Something I think many of us struggle with as leaders is how lenient we should be with regard to non-work related activities. One hot button topic this month is the number of people participating in the college basketball championship tournament (“Brackets”). A recent estimated a $1.9 billion loss of productivity across US workplaces during March Madness. I happened to see a few articles embedded in my news feed chastising employees’ involvement. Forbes then stepped up to the plate to defend the time being spent at work on bracket related activities by highlighting the positive qualities that come with it.
Like with most things, March Madness can be an enjoyable activity that will foster goodwill for everyone – when managers and employees add a little EQ. Here are a few things to think about considering both sides of the coin:
Employees Should Practice Self-Awareness and Self-Control
• Appreciate the fact if your managers openly allow your participation.
• Keep it in check by not letting it interfere with your regular commitments.
• Include everyone that wants to be included, but be respectful of those wishing to opt out.
Employers/Managers Should Practice Empathy and Flexibility
• Instead of focusing on a temporary loss in productivity, look at the gain you get in team building and camaraderie.
• Everyone has a cell phone, the reality is there is no way you are going to prevent it from happening. If you can’t beat them…
• Get involved! Not doing so could land you smack dab in the middle of Ego Trap #7, Losing Touch with the Frontline Experience.
• Set aside some time each morning for everyone to get updated on the scores, do a little trash talking, make some predictions, and then get back to work.
• Just remember, it’s only three weeks of your life. This will pass.