Posts Tagged ‘NCAA’

March Madness and the Workplace: Comparing Your Employees with the Big Dance’s 68 Teams

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012


Talking about teamwork in the workplace is fitting now that March Madness officially starts this evening. Whether the team you cheer for made it to this year’s Big Dance, the dynamics of the 3-week NCAA tournament offer you good tips to execute when engaging different players within your workforce team. Knowing how to use your people’s strongest assets will help you improve employee satisfaction and business productivity at your organization.

The college basketball event has its own terminology, and the nicknames they assign to teams can also apply to employees in your organization.  Read the following March Madness tags and their definitions to see how staffers with similar characteristics can be coached to create a championship team.

March Madness in the Workplace:

On the Bubble: Teams on the fringe of making it to the college basketball national tournament. They earn one final chance to show that they deserve to be in the competition.

Workplace Counterpart: Employees who are on the bubble at your organization have talent and know-how to be extraordinary teammates, but their overall records indicate that they aren’t strong competitors. Work with them to identify their strengths and weaknesses to ensure that they are the right fit for your company. If they are, offer these employees positive and constructive feedback frequently. Help them use their strengths to accomplish their career goals.


Cinderella: A team that no one expects to play big at the dance but advances in the tournament anyway.

Workplace Counterpart: Don’t underestimate your office Cinderellas. They are dedicated to doing their jobs well and aren’t afraid to work through any obstacles that they may face. Give them assignments that match their talents, and you won’t be disappointed with the results they bring you. Recognize their contributions by praising them, and you’ll see that they’ll become more confident and productive in their decision making.


The Elite Eight: These are the tournament’s final eight teams. They’ve shown their expertise and finesse for the game to remain in the competition.

Workplace Counterpart: Your elite employees are engaged and make great contributions to your organization each work day. You can count on them to encourage other team members to perform well and give their all when completing projects. Because they always bring their A-game to assignments, some managers might take their excellent work ethic for granted. Continually give them feedback and ask them what they hope to accomplish to make sure they remain satisfied in their positions.


The Final Four: These teams have fought hard to prove that they have the talent to be national champions. They are the best of the best of the 68 teams invited to the Big Dance. Their workload increases as they play for the last two spots and eventually the national championship title.

Workplace Counterpart: Your employees who are similar to college basketball’s final four are determined to make a difference at your organization. They are your company’s top performers who steadily produce high-quality work. These employees aren’t afraid to challenge traditions or explore new options for getting things done efficiently. Keep these staff members engaged by assigning them a variety of projects that showcase their expertise and passion for achieving big results. Treat these employees well by offering them promotions or raises that indicate you acknowledge their efforts. They will remain loyal and help get your company through tough business situations.

For additional ideas on engaging the different staff members that make up your workforce team, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: katerha