Using March Madness to Maximize Productivity

Noticing that your employees are a little more distracted than usual?

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament could be to blame.

According to statistics cited in this article in The Wall Street Journal, March Madness is an extremely costly distraction for U.S. businesses. With an estimate of over 60 million Americans taking time out of their workday to research teams, complete brackets and check up on games, all that time adds up – costing employers roughly $1.9 billion in 2015 alone.

That’s billion, with a “b.”

Is your business doomed to experience a productivity dive this month? Not at all! In fact, these smart tips from PrideStaff explain how to get in on the excitement March Madness creates – and use it as a morale and productivity booster:

  • Take an “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” mindset.
    Whether you’re a fan or not, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament is going to happen. Employees will be checking their phones and discussing games around the water cooler. So why not embrace the madness, too? Instead of forbidding employees from participating, find ways to incorporate it into daily business for the next few weeks.
  • Dedicate time to March Madness activities.
    Sound crazy? Consider this: it’s far more efficient for employees to take a single, condoned break to check scores and updates, than for them to sneak around during their work day, interrupting their workflow four or five times. And if employees aren’t into basketball? Tell them they can use those 15 minutes to make a phone call, do a little online shopping or take a quick break. Yes, you will lose a bit of productive time over the short-term, but the payoff in terms of increased morale will be huge (and long-lasting).
  • Highlight inspirational players and teams.
    Many of the athletes competing have amazing back-stories. And it’s likely that a few underdog teams will triumph over “shoe-in” favorites. Use those stories to inspire your staff! Whether you bring up the topic during a meeting or feature it in an email or newsletter, think: what lessons can your people and company learn from NCAA players’ discipline, perseverance, decision-making and teamwork?
  • Create March Madness competitions.
    Encourage a little friendly competition among employees and work teams with basketball-inspired contests and prizes. With a little creativity, you can channel the tournament’s excitement and use it to drive your own team’s performance.

Another smart way to keep productivity high in March?

Make sure you have the staff you need to support your team. From covering last-minute call offs to tackling big new projects, PrideStaff can quickly provide the right people to make every work day productive. Contact your local PrideStaff office today to learn more.