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US Open: Employee well-being lessons from the tennis world

Behind their fearlessly competitive attitude on the court, mindfulness and wellbeing play a vital role in coaching tennis champions off the court. 

With America’s biggest tennis tournament underway, we’ve taken inspiration from the world of tennis and compiled a list of 5 key lessons in keeping employee wellbeing top of your business agenda.

Motivate with meaning

Whether it’s the prospect of competing at an international level, taking on a Grand Slam, or making sports history; being motivated by something that’s meaningful, should be as crucial in business as it is in tennis.

Having unique and individual recognition initiatives at your company can go a long way in creating a culture of long-term motivation amongst your employees – while having a hugely positive impact on morale.

Find out what it is that drives and engages your employees on a day-to-day basis. Having something to strive towards, such as personal rewards and recognition schemes, help to motivate both individuals and teams.

Create the dream team

Though they might play solo on the court, behind every successful tennis player is a team, all sharing the same dream. From a coach to specialist tennis trainers, as well as partners, family and friends; a strong support network, who are all rooting for the same goal, all impacts the end performance.

As well as encouragement, and of course having some laughs, a close-knit group makes achieving results so much easier!

So what makes a dream team? Communication is at the heart of all good teams – keep it open and keep it often. Take time to listen to everyone and to understand everyone’s ideas. Think about holding regular meetings with opportunities to brainstorm, so that everybody feels valued. Working as a team will allow you to reach even greater heights and helps to build confidence & belief in the whole process.

Keep healthy and happy

As with all sports professionals, a healthy lifestyle is essential for any tennis player. Balanced diets, regular exercise and a good night’s sleep are all the norm for the US Open competitors.  And, with over half of employers in the US claiming a direct correlation between staff wellbeing and business performance, workplace health should be a top priority in your organization’s agenda.

Like tennis, the workplace can be full of pressure and unpredictability, which can be draining on both energy and resources. To encourage good health, both on a physical and mental level, there are a whole host of activities and benefits your business can look to introduce.  From simple additions, like offering free fruit to your staff to hosting active socials; healthy benefits inspire happy employees!

Move onwards and upwards

Training and development is a daily occurrence for most tennis champions.  Having a milestone to reach, a new goal to aim for, or a tournament to compete in, help to keep morale and engagement high – all year round.

And this philosophy is the same across all professions. It’s rare to come across a talented individual who doesn’t care about professional development – so it’s important to consider growth opportunities for your staff.  Whether you have the budget to fund a training program for your team, or can deliver on-the-job training – career development is essential to not only individual growth but business growth.

Remember, failure is feedback

Even the best players have to deal with defeat; the same year England’s Andy Murray won three ATP tour titles (in 2014), he also lost over twenty matches.  Just like losing some competitions is an inevitable part of sport, failures are an unavoidable part of running your organization.

Although setbacks can affect our confidence, it’s important to remember that some of the biggest improvements come as a result of failure. When you can recognize setbacks as positive learning curves, team spirits and efforts will grow even stronger.

It’s not the end of the world to lose. – Andy Murray

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