Your company and its employees will inevitably face challenges throughout the year. Whether you are dealing with the uncertainties of the pandemic, have a big project on a tight deadline, or your sales need an extra boost before the quarter ends, your employees continually face challenges. To overcome these situations, you need to cultivate a culture that has the strength to overcome obstacles. So how do you create this type of resilient company culture? By encouraging and enabling your employees to get more involved in company sports!
Resilience is the ability to withstand and to adjust to adversity and change. Much like strength and endurance training, mental resilience is built over time and involves a combination of inner strength and outer resources. You might be surprised to learn that this type of mental and physical resilience can be developed through company sports.
How – you ask? Research supports that well-executed company wellness programs result in happier, healthier, more focused, and motivated employees. Simply put, those who maintain a healthy and active lifestyle are equipped to cope and work through challenging experiences!
Let’s take a look at some of the ways doing company sports together will lead to a healthier and more resilient company culture.
Four Ways Company Sports Benefit Your Team
1. Increased Motivation
People need to move to maintain their health, feel good and be productive. But many need the motivation to move! People are spending much more time glued to computer screens and less time exercising these days. According to the most recent Eurobarometer on sport and physical activity, 12% of Europeans sit for more than 8.5 hours per day. 15% don’t even walk for 10 minutes at a time at all in a weekly period!
Employers can, and to some extent even have the responsibility, to make sure their teams don’t fall into the trap of sedentary behavior. Start by encouraging wellness activities during work hours and offering a company sports program for everyone. Your employees will experience an increase in motivation as they work(out) together. Teaming up with other employees and engaging in healthy activities together also provides structure and accountability. Your employees will build a sense of team spirit, and you create an environment in which people encourage each other to achieve milestones and connect on a deeper level.
The magic happens when these health benefits carry over to projects in the office.
2. Enhanced Physical and Mental Performance
Clinical results show that by following a regular exercise plan, employees sleep better and lower both their blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Exercise counters depression and to dissipate stress!
Physical and mental benefits include:
- Improved heart health
- Increased energy
- Weight management
- Disease prevention
- Boosted immune system
- Better social connections
- Reduced stress
- Increased productivity (including positive effects on creativity, learning, memory, and concentration)
When a work challenge arises, you want your people to be mentally sharp and equipped to tackle it.
Stronger bodies + stronger minds = a stronger team
3. Increased Team Loyalty
While considering a corporate wellness program, look for one that includes variety, accountability and team support. These qualities are ideal for team scenarios. Beyond the team benefits, company sports lead to individuals that feel valued and understood. Recognition is critical to an employee’s mindset and results in increased loyalty and productivity.
Provide opportunities for physical activities (such as a solo run or workout) and opportunities to exercise as a group (like a HIIT class or yoga). This shows respect for both your introverts and extroverts. It also lets employees choose activities based on their preferences, mood and schedule.
Studies show that businesses with effective company wellness programs in place retain their employees longer and have a lower attrition rate. One Director of Benefits and Compensation in the tourism industry put it this way:
“Employees who participate in our wellness programs do not leave.”
While employee retention is a great long-term goal to strive for with your company’s sports programs, the immediate benefits of a happy and healthy team make it well worth the effort.
4. Less Employee Absenteeism
Healthier employees mean more hands on deck to conquer challenges. There are dozens of published research articles which assert that comprehensive wellness programs result in reduced absenteeism. Why? People miss less work because of better health conditions, reduced stress, and healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels.
Sure, reduced absenteeism also means you save money for the company’s bottom line! But the real benefit is having your team working and exercising together like a well-oiled machine.
Employees who exercise regularly and practice mindfulness reduce fatigue, anxiety, stress, and other conditions that can typically lead to conflict in the workplace. Less conflict results in a more positive environment, which makes it much easier (and more desirable) for employees to come to work and participate in any wellness initiatives you’ve put in place.
Creating a Clear Path to Team Resilience
As we said before, adopting a healthy lifestyle often takes motivation. And sometimes, when work seems like the most pressing thing, fitness falls by the wayside. This is why it is important to have a corporate wellness program – to encourage everyone to stay on top of their physical and mental health, and to build resilience. What that looks like for each company will be different depending on the size and needs of your organization.
You might start by giving employees 30-45 minutes within the workday to engage in a physical activity or do a meditation. If that seems like too much, you may choose specific days of the week to do this. Considering both the short- and long-term benefits mentioned above, it makes sense to build in some time to focus on self-care.
Communicate this policy clearly and encourage employees to use this time. If you can find ways for employees to share fitness feats (i.e. photos from a group run or videos from a dance or rock climbing class), even better.
Encouraging social connections through company sports is one of the best ways to build resilience. Positive peer interactions within and supportive environment is a leading factor in an employee’s performance and emotional well-being.
Working together to build a healthy, positive and resilient company culture takes time. But the results are worth it. Not only will employees feel better, but you’ll work together to create a more positive and resilient company culture.
Looking for company sports ideas?
Check out Urban Sports Club’s corporate programs with over 50 sports to choose from like yoga, swimming, cross-training, wellness and much more. Your entire workforce will benefit from the flexibility and variety of the award-winning corporate sports programs that are delivered via live online courses, outdoor group training and studio workouts.
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