The Website and Blog of HR Author and Speaker Lori Kleiman

March Madness… Embracing it, or driving YOU to madness??


Here we go again – it’s time for the NCAA brackets and like it or not they have become as ingrained a ritual in the office as taking off the Friday after Thanksgiving. So what’s all the noise about – according to an annual survey by Challenger, Gray and Christmas, businesses stand to lose $1.2 Billion in productivity due to the NCAA Tournament.

How is this determined – looking at the time employees spend creating brackets, checking for updates during the day and then comparing where they are with their co-workers. Many aren’t even in the same pool – and even more are in multiple pools causing additional time lost.

But why not consider the other side. Use March Madness as a time to build camaraderie and have an office supported activity that won’t cost you a penny! The brackets are also a time where people come together just to know each other better. In 2013 I took a little known team – Belmont College – all the way to the Sweet 16. Why? Because my niece went there and it was such a stretch for her to get in. She has been really successful there – and I was so pleased at how Belmont supported her, it was my little way of giving back. Of course no one knew about the story before, but by the end of March Madness 2013 my co-workers had a bit of information about me and my family that brought us a bit closer together. What might this do for your overall productivity in 2017 – even if you loose a little in March?

An article in The Washington Post shares the same sentiment. A dear friend owns an interior design firm that is extremely overworked at the moment. The good news is they have 3 new clients, all very high profile. There is not a single person on the staff of 9 that knows anything about the NCAA tournament – but they are all going to take 30 minutes over lunch and pick brackets this week. The owner is sponsoring a $50 dinner gift card for the winner of the tournament. All just a way to lighten the mood a bit in the next 3 weeks!

Yes, its frustrating to have our IT systems taxed because people are checking their bracket, but is this a way for your sales team to finally connect with the shipping department? It may make a huge difference the next time that key customer needs something to go out – and shipping has already punched out for the day. These are moments of productivity that are never tracked – and can never be taught!

Do you handle HR for your company and feel like you’re being pulled in a million different directions, to the point of exhaustion? The fix is on the way! Click here to find out about more HR Hacks to make your life A LOT easier.

Photo: Marianne O’Leary

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