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Three Ways To Increase Engagement From the NFL

*Written by Super Bowl Champion & Author of Mindset for Mastery, Ryan Harris

One thing that I experienced on every team that I played for in the NFL, was engagement. And one of the things I see lacking in many of the companies that I speak to, or broadcast with, is engagement. 

We rarely practice engaging one another when it is outside of our comfort zone, in work and life. That should not be the case. It is 2020, and we have got to go beyond. The NFL does this every day.  They have people from the offices in New York to the players on each team. The NFL knows that through engagement you create production.

Here are three simple ways to increase engagement from the NFL, that you can implement right now.

The High Five

Number one is high fives. What I love about high fives is that every time you give someone a high five, they smile.

Try it at work tomorrow. The next time you walk past a co-worker, smile and give a high five. After practices, in team meetings and even in games, teammates give each other high fives to celebrate each other's success.

What is better than that? 

Beyond celebrating success, when you give a high five, you create enjoyment and happiness. No one ever frowns at a high five, and everybody knows how to do it. It is not like a secret handshake or something. We all get it. It is an easy thing to do and can make a big difference. 

You make people feel a part of the community. You make people smile, and we all remember someone who made us smile in a day. 

The number one NFL tip to increase engagement is to start doling out some high fives in 2020.

Half-Day Fridays

Number two is half-day Fridays. In the NFL, there are only two coaches that take their players past noon on Fridays. 

It is an unspoken but accepted rule in the NFL that every Friday, you are to be out of the building by 12:00 PM or 1:00 PM at the latest. 

This creates an enormous amount of enjoyment by players who spend a lot of time in the building. In fact, on most teams, they can be ‘at the office from 7:00 AM to 5:00 or 6:00 PM every day, just like you. 

Can you reduce the hours for one day of work? Can you cut out once or twice a month from the office early on a Friday? Start late?

You give half-day Fridays even more impact by providing a take home. In addition to leaving early on Friday, coaches in the NFL often provide take-home food for their players. It is a small acknowledgment of their efforts during the week and helps ensure they and their families can really relax on their afternoon off. 

One of my coaches did something as simple as pizza. He would have some pizzas delivered and you could take an entire box home with you if you wanted. 

The enjoyment and engagement were so high that immediately after practice if you did not hustle out, you would be left without pizza. 

Side note to rookies: you may not ever get pizza. Ha!

Find a way to end early one day a week and give your people something to take home to ensure they make the most of the time off.

Bring Donuts

And finally, the last engagement tip you can take from the NFL comes in one word, DONUTS!

Have you ever met somebody that does not like donuts? I mean that literally. Vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters all love donuts. 

Every Saturday morning in the NFL, rookies have to bring donuts and you want to talk about engagement (haha)!

Bring a couple of boxes of donuts to a meeting or to work and watch how much engagement is created. 

Even send out an announcement in an email.  "Hey everybody, I bought some donuts for us all to enjoy. They are in the kitchen."

Donuts bring more people together than anything else in this world. I am convinced of it. So next time you have a chance, bring some donuts to work. 

Whether it is giving high fives, doing a half-day Friday or bringing donuts to work, these are three simple ways to increase engagement at your workplace that you can take from the NFL.

Let’s change the world,

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