Engaged Employees - What Leaders Can Learn from the Super Bowl

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by Beverly Crowell

On Sunday in the United States, millions of people will gather around to watch the two best football teams play in the Super Bowl. Or, just to watch the entertaining commercials! The Broncos and the Seahawks will assemble the best team on the field to enhance their chances of a victory.

Inside organizations, leaders strive to build the “greatest team ever assembled” as well. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of and dreams really can come true – at the Super Bowl or at work. While it’s true most leaders won’t have access to the NFL to build their own “Dream Team,” they do have the ability to create an environment where their employees can go faster, soar higher and grow stronger. It takes a game plan and a DREAM.

The Game Plan

The Broncos and the Seahawks have great coaches who know the abilities of every player on their team and understand which combination of players will optimize their success. They have practiced daily to draw out the best effort from all the players. They have strategies for different scenarios. They have a game plan for the big day!

Just like NFL coaches, leaders at all levels within organizations need a game plan to harness and optimize the talents of every player on their team. To engage and motivate employees, leaders need a game plan that executes on four major points:

  1. DEVELOP – According to research by Career Systems International (CSI), one of the top five reasons employees stay and stay engaged at work is the opportunity for career growth, learning and development.
  2. RETAIN – The cost of replacing talented employees can average as much as two-three times that employee’s annual salary.
  3. ENGAGE – Ongoing research by Gallup indicates that actively disengaged employees cost the United States over $300 billion a year on lost productivity.
  4. MENTOR – People with mentors are twice as likely to stay inside an organization – stay longer and produce more.


Coaches of sport teams will tell you most games are won and lost by your players executing the fundamentals and plays that you have taught them in practice. Forget the fundamentals and forget to practice – you lose.

Successful leaders and organizations build their winning teams around the DREAM by Developing, Retaining, Engaging And Mentoring their employees.  DREAM are the fundamentals of a talent management game plan where teams must practice and execute daily to deliver business results with the highest levels of quality, productivity and safety.

Is the DREAM alive within your organization?


To learn more about strategies to engage and develop your employees, you’re invited to download the first two chapters of the newly published 5th edition of Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans.

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