A company can see its productivity boosted by 6% to 9% by getting its employees to move so they stay in good shape. Here are some practices to implement within your company.
“The impact is enormous! An active brain brings benefits on concentration, productivity and motivation. That’s in addition to the team spirit that bonds. For the company, there is a reduction in health costs per employee,” double Olympic triathlete Kathy Tremblay enthusiastically recounts, who now works in Team Altius to offer customized active living programs to businesses.
According to a study carried out in 2015 by the Mouvement des entreprises de France (Medef) and the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF), sports reduces absenteeism by 30%, increases speed of execution and employee productivity by 6% to 9%. The company’s net profitability is improved by 1% to 14%.
Faced with these data, more and more business leaders are paying close attention to promoting physical activity within their companies. However, it’s not enough to set up a gymnasium on the premises to increase employee productivity.
“Any action can have a positive or negative effect. It’s not building a gym or giving money to employees so they can rent a gym that makes the difference. It all depends on how it’s done and how it’s interpreted,” explains Jacques Forest, professor in the department of organization and human resources and researcher at the École des sciences de la gestion of the Université du Québec à Montréal.
In his opinion, a business leader must above all consult with his employees on their willingness to participate in physical activities within the company. Otherwise it could result in the initiative being perceived as “controlling” by employees and have a negative connotation. In this sense, Mr. Forest adds that sports activities must be encouraged by the employer while still being offered on a voluntary bases.
To make it successful among employees, the program must answer three psychological needs: the need for autonomy, “which refers to the possibility of engaging in activities as a result of a free choice”, the need for skill “connected with being successful in tasks that present an optimal challenge” and finally the need for social affiliation “which relates to the fact of having an impression of belonging to a given environment.”
In line with company objectives
According to Kathy Tremblay, the company head must also take his business objectives into account – if he wishes to personalize his brand image, develop a culture specific to his company, reduce his group insurance premiums or have an impact on staff retention.
A company that wishes to reduce its insurance premiums should engage specialist physicians, such as kinaestherapists or physiotherapists, while a company wanting to personalize its image should rather promote group classes and promote them on social media.
In all cases, sports programs within companies provide businesses with the opportunity to understand their employees better and establish an informal relationship with them. It’s not only the team spirit that will be rewarded but also affinities between bosses and employees.