At a time when companies are looking for opportunities to reward employees and build morale, they should look to March Madness – the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament – for a temporary boost.
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The annual NCAA tournament kicks off on March 13.
The outplacement firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas does a survey each year to determine the impact of March Madness on productivity in the workplace. The firm encourages readers to take its results (hundreds of millions of dollars lost) with a “grain of salt,” and that despite a decrease in productivity and Internet speed during this time thanks to company brackets and the ability to watch games online, March Madness could also be a way to build morale and camaraderie. And that’s the part that caught my eye.
“This could mean putting televisions in the break room, so employees have somewhere to watch the games other than the Internet,” the company suggested. “Employers might consider organizing a company-wide pool, which should have no entry fee to avoid ethical and/or legal questions.” Some suggest using the viewing of games at work or participation in related activities such as a March Madness-themed BBQ as a reward for a job well done.
At the least, the firm suggests department managers should consider looking the other way unless following the tournament proves to be an “overt and significant problem.”
“Obviously if an employee fails to meet a deadline or if customer service suffers as a result of March Madness distractions, then there should be consequences,” it said. “However if employees are getting all of their work done and customers are happy and the biggest problem is a slow Internet connection for a couple of days, it may be best to let it slide.”