Behind every tennis champion like Carlos Alcaraz, the young sensation who upset the seven-time Wimbledon champ Novak Djokovic, is an exceptional support team. In the realm of B2B marketing, we too depend on our teams to navigate unexpected challenges, such as recent workforce reductions. As one of Huddler honestly shared, “We had our RIF late last year and some survivors were demotivated and left as soon as they could – the good news is that those that stayed really rallied.” To help rally your team, here are 6 relatively low-cost winners gleaned from a month of huddles on mobilizing employees.
1. Appoint a Chief Fun Officer (CFO)
During particularly intense moments in their epic 5 set match, both Alcaraz and Djokovic could be seen glancing at their team box for inspiration. In the same vein that a great coach motivates a tennis player, a Chief Fun Officer (CFO) can rejuvenate a fatigued team. One Huddler noted, “This person is responsible for bringing people together…Everybody gets a bit of money to buy a little surprise gift now and then…You meet a couple of times a month to do something outside of work.” Like a coach, the CFO becomes essential in fostering unity and easing fears of future layoffs.
2. Empower Employees to Recognize Others
Wimbledon’s roaring crowds and our employee recognition systems share the same purpose: boosting morale and motivation. One Huddler shared their innovative points system: “So I could say, Dave, thank you for doing a great job on this project, here’s 100 points, or 500 points…Employees really like the points system because not only it gives them recognition, but also they can redeem these points for Amazon gift cards or something else.” This recognition system drives the team’s performance like the energizing cheers for a tennis player.
3. Rejoice in the Small Achievements
In the third set at 15-all, Djokovic and Alcaraz played a point that never seemed to end. When it did, Alcaraz savored the moment. So too should your team take joy in minor victories. One Huddler emphasized the importance of this approach: “We just came off this big show, so I had our event manager share the results at our team meeting and give them a moment to shine…That was the only topic for the meeting and it gave the team something to celebrate!” Recognizing these victories, however small, builds momentum.
4. Foster Horizontal Mobility
In his 5-set victory, Alcaraz showed remarkable versatility, smashing cross-court winners at one moment, hitting the perfect drop shot in the next, or fending off a Djokovic overhead. Stretching this metaphor to the max, CMOs can find similar success through horizontal mobility. One CMO noted: “When we have openings, especially at the junior level, we’ve seen success moving people from the field team and then move them into specialized roles. There’s been a lot of excitement when an internal shift happens, even a sideways one.” These lateral movements create a team that can handle any shot and has the added advantage of prepping them for a more senior role down the line.
5. Prioritize Personal Check-ins
Mental coaching is as crucial in tennis as it is in business. As one Huddler stated: “I’ve got team members who are young and first parents dealing with things like kids and nannies getting sick which I might have just ignored but we’ve decided not to as a team…We are fully remote so it’s important to bring back the personal element of just checking in – as a team.” These personal touchpoints help us understand our team’s off-court challenges, bolstering our collective resilience.
6. Encourage Physical Get-Togethers
Just as a tennis player thrives on the shared camaraderie of their team, so too does a business team benefit from physical get-togethers. One CMO fondly recalled: “We get the whole team together twice a year for a fun offsite…We got paired up and got to brainstorm ideas together…The games were tied back to our company values.” These events shape us into more than just a team; they transform us into a championship unit.
Drawing from the spirit of Wimbledon and the inspiring journey of Carlos Alcaraz, let’s remember that every setback is a stepping stone to a comeback. Behind each champion CMO is a championship team. Until the next time, keep rallying with your team for success!