Iceland surprised everyone at the European championship in football 2016 by qualifying for the play-offs and then making it all the way to the quarter-finals. But what can we learn from that, in the HR industry?
July 4. 2016
An impressive performance
Yesterday Iceland got eliminated from the European football championship after losing to France 5-2, which marks the end of Iceland’s participation in the tournament. But it will be a tournament that the Icelandic people will remember for a very long time, since it was the first time Iceland qualified for the play-offs. They even made it to the quarter finals, after having eliminated England. An incredible performance, not least considering that there are only 330.000 people living in Iceland, which is equivalent to the number of residents in the French town of Nice.
But the big question is, how did they do it – and what can we learn from it?
The Icelandic football team received a remarkable amount of support from their fans and there was a countrywide outbreak of hysterical football-fever. The entire Icelandic population were united in their faith in their football heroes. Several media reported that an estimated 10% of their population flew to France to support their team – Which is a great example of the amount of support they received from their support base.
What manager or HR worker, doesn’t dream of being able to generate this level of support, for your employees and teams? However, it is not easy to reproduce a football-fever level of support, but focus instead on ensuring that the employees receive support and praise for their progress and success – Even for the smaller goals, along the way towards the final goal. You should not wait until they have the trophy in their hands, before celebrating your team-players performance. Celebrate them every time they take a big step in the right direction towards their final goal – That will help motivate them and increase their chance of reaching their goal.
A team like Iceland is a great example that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. There are no big international football-stars on Iceland’s team, but their 11 players make up an incredibly well-functioning team, who knows their own limitations and manages to maximizes their combined potential.
For the same reason, it is important to encourage a team-spirit amongst the employees. A single talented employee, who thinks and acts like an individual, might make a significant difference in the short run. But overall you will get better results if your entire team are motivated, working together as a team and performing to their best ability. So make sure that new employees are onboarded correctly and that they are introduced to the team and know their own and the others role in relation to the company, the team and their common goals.
Room for mistakes
After Iceland got eliminated to France, the experts were lining up to evaluate their performance. But no one were disappointed or upset about their exit from the European Championship – on the contrary. There was only praise for the entire team. They will return to Iceland as heroes, with lots of confidence and courage for the next big championship: The world championship in Russia 2018.
If you create a company-culture where there are room for mistakes, where there are ongoing employee follow-ups and support, you will help create a safe atmosphere where people are willing to take on major challenges, even if it potentially could lead to failure.
We are not disappointed. Just proud. Very proud (…) Just the fact that we got so far, makes me feel a little bit like we won anyway.
says Górunn Hafsteinsdottir to Politiken.dk
Written by David Ditlev Rasmussen
Marketing Consultant at CatalystOne Solutions
About CatalystOne Solutions
CatalystOne Solutions provides cloud applications for Human Capital Management including Core HR, Competence, Performance Management, Compensation and Talent Management. We specialize in serving mid-market and operate in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and India. We are dedicated to assisting our customers succeed in achieving measureable business outcomes by using our software. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.
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