Convincing people inside your organisation that you’re doing the right thing when you’re receiving the wrong kind of grand slam outside is a tough battle – but one the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) believes it’s on the way to achieving.
It launched a new four-year strategy in April last year, with a mission to get more people playing tennis more often and ultimately to rejuvenate a sport that, like many others, has seen a 10-year decline in popularity.
It’s still early days, and high-profile players like Andy Murray still have plenty to say in the media about how much more needs to be done, but there are positive signs of progress.
“Sport England, which provides some of our funding and is a very important stakeholder, was very critical of us a few years ago, but has recently held us up as a positive example of an improving national governing body who are heading in the right direction when it comes to participation in sport,” said Beth Stallwood, the LTA’s Head of Colleague Talent and Development.
And, of equal importance, employees are appreciating the difference too.
Before launching the new strategy, the LTA conducted a baseline employee engagement survey among its 300+ staff – a diverse group comprising ‘shorts and suits’ and more than half in the millennial/GenY age group. While results were pretty good – a 90% participation rate and overall engagement score of 84% – it highlighted several areas that could be better, and only 59% said they believed action would be taken as a result of their feedback.
A year on – after a concerted focus on some of the issues raised – the proportion that believed action would be taken had risen to 73% and there were significant improvements in scores on at least 10 of the questions.
“We’re on a four-year journey and this is only year two, so we’re making good progress,” emphasised Beth.
“There’s more we need to do, but achieving so much in the first 12 months has given us confidence that we’re on the right track to achieve our goals.”
• Read more about how the LTA is using its engagement programme to support its four-year strategy in the next issue of IC Mag, which will be published in August. Download the app for free here.