With the end of the Olympics quickly approaching it has become apparent that the games have instilled a new found sense of pride in fellow Canadians in what has been a dismissal few years. Those who would not typically watch sports events now find themselves glued to the tube tuning into hours of curling or skating coverage or surfing the net to find out how Canada is positioned in the global medal race. Now if only organizations can achieve that level of engagement from their employees. Imagine the productivity!

With a potential increase in absenteeism and decrease in productivity due to patriotic employees wanting to watch the Olympic events, companies have found creative ways to keep the focus on the task at hand while offering support to those going for GOLD. Employers are allowing their staff to take breaks to Google the latest event results. Others are paying homage to the Olympic race by going as far as televising the games in a communal area within the organization such as a lunch or conference room. Employers see this as an opportunity to encourage interaction amongst its employees and further solidify a bond all while boosting morale. Employees see their employers in a different light when they share the same interests and promote national pride by supporting athletes.

However with flexibility in the workforce comes the opportunity for exploitation. The Olympics shouldn’t be a reason to put your job on hold. Companies need to make it clear to their staff that their jobs still need to get done and they must meet their business goals. In such a situation, Employers are forced to rely heavily on the trust aspect of the Employer-Employee relationship. Keep in mind, by providing opportunities in the workplace to stay connected to the events at the Olympics during business hours, it will make it less likely that individuals will call in sick or sneak onto the internet behind an Employer’s back in an effort to be in the loop.

By acknowledging the importance of the Olympics and promoting all the positive energy that comes from it, employers will be able to avoid a dramatic decrease in productivity. Instead many are finding creative ways to incorporate this monumental event into their employee engagement strategy whether via office contests, dress down days or televising coverage. With the Olympic frenzy in full effect and companies’ overwhelming support, organizations may perhaps find a motivated employee whose own goal is to reach the podium in the workplace.

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