"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."
After a hard day at work, man, no matter in which corner of the world comes home to engage in some kind of leisurely pursuit that serves as a stress buster and rejuvenator. Trace back your steps when you return home from work just to turn on the television or go outdoors to get some physical activity, engage in a sport. Whether it is Cricket in India, Baseball in USA, Lacrosse in Canada or Rugby in New Zealand, the core of what makes us human is the shared passion to engage in a physical recreation of our choice - be it as players or spectators. The Gabonese and their fervour for football are no exception to this!
There is no denying that the entire country stood still during Gabon's historic victory of the UNIFAC Cup in 1999, UDEAC Championship in 1985 and 1988 and finally the CEMAC Cup in 2013. These incredible games not just riveted people during the match but are still etched in memory for years to come by epitomizing Gabonese values, exemplifying efficient team work and embodying consistent motivation and scope for improvement.
What if business practices can be made to replicate the way in which Football as a sport has carved its niche? Wouldn’t that make work something that people look forward to on a Monday morning? How can a different experience be assured in the professional as is being offered through sports in the personal? And most importantly, which aspects need to be focused on to steer this change? Let’s have a walkthrough in three phases with this guide to human resources on how work can proactively undergo a healthy transformation to generate positive results!
A Gabonese guide to human resources
Phase 1: Pregame
Much like how The Brazilians (The Gabon National Football Team) undergo rigorous training with a certified coach before a match, the change-makers at work - employees, require mentoring from a leader, who has had years of experience in the field. The process of re-learning and upskilling by being abreast of the latest knowhow is imperative to ace the game on both fields. A key area of focus in this phase is on the biggest assets, who will drive results. It's always the people.
Engagement is a must on both fronts for ensuring team players are motivated and connect with the larger goal to be achieved. A diverse representation of individuals in every team alongside following inclusivity practices can leverage personal strengths, thus ensuring the best foot is put forward.
In this phase, it becomes very crucial to foster a sense of belongingness that binds individuals to the larger objective. Be it football where players assume team victory to be a personal victory or the workplace where employees go beyond their capabilities to contribute to a task, a sense of affiliation is the touchstone to get rid of the Monday blues. But how do we ensure people feel belonged?
As is often quoted, it is important to give more to get more. As a guide to human resources, the two pillars to this are engagement and motivation. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is an epitome of that fact that familiarizing yourself with fellow players, building a bond and passionately exhibiting teamwork to accomplish a goal would stand you in good stead in the long run.
Since the journey matters more than the destination, it is about the moments created that hold greater value even after the objective is accomplished. As a coach, keeping players and employees motivated to do more and enabling them to step out of their comfort zones brings out the best versions of themselves on the football and the corporate field.
Won’t you agree Patrice Neveu’s role in making the team believe in itself reinforced a sense of validation and accountability in players pushing them to score a 3-0 against DR Congo in the African Cup of Nations Qualification?
Phase 2: The Game
With rigorous training and dedication on both fronts, employees feel empowered to deliver sustainable results out of a task just as players put their best foot forward (quite literally). By focusing on a holistic development of individuals, team players would be ready to take any challenge head-on. In other words, these stakeholders become brand ambassadors for the team or the company that they represent and have a deep-rooted purpose that goes beyond the paycheck.
As players fixate their gaze on the ball and as employees concentrate on the goal to be achieved, a considerable amount of strategy directs the next moves of the players. By taking into account the plethora of critical factors and variables that will influence long-term success of both teams, the teams act upon the rational thought that guides their efforts to fruition.
All along the game and business projects, it is solely teamwork, passion, bonding, hard work and an optimistic outlook that paves the way for success. Both Aaron Boupendza and Seydou Kane share these common traits and have epitomized that winning in the stadium and in the workplace is made possible thanks to these qualities.
Phase 3: Postgame
In the event of a win or a loss, football coaches build on existing strategies or re-strategize moves by giving feedback to players. Business mentors are no exception to this. This phase is where providing a sense of hope and optimism is at its peak.
Individual players too should engage in an honest performance evaluation process and not let either outcomes go to their head. Successful players worldwide are a product of an amalgamation of success and failures. But as per the guide to human resources, what gives them an edge over others is the constant determination and will to keep moving ahead and ameliorating their skills at play. The fruits of real success are enjoyed by those who have an open mind and engage in constant learning and improvisation.
Role of peopleHum in contributing to the win
Apart from the input from coaches and individual contributions to the game called ‘Work’, platforms like peopleHum assist in ensuring a holistic employee experience from recruiting to offboarding.
Cultivate an engaged, motivated and empowered team with a focus on communication and collaboration alongside agility and resilience through a people-centric lens. And all this value delivered for the Gabonese market priced exclusively in Central African CFA francs makes it a cut above the rest.
It’s no surprise why there’s a long queue of organizations big and small flocking to peopleHum to drive the future of cloud-based human capital platforms in markets like Africa!
To come back to the quote with which we began, we know that a balance of work and play ensures maximum productivity and increases output levels. But should work be transformed into a play-like endeavour which raises curiosity and enthusiasm, the boundaries between the two would get blurred with each facet overlapping onto the other.
Despite being on a different front, in a different location, against a different opposition and for a different goal, the game plan and plan of action remains the same when you compare the sport football to human resources. It cannot get more obvious that the two share several commonalities and are guided by the same values and principles. This guide to human resources will leave you on a note that it is on you to get the two - work and play complementing each other. The future is less about work-life balance and more about work-life alignment. As Robert Frost says, “When work becomes play and play becomes your work, your life unfolds”!