Continuing with my series of posts on spring training ideas for service industry employees, we are now past the halfway point at the figurative third base. Just like a baseball player is often coached to hold up here to ensure the best chance of scoring a run, I’m suggesting that your training include a bit of a “regroup” for your team.
Once you’ve given an initial orientation (put them at bat) and included a bit of role play to give them a real-world feel to their learning (first base), then your follow up as they start their season will cement the principles and standards learned (second base). Everything is going great; things are looking good. You’ve taught them to expect the unexpected as well, so they are playing with their heads up.
A critical error can occur at this point. If you think that just cruising along will work, having set your team up for success, that’s when you’re blindsided. Mid-season, non-stop busy, and it’s very likely that everyone hasn’t gotten their second wind at the same time. You don’t want them to run blindly to third without a plan. They need to get safely there before they can head for home.
Offering a way for your team members to catch their breath and re-energize recognizes their efforts thus far and helps keep momentum up. But this is not just about cookies and milk for the troops, this is about sharing strategy in the trenches. Imagine a baseball game without the third base coach – no one there at the do-or-die moment to cheer on the hero, or have them hold up to load the bases for the big finish?
Yesterday’s home runs don’t win tomorrow’s games. – Babe Ruth
Just as Babe Ruth said, you can’t rest on your laurels (or your initial training). Make sure that you keep your team engaged, keep them in the game. Include them in the strategy so they are inspired for the long haul. That’s how you create a winning team.
My next post will give the final tips on making it to home plate for the win.