Encouraging Sports in the Workplace is a Good Idea – How to Do It and What are Some of the Benefits

People in Professional Wear Running on a Track
June 16, 2020
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A study conducted by the Social Issues Research Centre back in 2006 considered the impact of sport on the workplace, from simply watching major tournaments to employee participation. The results found that 80% of men and 70% of women believed that workplaces could use sports as a tool to boost performance. Additionally, 45% of males and 43% of female respondents believed that playing a sport with colleagues would increase productivity and morale.

The evidence is strong that introducing sports to the workplace has the potential to be a good thing for business. Here are some options for taking advantage of this idea.

Create Teams to Work Together

We are encouraged to participate in sports from an early age. From the many health benefits to team interaction and coordination, parents have recognized how sports help to create a good environment for helping their children to grow into healthy adults. This doesn’t necessarily stop when we get older. That interaction, sense of being part of a team, and the continuing health benefits are vast. Most companies rely on their employees working together to get things done, either across a whole department or in more focused groups, so putting these early-years lessons to work through employee sports participation can offer many benefits.

Providing staff with an outlet for exercise can help to realize those benefits by encouraging employees to keep active and healthy. If team sports are an option, perhaps set up a work sports team. You could also look to weekly or periodic individual-type sports – like weekly bowling nights, or golf leagues and outings.

Golf has Always Been a Business Game

Golf is uniquely positioned for conducting business, and with the social interaction and conversation that the sport is known for it is the perfect option for introducing a sport to your staff. But of course, social distancing is still recommended and that is why this sport is your ultimate game. For those who aren’t already golfers, there are plenty of available resources to help them to learn the game.

Encouraging Sports in the Workplace is a Good Idea - How to Do It and What are Some of the Benefits 1

After all, business meetings never take place over football, basketball, or softball games, but because the average round of golf takes about four hours – not including time at the “19th hole” for drinks after the round – the sport has always been a catalyst for making connections and building networks.

From a company’s standpoint, insight into the personal qualities of the players is also a benefit of the sport of golf. Integrity and personal responsibility are a foundation of the game, along with manners and respect. These traits, or the lack thereof, can be helpful knowledge when the time to evaluate staff arises. Golf has the ability to show the best and the worst in a person – and sometimes in the same round of play.

Network on the Course, Inside and Outside your Firm

The game of golf has been a vehicle to build personal networks for years, and the opportunity is the same for a business. Weekly golf leagues at a local club can provide ample team-building opportunities for employees, while a periodic outing – inviting clients and other associates – can help to build that network for your business as well. Consider having groups or foursomes from your company participate in local golf events, which will inevitably produce more personal connections than a phone call or email.

Corporate golf events are a great way to spend quality time with clients. It provides a great opportunity to spend valuable time with your existing and prospective clients. While you may typically behave just a brief meeting with your clients, attending a corporate golf day allows you several hours in a relaxed environment to strengthen the relationship with existing clients and convert prospective clients into actual clients.

It can also display your level of professionalism, as running your golf day in a professional manner re-enforces the service and quality levels of your brand, especially to prospective clients. If you’re active on social media, the exposure your brand can receive through targeted social media leading up to and following the event is invaluable. Look to set up a Facebook page or Twitter profile. And of course, Instagram photos can be a great way to show how well the day is going. Another option would be to set up a company blog where participants can follow pre-event updates and post-event recaps.

Golf events are also a great way to say thank you to your clients. By recognizing your clients, having corporate outings provide an important opportunity to thank existing clients for their loyalty and business.

Golf’s Health Benefits

Since COVID-19 hit the world, most people are especially concerned with their health. For the past few weeks, people have been encouraged to stay at home and stay healthy. The problem most workers have is a sedentary lifestyle, where getting into a healthy and fit body is very challenging. Well, exercise is a great way to battle it, but sometimes it is hard to engage in such. Getting into sports is a fun way to meet your goal of being healthy and fit.

What can’t be discounted are the health benefits of a round of golf. Most players will walk about four miles when completing 18 holes of golf, and will be spending time outdoors, which can help to lower stress and reduce anxiety. The British Journal of Sports Medicine recently published “The Consensus State on Golf and Health”, validating the health benefits of playing golf. They cited increased longevity, lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and improved strength and balance in older adults – the physical gripping of a golf club can help to stave off the onset of arthritis. Other benefits included lower cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels.

So the benefits that workplace sports, specifically golf, can bring to your business are many. The science is behind the concept, as the extra endorphins that are released through exercise can give staff more self-confidence and energy, as well as help to improve their overall mental health. Employees who are in better shape are much less likely to become ill, reducing the amount of sick time taken and eventually increasing productivity and saving money.

Author bio: 

Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer who is now mentoring and teaching golf. He also owns a golf publication site, Golf Influence, where he shares tips and tricks to improve the game. Jordan firmly believes that golf is beneficial to both physical and mental health. It is also a great sport in the workplace.

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