It is often said that there is no I in TEAM, but in reality, many workplaces lack the strong team spirit that leads to a super-productive workforce. These weak links are most obvious at times when employee loyalties are strained, such as during major sporting events when sports-mad workers can become distracted at best and absent at worst. The upcoming Rugby World Cup is one such event that can cause headaches in the office, with some employees preferring to spend part of their working day watching the game instead of completing essential tasks.
There is an answer however. Using events such as the Rugby World Cup to strengthen team bonds is the perfect way to improve morale in the workplace and give a boost to the job satisfaction that workers experience. Here are some useful ideas to try in your work environment this sporting season.
If your business hasn’t already considered offering employees flexi-time or early finishes on match days, you may want to think again. On days when matches kick off as early as 2:30 pm, you will get a lot more productivity out of your workers if you allow them to come in extra early in exchange for an early finish. Arranging a discussion with team members ahead of time to arrange cover for customer service over essential periods, and ensuring that employees are informed about their work schedules in advance, is a good way to improve employee relations. Workers appreciate it when their views are taken into account, and involving them in a conversation over the hours that they would prefer to work will encourage co-operation and compromise in the workplace. In return for accommodating flexibility in employees’ schedules, you will exponentially increase worker loyalty, strengthen team bonds and increase the amount of trust your employees have in you and your company.
Organise A Game
Take the opportunity of harnessing the interest in rugby at this time and arrange a touch tournament for your workplace. There is nothing like sport to bring a team together cohesively, and organising some healthy and fun exercise will achieve what years in an office setting cannot. When participating in sports together, your employees will quite literally be forming a team in a context that is easily identifiable. They will then bring that team spirit back into the office with them. Just one touch tournament can enormously improve employee relations both on and off the field.
Screen The Game
Rather than encouraging employees to go home and watch the game in the privacy of their own home, why not persuade them to stay in the workplace instead. Setting up a TV in a communal space in your office environment will encourage bonding between departments and people who ordinarily wouldn’t mix. This will only serve to strengthen team spirit as your workers discuss the game together. Ensuring that the screening area is kept away from the main work spaces will prevent distractions for those who have no interest in rugby and those who have essential work that needs completing on time.
Take the opportunity on match days to create a festive spirit in your office environment. Consider allowing rugby themed decorating during the World Cup and perhaps suggest that workers can wear rugby jerseys to identify with their team instead of the traditional “dress down Friday”. Another possibility is to arrange for match day snacks to be provided in the workplace. All of these activities are easy to organise and will vastly improve employee morale. It will also improve bonding between workers as they see who is supporting the same teams and mingle over the snack table. It has long been known that “casual Friday” has had positive effects on worker productivity, and this is just an extension of this ideology.
Of course these ideas can be extended to other events, and not just the Rugby World Cup. Workers deserve rewards for their hard work and loyalty throughout the year, and activities such as these are great ways to show your company’s appreciation for their dedication to duty. When workers know that they are appreciated they will work harder than ever before and although it may seem counter-productive to take time out of the working day to participate in activities of this nature, the boost to morale and team spirit is well worth it. Happy, valued employees are productive employees and it is worthwhile for all businesses to take this into account and use festivities and events such as the Rugby World Cup to work towards the ultimate goal of building a cohesive and dedicated team that will take your company to new heights of success together.