievable for all, is a very sound foundation. Managers can help achieve this if their time is freed from unnecessary manual processes by automation so they can focus on developing their teams and achieving their organisational aims. Workforce Management solutions can help in so many ways. They can help to support absence strategies that treat every employee in a fair and equitable way and will reduce employee absence, ensure employees are paid accurately and on time and that managers can schedule best-fit employees effectively and efficiently, so that the correct number of employees, with the correct skills and certifications are deployed when and where they are needed. They support flexible working practices and even allow shift swaps between similarly skilled employees at the click of a mouse.
Perhaps British businesses will harness some long-term benefits from the Olympic experience. Despite having a significantly smaller population than the two countries ahead of us on the medal table, China & the United States, Great Britain rules the waves, the rivers, the men’s tennis court, the velodrome and even the women’s heptathlon so why shouldn’t we be the leaders on the board of economic recovery? – It seems what we need most of all is the passion and the will.