According to a report by the World Health Organization, ‘physical inactivity’ is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. Over the years, our working lifestyles have changed radically. The majority of workers nowadays stay sitting down for most of their working day and this sedentary lifestyle is affecting our health dramatically. As a result of this lifestyle, employees are taking more and more leave for health reasons. And when they continue to come to work out of fear of falling behind with their work (or perhaps because they love their job), they are only exacerbating their health conditions. This is known as presenteeism and, contrary to popular belief, it can be worse for a company than absenteeism.
So what is the solution?
Do some sport at work!
While work is a priority at any office, there are times when employees need to let off a little steam. From a business perspective, sports is known to have a significant impact in terms of employee well-being, engagement, team spirit, inclusion, and it also helps foster a sense of pride for the company. So, whether you’re looking for a fun team-building activity, or employee wellness activity; planning an office sporting event is a great idea.
When it comes to planning a sports event, there may be some questions running through your mind over what is required concerning logistics, communications, and venue layout. To help you craft a great sporting event, People Matters in partnership with The Fuller Life hosted a master class on using sports as a tool for employee engagement. Arvind Krishnan, Founder, and CEO of The Fuller Life shared the following action-plan for planning your next sporting event.
So you have decided to organize a sports tournament for your organization. What’s next?
- Align your company’s philosophy with the events. Set the goals you plan to achieve out of the program.
- Once you set the goals, brand your program- create a website, promote it on internal media, etc.
- Make sure you include everyone in the decision-making process. Although management should have the final word, company inclusion of employees can be great when deciding what activities will go on the sports day itinerary. Conduct a quick pulse survey; create and visibly display a suggestion box.
Planning before the games:
Select the date of the tournament. Decide on the type of the sports tournament you want. Should it include multiple sports or a single sport? How many teams will be needed? Based on these data, select a venue that is accessible to everyone. Other necessary steps to keep in mind:
- Plan supplies-Make a list of items and supplies that will be required for your tournaments like scorecards, posters, timing clocks, medals or awards.
- Reserve officials and referees- Get external judges if you want to keep the competition fair.
- Review the plan- Go through all the details with the venue management, organizing committee, and volunteers so that everyone understands how the event will proceed. Assign all tasks beforehand and ensure everyone knows their roles and what you expect from them.
To get maximum participation, promote the event and promote it early and often. Draft the brand guidelines. Involve leaders and let them communicate the message to the employees.
While communicating with employees about the event, make sure you make it sound interesting. Create posters, mailers, social posts, etc. to communicate. Build an e-mail newsletter that will keep employees informed about upcoming events, games and everything else that is going on.
Sports act as a tremendous managerial tool, and hosting a sports event at work is a significant productivity factor. During the webcast, Arvind shares that sports not only impact employee’s well-being and engagement but can contribute to business agendas like diversity and inclusion, teamwork and collaboration, and corporate social responsibility. E.g., competing for a good cause turns sports day into a charity event and helping the company become socially responsible. Sports allow employees of different cultures, background, gender, and race to come together to play and nurtures inclusion, team spirit, and collaboration.
Once sports day becomes your companies’ tradition, each event will improve your employees’ office dynamics, providing them with something fun to look forward to throughout the year.
(The article is curated from the masterclass given by Arvind Krishnan, CEO and Founder of The Fuller Life on using sports as a tool for employee engagement. The webcast was hosted by People Matters in partnership with The Fuller Life. If you have missed the webcast, you can access the recording from here.)