Hold onto your hats. Fresh research coming from the US this week suggests a new key driver behind successful employee engagement – having an office fantasy football league.
Hang on. Not the same leagues that – in my humble experience – create huge interest during the opening weekends in August but seem to be mainly forgotten by the end of September?
Yes indeed. Fantasy football* competitions help to create workplaces that “have employees who play and socialise together”, according to the Best Places to Work survey from Quantum Workplace.
The workplace survey company, who interviewed almost 1,500 US workers as part of the research, revealed:
* People participating in a fantasy football league with colleagues had higher scores on teamwork and trust.
* There was a staggering engagement gap of nearly 12 percentage points between employees who participate in fantasy football with co-workers and those who participate but not with colleagues.
* NFL fans tend to be more engaged. Of the NFL fans surveyed, 75.3 percent were highly engaged, compared to 63.8 percent of non-fans.
Jason Lauritsen, Director of Best Places to Work at Quantum Workplace, said: “Companies serious about culture should identify and foster opportunities to bring employees together and insert fun into the workplace.
“As you can see, sometimes something as simple as an office fantasy football league is a way to bring together your people and build engagement.”
He added: “The results seem to indicate… those who play together, stay together.
“Leaders of great workplaces invest time and money fostering connectedness between employees. Employees at best places to work often describe a feeling of ‘family’ in the workplace.”
* For clarity, I feel I should point out that the research is talking about the NFL rather than actual football. As it’s based in the US that’s fair enough, but the thinking and approach behind the concept remains the same whatever sport is utilised.