March Madness is an exciting time of year! You’ve filled out your brackets, and your favorite team has never had such a good first round match-up. You’ll do whatever it takes to watch the big game. But it’s not so exciting if you’re a manager or a supervisor. You have goals to reach and quotas to maintain—there’s no time to waste. But if you have a staff who just wants to watch basketball all day, you’re about to get frustrated. Here’s how to keep your staff focused during March Madness.
Experts estimate that March Madness costs almost $4 billion in productivity. And since the country’s average hourly wage is $25.35 and the average worker spends six hours each March filling out brackets, watching games, and checking scores, it’s tempting to put your foot down on the whole tournament and ban anything basketball-related from your office. But wait! That tactic could have the opposite effect, causing damage to morale, loyalty, and engagement.
A long-term lack of engagement can have a much more devastating effect on productivity than a few hours watching basketball. Encourage your team to have fun, but remind them that it shouldn’t mean putting their work on hold.
Once you embrace that your staff will probably waste some time over the next few weeks, you can help them focus during the work times. Breaks are actually good for productivity! In general, when workers take a fifteen-minute break, they return to their work more focused. If you allow your team to watch the last few minutes of a buzzer beater game, they’re likely to return to their workstations and buckle down to work when it’s over.
Otherwise, you risk having them sit at computer, repeatedly checking scores behind the work they should be doing. Most workers take breaks throughout the day anyway, you might as well let it be a basketball break so you can also foster some camaraderie at the same time. And if your company blocks certain websites from its network, you might consider adding televisions to the break room. That way, your employees are only watching basketball during designated breaks.
Let your employees what tasks need to get done no matter what. Certain responsibilities are too important to be neglected, so make sure your team knows which ones absolutely must get completed and by when. If the Madness gets too out of hand and work isn’t getting done, then you have to step in and put a stop to it. But as long as your employees are completing their work and adhering to company policies, then a little fun never hurt anyone.
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March Madness will only hurt your company’s productivity if you let it. Just make sure your employees are taking advantage of their work time and making sure they get the necessary work done. For more tips on keeping your staff focused and engaged, contact the experts at Focus of Georgia.