A team that works well together is a team that brings results. Therefore, promoting sporting events as a team-building and personal connection tool will help produce the results every company is after.
Often times, especially when businesses become larger and the number of employees increases, the effectiveness of teamwork tends to decrease. This happens because the connections with new coworkers are not as strong.
Additionally, the time to dedicate to each person becomes progressively less and less. Eventually, you end up with a weaker network between team members and a low performing division.
At this point, most of us think that this is just how things go, but what is often overlooked is that problem solving and group work are like muscles. They can, and should, be trained and used to create personal connections.
We have a lot of personal connections in our lives. There’s our family. Then there’s our friends. But one important relationship out there that we often overlook is the bond we have with our coworkers and employees. These relationships often take a different approach, which VP Legacies discuss in our Personal Connection 101 course.
But for now, let’s look at how sporting events can help you with team-building, personal connection, and increase the overall performance of your team. This is especially important during the coronavirus pandemic, since many offices have become remote. It may seem impossible to have the same connections with your coworkers when you can’t chat with them face-to-face or work together on a project, but with the right mindset and bonding experiences, you’ll find that your connections can be stronger than ever. Even from home.
Use Sports as a Safe Training Environment for Your Employees
If teamwork can be trained, then we need a way to practice without hurting the company. Here friendly competitions come into play. Creating a safe environment where your employees can experiment is crucial to improve their performance. You will never have a better team if you don’t give them the opportunity to train.
By utilizing sports to practice teamwork, you allow your employees to train these skills in a new environment. This removes the frustration they might be feeling at the office for not performing well as a team. While playing sports, they will start to practice without fear of failure. This allows them to focus on a fun and social task at hand for experimentation. In the end, this helps build personal connection, communication skills and a better understanding of their capabilities.
Strengthen Team Cohesion Through Matches
Divide the different sections of your company into teams and organize tournaments of team sports (soccer, basketball, etc.). Each division will have to communicate, practice problem solving, and read the opponent to bring home the victory.
This “group effort” will encourage everyone to work toward common goals and will build a sense of community. All aspects will be then transferred to their everyday life in the office. If you’re doing this from home, create a Slack channel for each “team” so they can strategize and bond together over the challenge and the tasks at hand.
Build Healthy Competition to Improve Results
In addition, to enhance the performance of single teams, tournaments build a healthy competition that drive everyone to do better. After the event, a slight “game” atmosphere will remain, and the general quality of the work produced by the divisions will improve.
And don’t be afraid to offer rewards, whether it’s a fun activity or cash money. Nobody will ever complain about receiving a gift card. But to further build on these relationships, maybe offer a fun game night over Zoom for the winners (where winners of those games will get some type of prize). This creates an opportunity for coworkers to hang out together even when projects and deadlines are not involved, carrying over that sense of comradery into every-day work life.
Using Soccer as an Example
Imagine that we have 30 employees: we can divide them into 6 teams of 5 people. At this point, we can start planning the tournament. Set up symbolic prizes for the first team and for the 3 best players (free lunch at the office or something similar). Randomize the order of the matches and that’s it.
You just set up a perfect environment for the creation of personal connection. Your employees will be forced to work as a team toward a common result and bond with each other= to win the prizes. Even if in a playful way, you are training their ability to perform better as a team.
Create a “safety net” for More Sustainability in the Long Run
Sporting activities, especially group ones, are perfect for connecting and creating relationships. Building connections in a slightly competitive environment will form deeper bonds faster, which will, realistically, perform better under pressure.
Multiply this mechanism for all of your employees and you will end up with a network of strong and reliable personal connections.
This “safety network” is really the key to success when things get complicated in the office. Supporting each other during tough times helps everyone with their tasks and put effort into each project.
If you are aiming for long-term success, the sustainability of your team =makes a difference. A supportive system gives flexibility to the team and will allow it to maintain the same level of performance even if some members are going through difficult situations.
Sports, Team-building and Creating Personal Connection are Fun and Will Improve Office Culture
Physical activity is ultimately just fun, and it will help you to spread joy among your employees and colleagues. Group activities that involve team play and physical exercise have been shown to lower stress levels and ease the tensions in the workplace. They promote a more relaxed and proactive attitude, which is the approach you are looking for in a team member.
For this reason, it is best practice to schedule different activities during the year. In this way, you will make sure to relieve stress levels and office tensions.=. In addition to this, you will encourage new entries to connect with their peers and become part of the community.
The benefits of using sporting events as a team-building tool are summarized below:
- Create a safe environment for your employees to experiment and become better team members.
- Remove any frustration or fear of failure, allowing them to concentrate only on working as well as possible together.
- Promote a team-oriented mindset and encourage everyone to work toward a common goal as part of a community.
- Encourage healthy competition in your own company, which will push every division to perform better.
- Allow the formation of deep networks between your employees, that will support them during hard times and grant you a more stable performance over time.
- Just give your workers a good time and help them to ease tensions in the workplace. A crucial part of long term success.
These kinds of bonding activities are especially important in the coming months, now that employees are remote. A chance to work together as a team, feel accomplished and rewarded, and even find ways to bond outside of projects, will keep your coworkers feeling connected even when they’re physically apart.
A lot of people aren’t used to working remotely and could feel disconnected now that there’s nobody to say “hi” to in the office or no brainstorming sessions in the meeting room. But creating a vibe of teamwork and motivation will give everyone a new reason to bond with each other, even if it’s over Zoom calls instead.
If you need even more motivation on how to maintain personal connections during the coronavirus pandemic, check out VP Legacies’ free course, How to Personally Connect in the Midst of a Global Pandemic.