I love this time of the year. March Madness. The time to complete your brackets for the Men’s and Women’s NCAA basketball tournaments and have a lot of fun in the workplace. You can’t stop the buzz and conversation around the water coolers or beer kegs at this time of the year, so it is time to embrace one of the nation’s favorite past times and get your bracket on.
I love sports and sports references in the work place. Those who say they don’t like sports references will turn right around to form a new team or complain they can’t find any ‘A’ players to knock one out of the park in crunch time. Sports and sports activities are a great way to build some camaraderie in the office and there is no better activity than the NCAA brackets.
In my 20-plus years in the corporate and office trenches, I have participated in many bracket challenges within my companies. We used them for team building activities and as ways to get to know team members. I have been a part of a great group of HR professionals in the “HR Dribblers” pool. I enjoy highlighting the winners, talking about the upsets and Cinderellas, and bemoaning the loss of my pick to win it all.
While most corporations will frown upon these activities, I encourage you to embrace them. Grab a bracket with some of the groups you work in or support and have a little fun. I’m sure Challenger, Gray and Christmas will post their “loss of productivity” stats. I’m sure there is some merit to them, but if your employees are going to be doing this anyways, why resist? You may learn a few things about something they are interested in.
For this March, I encourage you to fill out a bracket. Quit spending time on Fishbowl, one of the biggest culture killers to hit the market yet, and find out some of the great things happening in your company. Get to know your colleagues and learn about their interests. If you know nothing about college basketball, pick your favorite mascot or team color. Whatever you do, have some fun over the next three weeks.