The urge to become successful is overwhelming in this fast-paced world. Dealing with long working hours has increased employee stress. Employers are constantly working out ways to ensure their employees are not burnt out and are fit to perform in the best possible way. Among the various ways of pushing for employee wellness, focusing on sports and wellness alongside work is one of the ways to ensure good health and employee productivity.
In an ideal scenario, one often looks for a perfect workplace. A place that provides a supportive setting and encourages a healthy work-life balance. Incorporating sports as an essential part of the office program can help in the quest of achieving that goal.
Organizations must remember that the employees are their assets. The wellness of the organization depends on the well-being of its employees. They must offer such ambience which always brings the best out of the workforce.
Providing hygienic infrastructure, wellness privileges, and uniform growth prospects should be their responsibility. To achieve the perfect work-life balance, organizations must always promote a fit lifestyle. And one of the ways to achieve a healthy lifestyle is by encouraging participation in sports activities.
How does Sports Help in the Corporate World?
“Don’t aspire to be the best on the team, aspire to be the best for the team”- Brian Tracy
It is not easy to quantify all the positive impacts of sports in the Corporate world. From clear health benefits to employee engagement and boost in productivity, the gains are immense. I have tried to point out some of the most striking advantages below.
1. Encourages Discipline and Team bonding
Sports have a blend of values that reflects on our day-to-day life. They provide a platform to practice discipline and maintain strong bonding with colleagues. Sports push employees out of their comfort zone and clubs the work-related pressure with an element of fun.
The friendly competition in sports teaches the value of discipline, tolerance, and cooperation. Playing any kind of sport leads one to observe situations better and promotes team-building opportunities.
2. Improves Judgement and Management skills
Playing any kind of sport helps the employees to judge a situation better. To win a difficult situation, the employee has to understand the challenge’s demands and adapt accordingly.
Also, team sports teach how to manage the available resources in the best possible way to achieve success. It enhances one’s management skills and helps one make the right decisions. The problem-solving, and strategic thinking traits from sports help employees handle their primary tasks better.
3. Boosts Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is measured by the emotional investment of an employee in the workplace. It is their commitment to the workplace in terms of time, energy, and the level to which they are willing to push themselves to achieve organizational success.
Sports also boost employee engagement. The friendly rivalry in a game also encourages the employees to understand the value of leadership. It helps improve adaptability, which is essential for team coordination.
4. Achieving Health and Fitness Goals
It is probably the most obvious of the benefits listed here. An employee who is actively involved in sporting activities will always maintain optimum health goals. Physical exercise is essential to burn those extra calories and keep employees fit. It also regulates blood circulation and saves employers from investing those extra dollars in their employees’ health.
5. Gracefully Accepting Failures
It is a universal fact that in life, you will not always get success from every situation. Sometimes you have to accept failures even though that is the last thing you desire. Sports convey this vital message of accepting defeat or success with grace.
When you are competing with others in a game, it is not guaranteed that you will be victorious. Just like you, the others who will compete will also hate losing. So employees must understand that they must put their best foot forward but not expect the results to be favorable all the time. They must be humble enough to accept the outcome they deserve and look forward to improving from their learnings.
6. Helps in De-stressing from Work
Sports are a great stress buster for employees. Physical activity causes the body to release endorphins. It is that chemical in the brain which relieves pain and stress. The levels of stress hormones, cortisol, and adrenaline are also reduced.
Sports also improve the mental health of the employees. It makes the mind relaxed, and the person is less likely to be depressed. Studies have shown that 30 minutes of exercise each day can make the employees calmer.
Sports and Wellness activities to Incorporate in your Wellness Program
Incorporating sporting activities in your organization is the easiest way to push for health goals. Several kinds of indoor, as well as outdoor campaigns, can be integrated periodically. And such activities can have individual participants or a group.
- Indoor Sports
- Outdoor Sports
- Individual Sports
- Group Sports
The work environment should be a perfect blend of formal and informal activities. Indoor games provide organizations with an easy way of providing recreational services.
With the outbreak of the covid pandemic, organizations across the globe are using indoor recreational activities more than ever. Offices can dedicate a small area for a games room, where people can visit to de-stress. Employees can utilize such spaces to play games like carrom, cards, chess, and other indoor games. Organizations with higher budgets can install play stations, table tennis, and pool tables.
Outdoor games involve those physical sports where an individual has to push their body much more than their mind. Organizations worldwide conduct several annual events like football matches, cricket tournaments, marathons, and hiking. It provides a perfect blend of togetherness and creates a company culture. Also, the outdoor activities offer the employees to connect directly with nature and surroundings.
A workforce can have different personalities. The option for individual sporting activities provides introverted employees with an opportunity to express their talent and socialize in the best possible way. Examples of Individual sports include-
(Photo Credit- Paul Green, Unsplash)
Success is an individual’s achievement, but organizations thrive only with collective participation. Organizations use several group sports to generate sportsmanship and team spirit. It enhances engagement within the organization.
Some of the examples are-
- Beach Volleyball
- Table Tennis
Change in Sports dynamics due to COVID-19
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has brought a fresh set of challenges for employee health. It has also impacted how organizations provide sports and wellness initiatives for their employees. As most of the workforce has shifted to work from home, the face of sports and recreational activities look different.
Some of the examples of engaging employees in games during covid are-
- Organizing virtual marathon
- Charades over zoom
- Online quiz events
- Watch-along of sporting events
- Office Step challenge
(Photo Credit- Fitsum Admasu, Unsplash)
The idea is to assimilate as per the demand of the time and engage employees in the best possible way without compromising on the fun factor. This period of uncertainty will eventually be over, and everyone in the organization must work by keeping the element of happiness in their day-to-day life.
In all sporting activities, performance is not the most essential aspect — it is team spirit. It is not always about achieving the best performance, but about creating those special moments together, mastering the challenge together, combining sports and social values, and meeting new people.
(Photo Credit- Serena Repice Lentini, Unsplash)
However, there is a risk with any kind of exercise-based health promotion initiative. Employees can perhaps try and push themselves too far hence risking injuries. It is essential to do this responsibly to achieve the best possible outcome.
But the gains from such activities in the life of an employee surely outweigh any such repercussions. Organizations must invest much more in sports and recreational activities to rejuvenate their employees and reap the rewards of lesser absenteeism, more productivity, and a much fitter workforce.