March Madness? More like office madness

By Adam Robinson,
March 21, 2013

How do you keep employees engaged during the biggest basketball (some may argue the biggest “Sports Day”) of the year? When you work at a startup it’s practically impossible to stop March Madness from invading the office and that is precisely what’s happening here at Hireology. 

However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Let me explain; today while dozens of basketball games are going on in the backgrounds of employee computers and people are checking their brackets in the bathroom stalls to avoid the boss, Hireology stuck to a plan. The plan was for Hireologists to be able to enjoy March Madness while staying engaged and focused on their individual goals.

Think that’s impossible? Here’s 3 tips to do it in your office:

Let them play

Part of the fun with March Madness is everyone can participant, even if they hate the sport! Office brackets are a fun and competitive way that the entire team can play, and not feel left out. Here’s how we did it: The Hireology office bracket challenge was optional, free, and the prize was not money, but a DAY OFF! 

Who doesn’t want a day off and bragging rights for the entire year? Even if Sarah from Accounting doesn’t watch basketball she can still pick teams based off mascots – it’s worked before! Allowing your employees to participate in fun team activities like March Madness, boosts their morale and productivity. It’s a proven fact

Let them represent

Right: That’s Sales Development Manager, Corey Fein, representing his alma mater!

We don’t really have a dress code at Hireology, but it is defintely a blast to come to work in your alma mater’s colors or jersey. Allowing your employees to wear their favorite team colors on first day of March Madness is a way to get your employees into the office in a good mood. 

Another great idea is to allow them to wear a jersey or jeans for charity. Illinois has a great program called Jeans for Wishes where employees can donate money to the “Make-a-Wish” fund and wear their team’s colors or jeans for the day. Offices can set up individual teams and it’s a time where everybody wins!

Let them watch

This is always the hard part. Come Noon on the first day of the tournament, every employee will be more focused on hiding their screen from the boss than actually working. Productivity goes way down at this point because your employee’s are thinking of ways to conceal the fact that they would rather be watching the big game than completing their Quarterly report.

Today at Hireology, we have a projector on the wall showing the games. It’s muted, but anyone sitting at their desk can see it. Now I’m not suggesting you invest in a movie theater to watch the games because some things don’t work for everybody. But I am however suggesting you allow your employees to listen to the game, or watch from there computer (here’s the kicker) as long as they get the work done. 

March Madness does not have to be office madness. It can actually be fun and incredibly more productive than you ever thought possible. How does your office have fun during the tournament?

Erin Borgerson is the Marketing Coordinator/Tweeter/Crisis Controller/Culture Ambassador (the last two titles she gave to herself) for Hireology, a web-based selection management platform that provides customized interviews, job profiling, and one-click background checks to help you hire the right person. Start your free trial at today!

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About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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