It’s that time of year again. Leaves are changing colors, the heat finally is dying down, and of course, football season is here. Native Texans know the importance of this seasonal sport better than anyone as rivalries form and competition rises. Outside of the office, this competitive behavior is appreciated and even encouraged. But bringing some healthy competition to your workplace through office leagues or pools can add excitement and build morale. Through a fantasy football league or a fantasy league centered around a hit show like The Bachelor, you can bring employees together over common interests specific to your workplace environment.
Improve Employee Culture
The people we work with impact how we view our job. In fact, our coworkers are a big driving factor to our work related happiness, productivity, and engagement with work. Alexander Kjerulf, an international author and speaker on happiness at work, shared with Forbes that “employees who have positive workplace relationships are happier at work (in fact, good workplace relationships are one of the most important sources of workplace happiness) and we know that people who are happy at work are more productive, more creative and more successful overall.”
Fantasy Leagues create a shared experience over which employees can bond. Two employees whose relationship had previously not gone beyond a mumbled hello or quick wave in the hallway now have a mutual topic of conversation. Fantasy Leagues are a great way to stimulate relationships and build connections, ultimately improving workplace morale and employee culture.
Grow Your Social Network
Not only do fantasy leagues encourage relationship building through face-to-face interactions, they also offer a great opportunity to grow your social network.
According to Leanbox, “20% of respondents said their involvement in fantasy sports enabled them to make a valuable business contact.”
The popularity and growth of fantasy leagues has exploded over the past few years. What started many years ago as a hobby has boomed into a following of millions who invest their time and money in these fantasy leagues. According to the Fantasy Sport Trade Association, “In 2017, there are 59.3 million people playing fantasy sports in the USA and Canada.” And when you take a look at who's playing fantasy football, you can see that there’s a huge business and networking opportunity here.
Create Friendly Competition
Everyone likes a little friendly competition to keep things interesting! While bragging rights are always something worth competing for, adding a prize brings a little more incentive to the competition. Tieing in prizes brings out a fun, competitive spirit that keeps people interested, and motivates them to bring their A-game. Whether it’s a trophy, an extra vacation day, or a pizza party in the winner’s honor, offering a prize makes the competition a lot more fun. And this kind of competitive camaraderie is right at home in the workplace.
According to Harvard Business Review, competition at work inspires innovation, “The competition format has fueled major successes in business… And organizations can also use competitions to drive innovation within their own workforces.”
Participating in a fantasy office league brings an added competitive element to the office that will motivate employees to push themselves, and this spirit will pour over into their work.
Work together and play together. Anytime a fantasy league draft or pick is scheduled, it’s an opportunity to gather with the other members of your league and revel in the excitement of the competition together. This group-oriented gaming encourages the kind of collaboration and teamwork that every office needs.
A recent Randstad US study found that “nearly 9 in 10 workers (89%) agree office pools help build better team camaraderie.”
Using fantasy leagues as team building activities results in collaboration between coworkers, which can inspire innovative ideas that help progress the business forward. In the right environment, teamwork becomes an automatic and daily occurrence. Fantasy leagues not only help spark this teamwork , they also ensure that it is an ingrained part of the work culture.
If you’re looking to improve office morale, drive business results, and strengthen employee camaraderie, starting a fantasy league may be the way to do it!