Can Winning in Business be Compared to Team Sports?​

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No doubt company leaders often are asked “Is your company winning?”. The answers to this question are quite divergent. Some leaders just say “yes”, of course we are winning. Others foremost mention the struggle. They are struggling and fighting for the survival of a company. Does the way a leader expresses his struggle effect the team or company results?

The Gallup Institute’s recent State of the American Workplace Report shared survey statistics and results that business owners should take to heart. “Managers are creating active disengagement costing the U.S. an estimated $450 billion to $550 billion annually”. Also, the Puget Sound Business Model recently reported that 72% of employees in the U.S. are unhappy in their jobs”.

I think these data results are depending on employee engagement. If you are owning a company, you should avoid employees being disengaged at work. Winning in business depends on the employee engagement the company leader should provide and stimulate. Increasing engagement might lead to reducing disengagement cost and finally result in a team performance called winning in business.

I would recommend improving employee engagement forging a true team through these steps:

1. Teach manager and company owners the value of employee engagement by showing them statistics from the Gallup Institute’s Report and other research agencies.

2. Internal analysis is key for eliminating toxic employees and managers, get rid of them as soon as possible.

3. Clarify in the company’s mission and future vision that employee engagement is key for the company’s success. For instance, mention that teamwork is as valuable as customer engagement and that sales for a certain percentage are depending on it.

4. Invest time in the “why”. Why are your employees lesser engaged that the moment they started working for you. And why is engagement decreasing? What are the key indicators for this decrease?

5. Utilization of the key indicators for low engagement. If you find the indicator for low engagement, try to turn it around and create employee engagement. Creativeness and a great understanding of customer desire are required here. The internal analysis could deliver deeper employee demands.


These are five aspects I believe one should consider increasing employee engagement with the company and creating a team. The “how to” is a complex and long-term question that, in my view should be answered by all companies individually. The “how?” depends on financial options, knowledge of psychology and insights in employee demand. I sure believe that business success depends on the employee team cohesion and cooperation. I herefore would say that business success can be compared to team sports.

Please let me know all your opinions and experiences on this subject. What other aspects are viral while working as a team?

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