With the fast-paced, achievement-oriented lives we live, we tend to forget that our performance builds as much on mental stability, productive collaboration and theoretical knowledge as it does on practical skills. The recent lockdown has forced many of us to pause and inwardly reflect.
The curfew revealed one question: Is trying to maintain our usual pace really setting us on the right path for sustainable personal growth?
Over the past weeks, I learned from our Retail teams: What really enhances personal growth and professional development is slowing down and taking time to learn, to stay connected with your team, as well as to strengthen inner well-being.
When the coronavirus spread throughout Russia, all adidas retail stores were closed for several weeks. From one day to the other, our 6,500 store employees in Russia were unable to get out onto the sales floor or engage with consumers.
1. Theoretical knowledge is half the battle
To prepare themselves for a changing retail landscape, our teams took the opportunity to engage in virtual workshops and e-learning sessions during the lockdown geared towards personal growth. Retail trainers, HR managers, store managers and territorial managers joined forces to modernize all training materials and facilitate the sessions – they held around 1,200 trainings in total! The benefits? Those who couldn’t work during this time got the chance to develop and maintain engagement throughout a time where normality had been thrown out the window.
“The best retail experts are the ones who know the most about our products and have great interpersonal skills,” says HR Retail Manager Lili Kuznetsova. “Equipping the teams with detailed knowledge of our products through the training during the lockdown, gave our teams the perfect opportunity to focus on ways to better connect and engage with our consumers once we opened up our stores again. They could really hit the ground running when the situation began to normalize.”
2. Psychological well-being boosts performance
“When creating our webinars, we knew that people would be going through changes in how they feel during self-isolation,” explain adidas Academy coaches Aleksandr Rau and Ekaterina Kolbe. “We understand that the challenges we faced were mostly psychological, and that it wasn’t about the circumstances but the subjective internal experience and the ability to cope with it.
“So, we also set out to help our colleagues learn about resources we offered on psychological well-being and to realize how they are capable of coping with the challenges.
“Since psychological well-being positively affects the quality of work and career, we are going to continue to focus on these topics in the post-lockdown world.”
3. How online connections supported career growth
During the lockdown, Taisiya Popovskaya took on her role as a Store Manager. “If you seek new learning opportunities and use the resources offered by the company to the max, the lockdown won’t slow down your career,” she says. “The weekly webinars gave me the chance to find answers to my questions on getting ready for a new role. They helped to give me confidence stepping into the new role – even in this challenging time.”
“Now that I’ve started working in a new store, I continue to learn and value collaboration – for it was collaboration that really helped us during the hardest of times.”
When you can’t practice your sport or profession, you can still grow in different ways, which will improve your performance in the long run. We can’t control what roadblocks we will face on our way, but we can control how we cope with them: Being flexible, open, and receptive to taking alternative routes gives you the strength to overcome any hurdle.