Employees Say Watching Sport Can Increase Loyalty Towards a Company

England’s dismal performance at the Euros may not have restored your faith in the Three Lions, but letting employees watch the Euro 2016 football tournament may well have strengthened their loyalty towards you.

Totaljobs research found that 41% of UK employees who watched Euro 2016 matches during working hours said being able to do so increased their feelings of loyalty to their company.

The research also found:

  • 47% of employers think there is more workplace banter among employees during sporting and cultural events
  • 30% of employers see increased team morale during sporting events
  • 26% think their workforce is happier
  • 13% noticed more motivated employees and only 5% of employers reported a drop in productivity

With the Olympics in full swing, now is the time to be harnessing these findings. Such perks show your employees your human side. Chances are large numbers of any given workplace are going to have an interest in major sporting events, and encouraging this shows a recognition of the need for a work-life balance. On the flip side, to deny employees such perks — especially when increasing numbers of employers offer them — risks breeding resentment.

There was a time when employers’ attempts to ‘bond’ with staff amounted to quirky (and loathed) things like ‘wacky tie day’. But sporting events are something many of us genuinely look forward to and watching the game alongside the CEO can foster its own sense of team bonding.

There are of course boundaries and it is for employers to decide where they want to draw these. Indeed, employees shouldn’t come to expect time off to watch sport as and when it suits them.

It’s also important to monitor employees and especially during major sporting and cultural events it’s wise to apply slightly greater scrutiny to employees’ performance.

Our research found that during sporting events:

  • 26% of employers monitor sick leave
  • 15% monitor productivity within teams including whether they are distracted
  • 14% monitor working hours around big matches

Taking these precautions doesn’t make you Big Brother, but protects your business from employees getting carried away with a sense of freedom.

It’s also important to note that watching the game, or the 100m, or whatever it might be, shouldn’t be enforced. Nobody likes ‘forced fun’. Another of the interesting findings to emerge from our research was with regards to demographic. Here we found that 43% of men claimed that their attitude to work would be more positive if they were allowed time off to watch sport compared to just 28% of women. This being the case, maybe think of alternative perks for employees who aren’t so fussed about sport. Longer lunch hours or breaks during the time others are watching the sport, perhaps?

You can download the full report here.

That’s all for now … we’re off to watch the Olympics.

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