Does it pay to bring office competition to the field? Instead of watching your employees compete for using the copier in the office, you should reroute that energy into getting them engaged in a tennis match? Many companies are now seeing the benefits of holding corporate sports events. At first, these events aim to improve employee health and well-being. Over time, companies found that these events’ more important impact is in employee engagement, productivity, and retention.
In fact, although research showed that the primary motivation of firms for holding sports events is to make sure their employees are healthier, a big percentage of them are also focused on improving office culture and retaining staff. They found out that the more employees are happy in the workplace through team building activities such as sports events, the more likely they will stay with the company. In turn, this eliminates the costly recruitment process that takes place when a staff resigns from work.
Everyone—from the CEO down to the maintenance staff—is collaborating to win. During a sports fest, you have one goal: that is to win with your team. In fact, so important are these collaborative activities that big companies even have basketball and tennis courts (seeing as these are the least expensive to maintain) in their buildings. They work specifically with a tennis court contractor, so their employees will have a chance to practice their serve regularly and use that serve to win during the sports fest.
Sports is a much more humane and engaging way to foster collaboration among team members. An email blast can never provide the same experience that employees get when they join corporate sports events. CEOs and human resources departments are finally seeing the importance of sports events to improve teamwork in the office.
What will help employees work better? Finding a formula to overcome differences will make them better employees. If they can overlook these differences and find common ground, they can achieve more finishing tasks and accomplishing goals. People don’t always see eye to eye, whether in personal or work relationships. It’s the ability to see past these differences that will make them effective members of your team.
This is true in sports. While you may not agree with some of your team members, you will try to work with them as teammates because you are pursuing a common goal—to win. You need to carry this mindset to the office.
In basketball, when the shot clock is winding down and you are heavily guarded, what should you do with the ball in your hands? Should you take the shot or pass to an open teammate? This is where trust comes in. Even if you think you’re better than an open teammate, you have to pass the ball to someone who has a better chance of making the shot. That is trust.
It is the same thing with working with people. While you may not like some of your office mates, that doesn’t mean you will interfere in their work or micromanage them. You need to learn how to trust your colleagues to do the right thing. When there is trust, there is confidence among the team members. They’ll be able to create a fun working environment where everyone will thrive.
Sometimes, colleagues tend to leave out a person or group of people who don’t share the same interests. This creates division in the office. It need not happen if there are activities such as the sports fest to foster a sense of community and inclusivity in the workplace. Sure, you may have different interests and talents, but that doesn’t mean you cannot work together.
Sports fests allow everyone to participate and feel like they are contributing to the company’s good. Even workers who can’t play sports can still participate in some form—cheerleaders, serving cakes, looking for sponsorships, and many more. True enough, sports fests bring out the fun in everyone.
Teamwork and camaraderie bring businesses to new heights. As long as everyone is working towards a common goal—to attract more followers and get more sales, for example—a business can do well. But teamwork and camaraderie don’t just happen overnight. It takes years to foster this kind of relationship among colleagues. Providing an avenue for them such a sports fest to let loose and build lasting friendships will help. This is the kind of investment in people that businesses should no doubt make.