Business "Off" Season

Athletes spend their year in a cycle. They spend about half of the year performing and the other half of the year is spent preparing and improving.

In fact, when they’re not performing on the field, court, or where ever they are likely working on their game in some way to get better. Whether it’s left-handed layups, speed, strength, or improving communication among teammates they dedicate large amounts of time to improving their skills.

Why don’t we do this in the business world?

We spend plenty of time performing and aiming high with our goals and efforts. In most environments taking time to get better isn’t typical. In fact, employees would probably be chastised for reading a book at work, or taking a course online or doing anything else during business hours that might somehow lead to improved performance.

We spend so much time breaking our backs for the goals of the organization, but little to no time is spent working on ourselves or our careers in a way that would then benefit our employers.

Let’s talk crazy for a minute here.

Instead of spending all four quarters a year focused on investing in big projects to help the company hit its revenue goals, what if we only did that for three quarters?

What if our big goals and projects for one quarter were focused on ourselves?

Sure, there’s always going to be projects and work to be done on the business itself. So of course that work continues in the background, but what if the big goal of one quarter a year was dedicated to the employee’s development?

AND, what if they didn’t feel undue pressure from management to do otherwise? Or didn’t feel guilty about spending half of their week investing in themselves by learning to code? Or learning to better utilize Facebook Ads? Or becoming a better writer?

What would it look like to allow employees to do that kind of work for an entire quarter? Heck, what would it look like if we allowed it to happen for even one MONTH a year?

I bet we’d see an increase in employee retention.

I bet we’d also see a spike in productivity.

Even crazier, I bet we’d see some revenue spikes because employees are more satisfied at work, enjoy their work more, AND they’re more equipped than ever to tackle the big projects.

This is purely speculation, but what if I’m right?

If I’m wrong, what are the negatives? 

You lose some time. You possibly lose some productivity from your employees. But you’ll probably see an increase in morale and retention.

I would imagine that 99% of companies will NEVER try this kind of thing out. And until I’m running my own company, I may never know the answer.

I do know that this idea has been stuck with me for a few days and I’m fascinated by the potential.

What do you think?