March Madness is almost upon us, filled with employees watching games online, filling out brackets, and talking with friends about the games. Every year at this time, I hear about the loss of productivity during the basketball games (see my blog on this from last year). What I don't hear about is how much employees enjoy some flexibility to watch the games and dare I say, have fun at work. This can lead to improvements in employee loyalty and other correlated behaviors like being highly motivated, recommending the company to others etc.
A company I have worked with, eTapestry, was recently featured in an article on what they do during the games. eTapestry has an amazing culture. I attended an employee meeting a couple of years ago and it had to be the most fun all-employee meeting I have ever attended. Not surprising, they have very high employee loyalty and are a very successful company.
The days of the tournament games, they televise the games, have a cookout (including spam), and have games. They make it -- I am going to say that word again -- "fun" to be at work. Do they probably lose a bit of productivity during the games, probably. However, they trust that their employees are mature enough to know what needs to get done and manage their work accordingly. They also know the long-term benefits having a great culture will have on the overall success of the organization.