Friday, 18 June 2010

Wayne's a lumberjack and he's OK (hopefully!)

Wayne and Colleen Rooney and the England Squad in last minute team-building activity yesterday

Even though today is his birthday, I'm sure that Fabio Capello will be giving consideration to the most effective way of motivating the members of his team prior to their match against the mighty Algeria this evening.

Perhaps he might wish to look into a study of lumberjacks which was undertaken and published in the Annual Review of Psychology way back in 1975 (when Wayne Rooney wasn't even a twinkle in his father's eye ..)

The studies indicated that high productivity was maintained when a manager remained with the men and set production goals for them and, in particular, output per man was higher when moderately difficult goals were assigned to the men.

This led to the following recommendations about goal setting which I'm sure that Capello and the boys will find useful

  • Goal difficulty: set goals at levels which will stretch employees, but which are not beyond their ability levels. Wayne Rooney: I want at least two goals from you in the first 45 minutes.
  • Goal specificity: express goals in clear and precise language, if possible in quantifiable terms. Robert Green: you fouled up last match; this time I need a completely clean sheet from you.
  • Participation: allow employees to take part in the goal-setting process to increase the acceptability of and commitment to goals. Guys: do you reckon 2:0 is reasonable, or do you think you're capable of more?
  • Acceptance: if goals are set by management, ensure they are adequately explained and justified. I need at least a two-goal difference between you and Algeria, otherwise we might still be in danger in the last match of the group stage.
  • Feedback: provide information on the results of past performance to allow employees to adjust their behaviour. Guys: last match you were dreadful, and a draw against the USA just wasn't good enough. This time, play like you're proud to be in an England shirt. Or I'll wrap a vuvuzuela round your neck.

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