Creating a Winning Team
Training and team spirit are key ingredients to success, says Ashley Thacker, the general manager of Ranger Lifting.
Don’t try to win, train for it.
When I first heard that saying I thought it was nonsense; if it was that easy, everyonewould be doing it, I thought. And there always has to be a loser. However, as I’ve watched the Ranger team grow over time, it’s started to become apparent that there’s some truth in it.
I wouldn’t patronise any sportsperson or team and suggest that whoever won gold medals at the Olympics trained that bit more than the silver medalists who, in turn, put in a bit more of a shift than those they beat into bronze. There is obviously more to it than that: natural ability, luck on the day, injuries, career peaks, etc., all play a role.
There are similar variables in business too; we’ve all made the most of a lucky break or two. And the company with the most training certificates isn’t necessarily the best. However, hard work, commitment and dedication to education, are hallmarks of goodteams and companies. How many successful business do you know that neglect these important activities?
There’s no doubt in my mind that you can positively influence outcomes by training to achieve your goals, however that discipline manifests itself.
Take Kristie O’Connor, our special projects manager, for example. She’s lost a staggering 50+ kilos, which has proved to be a lifechanging amount of weight. Kristie has shown incredible commitment and I know she wakes up every morning now feeling like she’s been fired out of a gun. She’s transformed her life.
Business owners and managers would be well advised to take note of Kristie’s story.There are those who would’ve seen such dedication to a gruelling fitness regime as a distraction from work. They might have been reluctant to accommodate early morning training sessions and stopped her from using company time to share storiesabout her journey with colleagues.
Not only do I see this approach as lacking emotional intelligence, it’s also bad for business.
Kristie’s journey has had a hugely positive impact on those who work with her and follow her story. She is motivated, inspired, upbeat and tenacious. How can such a personality not rub off on people in the office? Closer to home, Kristie has inspired her husband, Dave, who also works for Ranger as an inspector. He recently smashed his first 5km run and has taken the early steps of his own weightloss journey, already losing over 25kgs.
Rest assured, I won’t be preventing Dave from training and will encourage him to be flexible in his role to achieve his fitness goals. If he comes into work, or arrives at a jobsite, even more motivated and buoyant than he already does, that’s going to positively impact the working environment, productivity and, indirectly, the company’sbottom line. It’s a winwin situation for everyone.
A leaner, meaner employee is like a sportsperson at peak fitness. They’re more likely to score a goal or hit a target.
I’ve been inspired by Kristie, myself. Only recently I completed a 10k run with her—and my wife, Kristina, joined us too. I remember crossing the finish line feeling like a winner, not because there weren’t plenty of people who finished before me (there were!) but I knew I had achieved something.
Perhaps the spectators supporting their friends and families on the sidelines will be inspired by runners—like me, Kristie, Dave and Kristina—and get themselves on the next start line. I certainly hope so!
I’ve heard stories of companies sending group emails to employees saying, ‘If you’regoing to the gym at lunchtime, please make sure you’re back at your desk 10 minutes earlier to prepare yourself to resume work.’ Imagine how that is received and the subsequent conversations that take place amongst the team.
Wouldn’t it be better to say? ’The company has arranged discounted memberships for any employee wishing to workout at lunchtime.’ Or, ‘We’ve decided to enter a corporate team into the City to Surf, why don’t you join us.’
It creates an altogether better environment.
There is a great community spirit at running events, but it is essentially an individual sport. What’s so rewarding about team games and working for a company is the collective sense of achievement. The management is passionate about creating a team environment at Ranger and we do everything we can to make coming to work feel like meeting up with a winning team. I’ve heard that this isn’t the case at all companies, which doesn’t make sense to me.
We regularly try to take staff to sporting events or host BBQs to unwind and enjoy each other’s company. The more togetherness and greater the sense of community we create, the better we are at our jobs. We want to succeed not only for ourselves, but also for each other and the company.
Could you be doing more to make your company a winner?
Thank you for reading. Search the #RangerLifting hashtag on social media.