Often I get asked what is the best way to improve employee engagement and performance. Given the nature of the performance challenges, solutions usually involve some blend of training, education and coaching.
I was working with a group of senior managers that were going through a career transition, which is one of biggest performance challenges people will face in their careers. These managers required a new set of performance and mindset skills to ensure they were going to perform at their best. The big performance challenge came when I discovered they were not personally fully prepared to start working towards achieving their new goal of finding a new job or career.
As with great athletes, much of their performance has to do with what they do outside their area of performance. Rest, recovery and reflective learning are all key components of a great and enjoyable performance. Here are a few suggestions for what you can do before you enter your place of work to ensure you will have a great day performing at your best.
Educate the mind
I often hear about people coming home from work, feeling exhausted and then spending a few hours watching television to recover from their day. This is an easy trap to fall into. This is probably one of the habits most difficult to overcome in our North American culture – the filling of our minds with junk-food” via TV or the internet.
To enhance your daily performance at work, try avoiding the television and mindless internet surfing for a few nights, and read something educational, or spend time attending professional development events. You may be surprised how this one little act will change your perspective on work-related challenges you face back in the office.
I know, it’s not surprising coming from an athlete, but there are numerous studies indicating regular exercise helps reduce stress, regulates the body’s stress hormones and allows for a deep sleep during the night. The latest neurological research shows the brain’s network activity improves from regular exercise, allowing people to learn faster and retain information longer. So before you start your day, spend 20–30 minutes doing something aerobic to get the body and mind moving and ready for the day.
As I mentioned above, one of the best ways to improve your workplace performance is getting those 7–8 hours of quality sleep. I know we hear stories about people who only need 3 hours of sleep, but those types of people are few. For the rest of us mortals, when we start to get less sleep than we need, our quality of work starts to suffer as our cognitive functions become impaired and we have trouble focusing and thinking clearly.
Start to incorporate these performance tips into your daily routine and you will be well on your way to creating a solid performance foundation that will allow you to perform at your best.
All the best in achieving your highest performance.
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