GNcareers, from Gulf News

Using sports to build and strengthen teams

Using sports to build and strengthen teamsImage Credit: Supplied

Sports has a large role to play in the overall development of a person. Whether it is physical fitness which brings stamina or the ability to focus on a goal, the drive to win or work with others, sports is a low-cost investment in holistic self-development.

Regular practice inculcates discipline and channels energy productively. Encouraging employees to play a sport, either together or an individual, ensures that they do not waste their time in fruitless gossip.

There are many ways of getting employees organized – by creating an in-house sports club which employees can be encouraged to join. Alternatively, the organization can take a corporate club membership and offer club facilities to its employees.

HR may have to take an active role initially to get tournaments started and facilitate the formation of teams, set practice timings and make transport arrangements, till the teams start driving the momentum. HR may also have to get involved through regular visits, sharing player's achievements, showing support and ensuring that the time is actually being used to play sports.

When employees come together to play and participate in tournaments as a team, they learn to work across departmental barriers to win as a team, learn to obey rules, respect others for their performance, and take risks.

The playing field tests their decision-making and coaching skills, thus helping prepare them for leadership roles. While it is not necessary that every good player will go on to become a great leader in the organization, there can be no doubt that they get a lot of visibility in the organization, spread positive energy and work well with others across cultural barriers.

Handy Hints:

• Create an in-house sports club which employees can join

• Take a corporate club membership, offer club facilities to staff

• HR has to get tournaments started and facilitate team formation

Source: Geet Mala Jalota, Special to Jobs & Careers

The writer is an Independent HR Trainer and Consultant