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images-1Does your team have a chance at the Stanley Cup? What does HR and Hockey have in common?

As a hockey player and as an employee of an HR consulting firm, I live and breathe both, HR and Hockey. Therefore, when I thought about my next blog, and what is important in the news right now, I couldn’t wait to put my passion of hockey and my work in HR on the same team.

The Stanley Cup Final is in full swing! As the Blackhawks enter into game 6, the team finds a whole new level of competiveness, assertiveness, and determination. While watching this past season and the current series of the Blackhawks vs. Tampa Bay Lighting, I wanted to take a moment and share with you how I relate Hockey to HR and the importance of the position of HR is in it’s role in a company. You may ask, why am I writing about this?? Well, because as an employee of a HR consulting firm, there are times we need to relate our position to make an impact. Therefore, because of my knowledge, passion and experience of playing hockey, the best way I can explain is to compare the sport of Hockey to my work in HR. First and foremost, I find teamwork essential; along with communication and leadership.

I’ve been playing hockey since I was four years old. Now that I am in college and work, I don’t get to play as often, but I still play hockey. I have always been a Blackhawks fan and the Stanley Cup Final is one of, if not the hardest competitions to achieve.

To compare Hockey and HR, I’ll start with the obvious. . Each team goes through a grueling schedule of practicing, traveling, and of course playing the game. Every game is as emotionally draining as it is physically draining. Teamwork, communication and leadership are only a few of the characteristics that teams live by both on and off the ice.

To explain what goes on behind the scenes… For example, before each game, each team meets to study themselves, their strengths as an individual and as a team, their ideas and discuss plays as well as study their opponents’ strengths and discuss ways to defeat and take advantage of any weaknesses they can find. Afterwards, they prepare a strategic plan of how they are going to achieve the goal they set out to reach along with a plan of action for each task. Most importantly, the team needs each other to perform their job and to perform to the best of their ability. Each position has a purpose and without all of them communicating, the team becomes unproductive.

Hockey and HR sit on the opposite side of the pendulum when it comes to how these characteristics/tasks are performed. However, the sheer meaning and preparation are very similar. In either, without teamwork, communication and leadership hockey players would never be able to get to the Stanley Cup Final. And if HR and your management team aren’t in communication, or don’t have the right team, companies have difficulty leading which as a result, means employees don’t perform well and the company’s culture, morale and bottom line can be negatively affected.

Hockey and HR could not be more different, yet very much the same. How does your team achieve the goals you set out to achieve? Does your team have a chance at the Stanley Cup?

VRC works as your strategic partner in change management, culture transformation, and compliance education. We can help build your team to be a winner!

Kevin Quinn, Hockey Defenseman


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