An Olympic boost for employee engagement

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New research by the Institute of Leadership & Management reveals half of organisations said the Olympic Games resulted in higher morale in the office

With the Paralympic Games starting in a few days, it’s another opportunity for businesses to trial flexible working in the coming fortnight.”

A post-Olympics survey of over 1,000 managers, by the Institute of Leadership & Management(ILM), reveals the majority (65%) of UK businesses said that the Olympics were less disruptive than expected; with nearly half reported no impact on their organisation and 79% of managers saying their jobs were not affected. Almost half (48%) of managers said that the Olympics had resulted in higher morale in the office.

Over a third (41%) of organisations allowed staff to watch the Olympics in the office. As a result 37% of managers reported being more productive and 67% said the workplace bonded over a shared experience.

Despite much speculation in the lead up to the Games about the potential impact on organisations, 43% of managers reported their CEO and senior management team did not communicate about working practices during the Olympics.

However, almost two in ten (18%) organisations did trial new ways of working, with working from home and altered start and finish times the most popular options. 43% of those said that their organisation is likely to continue to operate these working practices after the Olympics, and with the Paralympic Games starting next week it is another opportunity for businesses to test out different methods of operating.

On the subject of letting staff work remotely, 76% of managers vehemently disagreed with Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s pre-Games description of it being “a skiver’s paradise”. In fact, 18% of managers felt that it created a more positive perception of working from home and try out new working practices.

Charles Elvin, Chief Executive of ILM, said: “After such an uplifting London Olympics, it was great to discover that many organisations also felt some benefits.

“It is encouraging to find that businesses took the opportunity to trial flexible working practices and those that did found it far from being 'a skiver’s paradise’, their people were productive and motivated. We hope that organisations continue to offer more flexible working which, when properly managed, is a powerful motivator and helps to attract and retain talent. With the Paralympic Games starting in a few days, it’s another opportunity for businesses that didn’t trial flexible working during the Olympics to do so in the coming fortnight.”

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Smita Chakma
Institute of Leadership and Management
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