In case you haven’t noticed, sports play a very big role in peoples’ lives today. Everyone seems to have that one team they cheer for constantly or that one team they loathe with a passion. And this transitions from sport to sport, age group to age group. Some center their entire week around that one day their team gets to play. There are many different traditions. Some invite all their friends and family over, have a big party with food and watch the event on TV, others are there tailgating outside whatever arena from the crack of dawn, just waiting for the chance to scream and cheer with everyone else.
Now, in my own life, sports (or rather, professional sports) have never played a huge role. My parents never had a weekly NFL party or made me watch a certain baseball team over and over growing up. In more recent years, we have started cheering on the Colts (I’m an Indiana boy, what can I say?), but I still don’t feel the camaraderie that others seem to share on a yearly basis.
However, that being said, I can completely understand the mentality and group love behind a team and think it is a wonderful passion that can be translated into other areas of life. What if every employee understood their organization’s financial goals and strategies as well as they knew every single statistic of a player or players from their favorite team?
To many, the team they cheer for is a representation of their hometown and who they are as a person as well. They take pride in where they are from and show that pride by supporting those who represent their city or state. What if we took that much pride in where we worked and who we work with?
Looking back on the jobs I’ve had, I can only count a handful of places that I felt genuinely happy to be at and would want to cheer on and support. Granted, maybe that’s my own fault. But I believe it’s possible to love a company culture so much you’re considered a “fan.” I’ve seen multiple companies invest so much in their employees they are thrilled to cheer when they hit a record sales year or unveil a new product.
You’ve read how important it is to brand your organization on social media. Make sure you are branding to your employees as well. Invest in them and they will invest back in you. This may come through the process of Onboarding your hires and making sure they know how integral and wanted they are in the organization. Every business has a different formula, but effective onboarding leads to building bench strength by creating passionate, knowledgeable employees that want the company to succeed. I love wearing shirts that display my company’s logo. I love being asked about it and getting to talk about the work I do and the organization I get to work for every day. I am a fan of my company. I believe in my company. And I will grow and give back to my company because they believe and invest in me.
It might be cliché to say “get in the game,” so instead I’ll say, “support your team.” Wave your flags, paint your face, dump Gatorade on your boss (not advisable, just an analogy) and build a franchise noticed by the masses.