There you are, watching an amazing athletic performance and you notice how skilled the athletes are and how their performance seems effortless. You know they have committed their lives and spend a tremendous amount of time training to reach this level of high performance. And in some cases when you see them perform at the Olympics, you know that’s their one moment to shine in front of the world. During the interviews after their performance you can sense either a thrill of victory or suffering of defeat.
Like high-level performance athletes, high-level performing organizations understand how to develop a performance plan in order to achieve results. They know organizations can’t succeed if they don’t have the right talent and dedicated team to put forth the effort required to perform at a high level. Often you might hear top performers in an organization say “I was so busy this year, I didn’t even take a vacation”. It sounds impressive and often you are taken in by their dedication and commitment. However, what high-performing organizations sometimes miss – the secret ingredient from the world of high-level performance athletics – is the rest and recovery required for continuous high-level performance.
When you see high-performance athletes performing at their best, you are aware of all the hours, years and commitment it took them to reach that level. However, most people are unaware that at that level of performance there is a significant amount of time given to resting and recovery. In my own athletic career, I started reaching higher levels of performance when I discovered the importance of rest and recovery, and it was a key factor when I started racing in world championship races. Having a plan for daily, weekly and yearly rest and recovery was just as important as my training plan was to reach world-class levels of performance.
During rest and recovery high-level performance athletes’ bodies start to repair all the damaged tissues incurred during their training. This enables them to return to their training and competition that much stronger, allowing them to elevate their level of performance.
The same holds true for organizations that are committed to being high-performing organizations. They know human performance in modern work world goes beyond simply setting organizational goals and objectives, but it’s about the whole performance process, where rest and recovery is a key ingredient.
Here are three benefits of rest and recovery for great organizational performance:
Improvement in performance
High-performance athletes know that when the body starts to regenerate itself, it is preparing to raise their performance level. Both physically and mentally, they are ready and able to perform at higher levels. The same holds true for organizational performance: When people take vacations, and really unplug, they start to feel better and are able to return to work refreshed and take on new challenges and opportunities. This sounds simple, but often overlooked by many organizations, costing millions of dollars annually in employee burnout and unproductive work hours.
Increases in innovation
High-performing organizations know that when daily breaks are taken, the mind starts to develop new ideas and innovative solutions to complex and challenging issues. Sometimes such break could just be a quick walk around the block at lunch (assuming you are taking a lunch break!). Or you could even leave work at the end of the day, go home and suddenly discover the solution to an organizational challenge as you are doing something completely unrelated to the problem at the office.
Reduces in burnout
Economies around the globe are losing billions of dollars annually from employee burnout. Because of this, organizations are losing revenue and profit that can never be recovered, as employees are unable to go to work and the employees who are at work are not performing at 100%. Just like high-performance athletes, when people in high-performance organizations take real breaks from their work, they return to their organization feeling refreshed and are able to perform at a higher level.
These are just a few examples of the benefits of including rest and recovery within a high-performing organization. When organizations are committed to creating high-performance cultures, they will see the benefits of including rest and recovery in their performance plans.
Turn Your Knowledge into Action
1) Determine the way people and teams in your organization can take their recovery time in order to help elevate performance levels.
2) Take one action this week to ensure you are taking daily recovery time to help elevate your performance levels.
If you would like to learn more about how I can assist your organization to elevate their performance levels, please contact me at 416-429-1247 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best in achieving your highest performance.
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net