As in the world of sports, the corporate world has coaches, managers, supervisors, and executives, etc. But let’s call them “coaches”. As coaches, we are responsible to train, support, review performance and identify where improvement is necessary, as well as appreciate and celebrate the wins and successes.
As Kevin M. Sullivan, University of Connecticut, Office of First Year Programs, noted in his piece titled Intentional Scholars, “If you take a page from the successful athletic coaches in college sport, you would see that once they recruit and enroll student-athletes whom they deem have the potential to play a sport at the Division I level, the young athletes begin a process that demands that they spend hours a day, year-long, learning how to play the game at this level. Strength training, cardio-vascular work, indoctrination into strategy and technique, and team practice, all purposefully and intentionally designed by the coaching staff, combine to help the athletes raise their levels of performance to the peak of Division I standards. In season, they utilize a regimen of practice perform (compete), review of performance (what worked and what needs to be modified to improve, and return to practice to implement changes. It should be noted that this is a positive, hopeful method of improving both content and process-oriented performance, as it is based on the belief that the coaches and players are capable of determining what is and is not working and then teach/learn new behaviors and cognitions necessary to improve.”
Employees brought in by coaches are almost always intentional employees. The intentional employee performs with deliberate and determined intentions to succeed above and beyond the scope of their job responsibilities. This motivation causes them to enter into this rigorous process of becoming a successful intentional employee. It should be noted that the partnership between the coach and the intentional employee presupposes buy-in from both parties.
In order to become intentional employees, just as with intentional athletes, there must be a perceived and expected benefit for all the hard work put in. The employees have to want to learn and develop a passion for their work responsibilities. People tend to balk at hard work for which they see no personal benefit. In the corporate world, once the employee perceives benefit in working hard, it is necessary for managers, supervisors, and executives, to task-analyze the work production. This is to identify what works and where improvement is necessary, as well as a means to recognize the wins and successes of a job well done.
Recognition is paramount in engaging the intentional employee to keep them energized to step up their game. With a total recognition plan, like winning the championship trophy, the intentional employee is motivated to model the company’s visions, values and missions while achieving their goals and aspirations.