It’s time for your hospital’s staff to play ball

You can promote team sports to improve how your employees work together. Communication is crucial in getting started and increasing the fun for all involved.

Does your hospital have a softball, volleyball, basketball or some other sports team that employees can play in?

If not, your health care organization is missing out on a fun and positive way to connect with your workforce.

Here are four reasons why you should consider developing sports teams in your hospital:

1. Morale. Offering your employees a recreational outlet will help combat stress, boost morale and build on your organization’s culture. Employees will associate your brand with the endorphin rush they get from playing sports, and they’ll come to work with renewed vigor.

2. Teamwork. Few things will pull your team closer together more than training together and going up against a rival team in a competitive setting. Your employees will have the chance to interact in a more personal, intimate setting, and they’ll come to rely on one another to succeed. They’ll carry that spirit into their work.

3. Health and fitness. Poor health costs businesses more than $576 billion a year . If your team sport can get them exercising just two or three times a week, you’ll easily improve the collective health of your workforce. It doesn’t take much exercise to see physical health benefits, so even moderate or leisurely sporting can be valuable.

4. Brand representation. Team sports give you a chance to show off your brand. You can include your organization’s name in the team name, or even make T-shirts with your brand’s logo on it. It’s an easy way to gain some extra visibility in your business community.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Survey your employees. Find out what sports your staff would be willing to participate in, their interest in coaching, and availability for practices and events.
  • Research leagues in your area for your industry. If one doesn’t exist, consider sponsoring employee teams in an adult social league, or inter-organizational teams that can compete against each other.
  • Build excitement. Create a contest for selecting the team names, choosing logos and designing jerseys.
  • Provide safety equipment. Make sure you provide helmets, mouth guards and any other forms of protection that might be necessary for the sport you’ve chosen. Keep in mind safety considerations for non-contact sports , and make sure employees know the risks associated with participation.
  • Schedule your first practice and game. Ideally, practice sessions will be held at a convenient time and location to create a habit of regularly attendance. You should also be able to communicate to give your teams a date for their first game, so they have a goal to work toward.

Anna Johansson is a freelance writer, researcher and business consultant. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn .


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