What Can Manchester United Teach Us About Workplace Wellbeing?

For the past couple of seasons Manchester United have had the self proclaimed ‘special one’, Jose Mourinho as their manager. However over this period the results were very disappointing, the team under performed and he was unable to get the best out of his employees ( players ). 

In December last year the club and manager parted ways and the new manager Ole Gunner Solskjaer took over. At the time of writing, they are undefeated in eight games, including some big wins against Spurs and Arsenal.  The whole team is performing better and individual players including Pogba and Rashford have reinvented themselves.


So what does this teach us about the employee experience within a workplace?

Solskjaer himself states that it’s all about instilling confidence into his team. 

After I met sports psychologist Bill Beswick, he made me aware of how important confidence work is. I've got a diary of, not what we did, but how I was thinking and how I reacted to different situations in games.”

It was well reported that under ex boss  Mourinho, the communication between manager and employees was regularly breaking down and that he instilled a culture of fear amongst that the players that made it very hard for them to bring their best self to work. 

According to The School of Life, the first core requirement of effective teaching is that the person we are teaching is not scared, angry or hurt, as we cannot take on ideas in these states.  

Our minds are best at taking on new information once we have been comforted, reassured of our value and given the licence to fail.  


How does this apply to your workplace?

Within your team, are people fearful to communicate? Are they able to learn and develop in a culture that nurtures learning from our mistakes? 

Solskjaer said that “it's the mental bit we need to work with” and I couldn’t agree more. Our workplaces are full of talented and ambitious individuals, but our results depend on the leadership culture that allows individuals and teams to thrive.

To get a better understand of the current culture and wellbeing of your workplace, contact kevin@liftyourwellbeing.com to participate in our anonymous workplace wellbeing survey, currently 25% off for the month of February.

Kevin McAlister