High profile tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup bring out the sports fan in anyone. The energy is infectious enough to grab the attention of those who aren’t usually into sports. Events like the FIFA World Cup are conducted once in four years. It also marks the end of the careers of many sports stars, while new heroes rise.
As someone who isn't too keen on football, I was drawn to the upset match between Mexico and Germany, the 95th-minute goal of Kroos, Iceland’s draw against Argentina, Argentina losing against Croatia. So much of the sport got my adrenaline rushing, whether it's scrolling through Facebook newsfeeds, discussing the match or arguing over never-ending debates about Messi or Ronaldo.
One of my colleagues at an earlier job took a day off from his office to watch the match between India-Pakistan at the 2015 World Cup. And on the eve of the India-Pakistan semi-final match at Mohali in 2011 World Cup, the Vice Chancellor at the University I was studying in declared the next day as a holiday.
In a work environment, the stakes are high as day-to-day operations, and targets could get hampered. But it's time for organizations to embrace the power of the tournament.
Here are a few things organizations can do:
- Work and play: Instead of playing the hardball with your employees, accept the fact that most employees would be eying the scoreline. People cancel trips and even somehow manage to get sick for a day. So why not allow them to work and have fun? If your company has a TV screen, why not screen the football match in the cafeteria?
When your employees can stay productive while taking some time away from work, Why not support them? Make sure you help the line managers and employees to organize and plan their work well ahead of time.
- Dress code: Flexibility in the dress code is much appreciated. It is not uncommon for sports fans to support for their teams by wearing a sporting jersey or in some cases using face paint or tattoos. Trusting your employees by allowing them to exercise their judgment shows that you care. Make sure you clearly articulate professional situations when dress code needs to be maintained. Sometimes, small steps at fostering a festive atmosphere can help break the ice and may also help employees get to know each other better
- Engagement and giving back: The euphoria of high profile sports events could lead to friendly matches. Use it as an opportunity to support initiatives. Whether that’s fostering team building or leadership skills or in driving health and wellness related awareness.
Companies also use this time to engage in volunteering activities – such as supporting schools or sports clubs at the local level.
Ideate as to how you can make the work atmosphere festive and supportive. Remember that a happy workplace leads to more productivity.