The UEFA Euro 2016 tournament is now in full swing and anticipation is at fever pitch. On the 10 June, the first match kicked off as France defeated Romania and the tournament continues until 10 July. Football fans from all 24 participating nations and beyond will be watching the games with baited breath, as the summer festivity of sport kicks off with a bang.
Many employers have understandable and legitimate concerns that events like UEFA Euro 2016 and the Rio Olympics can lead to repeated distractions in the workplace. These global sporting events can cause employees to take time off from their working day to watch these events. However, there is also massive potential for employers to use these events to foster and create an esprit de corps i.e. team spirit, increasing workers’ job satisfaction and boosting employee morale by wholeheartedly embracing the Euro 2016 fever in the factory or office.
Here are a few ideas how an employer can use the Euro 2016 tournament to create team spirit in the office:
Offer employees flexi-time options
With some matches kicking off on weekdays as early as two o’clock, management could offer your employees who normally work 9 to 5 a chance to watch some of the Euro 2016 excitement.
Focus on the hours that would make sure that customer service needs are met and let your team members know their expected hours in advance of matchday to avoid last minute “sick notes”. Allowing the workforce autonomy and flexibility in the working schedule is a sure fire way of offering your team responsibility and trust, which will thereafter help improve job satisfaction and team productivity.
Facilitate a workplace five-a-side football tournament.
Robust exercise and healthy but friendly competition can help create and maintain a sense of team spirit in a manner that is otherwise difficult to achieve in an office setting. Setting up a game of football between departments or sections of a business is an excellent way to tie in with Euro 2016 and create a corporate bonding exercise both on and off the pitch.
Show matches in the workplace
Allowing workers to watch the games together can help create relationships between offices and departments that wouldn’t happen otherwise. If you set up
a conference room or screen the matches on the canteen TV or a stream on a unused laptop or workstation (maybe set to mute) will help ensure that non football fans who haven’t caught Euro fever are not distracted with tasks or looming deadlines that, after all are the reason they are in work!
Set up activities for the day of the match.
Allowing workers to don the shirts of the sides they are cheering for on a “dress down” Friday is an excellent idea. Why not festoon your office with a football theme and furnish match day snacks and nibbles from the nations competing on the day to help create a culture of camaraderie and esprit de corps in the office. This morale boosting procedure will create a knock on effect to boost employees while they are going about their everyday tasks.
If your budget and workplace schedule permits, why not take your team or “star performers” in each department or office to a live game? Corporate hospitality boxes are a feature of all modern sporting games and can be an excellent way to network and create new contacts and leads for your business. The expense is tax deductible, and travel costs to nearby France are not as expensive as flying to Rio for the Olympics or Moscow for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
If the “purse strings” are too tight to allow management and workers fly to France for a game, why not organize an office “charity bet” in which a team is allocated to each worker, and if the team wins the tournament outright, the winner gets to nominate which charity his or her colleagues must donate to? It could be a great opportunity to showcase corporate social responsibility, and earn positive media plaudits for your business. A “fantasy football” league based on Euro 2016 is another, less expensive way of boosting office camaraderie.
Encouraging workplace staff to enjoy the footballing festivities of Euro 2016 or similar sporting events can be a fine reward for their dedication and efforts. As workers begin to feel the the middle of the year blues, these collective activities are an excellent way to help make workers feel valued. By focusing efforts on your staff’s workplace happiness, you will create a strong team that are highly motivated and hitting high productivity levels from kick off to the final whistle!.