Bringing the spirit of March Madness into your office
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
The NCAA men's basketball tournament is underway, and while die-hard college basketball fans are hoping for great success with their tournament brackets, teams participating in the tournament are hoping the mythical powers of "March Madness" work in their favor, en route to a national championship.
This is the time of year where work productivity in your office may take a slight dip, particularly on the first two days — Thursday and Friday — of the tournament. Back in 2015, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. reported a cost of $1.9 billion in terms of lost wages paid to distracted and unproductive workers nationally. But when John A. Challenger, the CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, was asked if employers should ban tournament brackets, office pools and access to streaming the games, he emphatically answered, "Absolutely not."
That's because the spirit of March Madness can be used to your advantage at work. For starters, the values of camaraderie, retention, communication and strategy all should play a role in company morale.
Let's start with communication. Think about how many of those people you work with to whom you never speak. You may have been at your company close to 10 years, and while you recognize faces, you couldn't call certain co-workers' names to save your life.
March Madness on the TV can give you a common denominator. Who's to say that you and that mystery co-worker aren't rooting for the same team? And if you are, consider that a conversation starter and an ice-breaker for the next time you see each other around the office.
From a camaradeie perspective, there is nothing like a room full of people getting fired up about the same thing. It's the same reason why higher-ups like planning company outings to local sporting events. That energy drawn radiates, and it can be infectious.
March Madness can draw similar energy in the office — and when that game is over, think about how that energy can be used once everybody's officially back on the clock.
One of the best things March Madness does is it reminds an unhappy employee why he wanted to work for the company in the first place. In some office environments, retention doesn't happen and is treated like a four-letter word. In others, it's like changing clothes daily.
According to Indeed's Talent Attraction Study, 71 percent of people in the workforce are open to or actively seeking a new job. Companies want to feel like they made the right decision the first time with an employee, and most employees would love stability in their careers. Keeping an employee happy is key, and a little college basketball on the tube can help in this case.
Finally, March Madness helps strategy. How, you might ask? Consider it a domino effect of sorts. A good basketball team is going to learn all about its opponent before stepping on the court. It's going to do everything to gain the advantage before the tip-off and do all it can to keep the momentum in its favor.
A good business is going to use the same policy with its clients. The last thing you want is to be in competition with another company and lose the battle because you weren't prepared. If you've never heard of the six P's, now's the best time to learn them.
We've all heard the expression "teamwork makes the dream work." And for the next couple of weeks, college basketball will help your team if you let it.
Whether you're rooting for traditional powerhouses like North Carolina, Duke or Kansas, or you're hoping for underdogs like Mount St. Mary's, Troy or Texas Southern to pull stunning upsets, let March Madness build your company's spirit in and out of the office.
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