Game, set and match - What HR can learn from Wimbledon

July 11, 2019 James Wilson

The sun is shining, the Pimms is flowing and everyone’s indulging in some strawberries and cream – it must be Wimbledon season!

One of the greatest and most popular British traditions returns for the summer with almost half a million people expected to visit the infamous tennis courts and a further 26 million watching on TV. There is nothing more joyous than seeing your favourite tennis player battle it out on the court to victory – however long the match might take  –  and there are many things that we can take away from the action on the court and apply to our own workforce.

Here are three things that HR leaders can learn from Wimbledon:

No train, no gain

Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams have all achieved Wimbledon success and they didn’t just win on a whim – they would have trained all year round and even after their Wimbledon victories, they would continue to train in order to maintain their skill set and prepare for every potential barrier they might face in the future. It’s the same with employees and learning. Learning shouldn’t stop when people finish school or University, learning should be a continuous and constant activity, enabling you to keep up with the everchanging job market. And it’s up to HR leaders to provide a culture and environment where learning can thrive  –  simple changes in the office like incorporating informal lunchtime learning sessions can be a great way for employees to learn a new skill from their own colleagues and the casual setting means that employees have more confidence asking questions and getting involved because they are amongst their peers.

Choosing the right partnerships

It was recently announced that Serena Williams and Andy Murray would be engaging in the mixed doubles round during Wimbledon this year – a partnership that has already dominated the sporting headlines and certainly dominated on the court as well. Choosing the right partnerships in HR is also important – having the right tools and systems in place that support your employees and their needs, as well as HR’s own needs, can help to streamline all HR processes, ensuring that you’re maximising your team and your employees’ potential.

Let employees take the first serve

At Cornerstone, we believe in putting employees first and if we were viewing the HR-employee relationship like a game of tennis, then we would always let employees have the first serve. HR wouldn’t exist without employees, so it seems only right to involve them in HR processes and gain their feedback whenever we can – particularly in a flexible working environment, when staying connected and feeling part of a team is even more important. Having your own open employee forum or conducting quarterly or annual surveys amongst your employees can provide the feedback you need to improve services as well as ensure your employees have a say.

So, as we watch the Wimbledon matches unfold over the next few weeks and cheer on our favourite tennis stars to victory, let’s also think about how we can cheer on our own employees and support them through their own tournaments.

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