Workplace engagement


London 2012 will be the world’s largest sporting event: from 27 July to 9 September, TVs across the nation will be permanently switched on to the greatest show on earth — and the nation will be absorbed. But as Britain’s employers, does that present a problem or an opportunity?

We think the Olympics offers the perfect chance to boost morale, motivation and teamwork; so we’re sharing our five top tips on how to achieve all of that in your organisation this summer (and beyond).

1. Engaging your workforce

Committed employees are far more productive and act as great ambassadors for your brand, which is why employee engagement is such a hot topic. And there’s no better way to engage than through a common sense of purpose. Involving employees in Olympics activities and supporting them through a busy few weeks — whilst having lots of fun — could go a long way to unlocking that extra 10% from your staff (a legacy that’s likely to last long after the closing ceremonies).

2. Overcoming cynicism

You can’t please all of the people all of the time. There’s bound to be the odd team member that has a bit of a moan about this summer’s sporting events, but if the rest of your workforce has an appetite for embracing the Olympics, then get involved with some 2012 activities — the rest are bound to follow when they see what fun you’re having.

3. Appoint ambassadors

The best way to drum up support is with a great ambassador that can imbibe the true spirit of the Olympics into your workplace. Choose the key influencers across your company (whether that’s business leaders or big personalities) and get them involved in planning your activities. Whether it’s site by site or floor by floor, give them the resource, authority and support to really be able to make a difference. And make it fun — otherwise they might feel like they’re being dumped on.

4. Share the spirit

Big sporting events really bring people together, so chances are, most of your employees will be pretty keen on watching some of the top events together. If that’s the case at your company, you’ll want to consider the practicalities of making it happen.

  • Decide which events are ‘communal watching opportunities’.
  • Work out the logistics of turning cafeterias or meeting rooms into viewing areas.
  • Sort out any hardware issues. You might need to bring in TVs or extra monitors. You’ll also need to make sure you have a TV licence for the building.
  • Consider how you’ll ensure equal treatment for people not interested in the Games.

5. Have fun

Whether it’s to build engagement or sharpen the competitive spirit, there are loads of fun activities you can introduce at your workplace throughout the Olympics:

  • Office Olympics
  • A sales conference built around a business decathlon
  • ‘Fan walls’ to support particular Games participants
  • A ‘party in the park’
  • A summer fitness programme (incentivised walk/cycle/run to work)
  • Olympic breakfasts
  • Olympic buffets
  • Decorating the office

And our favourite:

  • Gold Medal duvet days (for a random selection of people if GB wins more than three Gold medals in a day)

Download these handy top tips on Workplace Engagement