Throughout the world, the 21st soccer world cup brings people together. In the workplace, it provides managers with a unique occasion to unite their workers around a common interest. Research shows that when colleagues share emotions and are focused on a common interest, it builds up their team spirit and makes them more productive in the long term. However, in every company, there are people who are not interested in the world cup. What can be done to include every worker in a series of team-building activities?
1 – Organize an online sports forecast contest.
Betting and sports forecast contests are a tradition. A very common misstep in this matter is to focus on the people who are passionate about the world cup, and to exclude everybody else. Nowadays, online platforms provide services to organize online betting contests in companies. Don’t forget to promote the contest and to explain how it works with billboards and emails. Many of the people who are not interested in soccer will be keen on showing their competitive side. Choose interesting prizes that will speak to everybody, not just to soccer aficionados. For example, movie tickets, tee-shirts or tableware will prompt everybody to participate.
2 – Emphasize the cultural aspects of the World Cup.
The world cup is not only about soccer. It is a cultural event which transcends sport and attracts a lot of attention for its universal aspect. This year, thirty-two countries are proudly displaying their flag, their landmarks and their national anthem. This cultural angle undoubtedly speaks to the workers who are not soccer fans. It gives them the occasion to talk about their ancestry and their travels, or simply to display their general knowledge. Organize thematic lunchbreaks at work with international food and cultural quizzes. For example, if your company is in a big city, you can get in touch with a Russian caterer and propose a Russian lunchbreak.
3 – Organize a table soccer championship.
Surprisingly enough, many people who hate soccer are actually very good at table soccer and enjoy it very much. Constitute teams and assign a team name and a country to each. Once again, with this activity, the non-soccer fans will be able to show their competitive side and to blend in with the soccer fans. Make sure the teams are mixed: don’t put all the soccer fans in one team.
4 – Provide a space dedicated to the World Cup.
All these ideas wouldn’t make sense without a possibility for the employees to gather round, and to watch together live games. It is much better if a room is dedicated to this. If a game is aired during a lunchbreak or after working hours, make sure finger food and sodas are available. Everybody should be invited to the games. Internal communication is key to the team-building aspect of these events. Indeed, the World Cup room cannot be a sanctuary for die-hard soccer fans only. An effective way to include everybody in a World Cup party is to provide make-up, wigs, jerseys and flags. The crazier the outfits, the more people will feel like true supporters, even those who didn’t like soccer in the first place.
5 – Find a place for everybody.
There may remain a group of workers who don’t like sports forecasts, world food, quizzes, table soccer, television and junk food. In order for these people to blend in at work, they have to express themselves. Offer them a way to showcase their skills. For example, if one of the soccer critics is passionate about photography, ask them to take pictures during the World Cup events at work. If they are interested in social media, ask them to create a Facebook page for your company’s fan club. If they love decoration or make-up, entrust them with the World Cup room decoration or with the supporters make-up.
Conclusion – The World Cup gives companies a great occasion to strengthen professional relationships between employees. Whatever you decide to organize to celebrate the World Cup at work, team building has to be the underlying reason for it. Consequently, everybody has to be able to fit in and no one should be left behind.