10 ways to keep your employees motivated during the Rugby World Cup

WE_Cup_Stadium_Backdrop_3The excitement is building, soon the Rugby World Cup kicks off with England v Fiji and lasts until the end of October.

Like the Football World Cup, fans around the globe are waiting with baited breath for the matches and employers see the potential for distractions in the workplace as employees try to follow updates or take time out of work to watch the match.

However, rather than be a distraction the Rugby World Cup provides employees with an opportunity to boost morale, encourage team spirit and increase employees’ job satisfaction, if done right.


If you have rugby-loving employees, then here are five ways to help your employees meet deadlines or maintain customer service levels and five ways to encourage team spirit and improve motivation:


Five ways help your employees meet deadlines or maintain customer service levels


1. Set clear goals

Encourage employees to set weekly and daily goals for themselves so that they can remain focused on the activities that will help you meet deadlines and maintain customer service levels.

2. Identify the priorities

By planning out their day employees can identify those tasks that are the most important. Ask employees to focus on the three most important tasks each day, this ensures that the work gets done but allows time for engaging in World Cup activities and new tasks that might land on their desk.

3. Focus on your customers

Every business relies on its customers, so during this time when there could be distractions ensure that your customers and their needs are at the top of everyone’s mind. Keep talking to your customers so that if something does go wrong, you can fix it quickly.

4. Set strict time limits on meetings

Employees may want to talk about matches, but keep meetings focused and only as long as they need to be. By using everyone’s time more efficiently you give them the opportunity to get their work done and engage in the workplace activities.

5. Don’t multi-task

Encourage employees to focus on one activity at a time, by doing so it can contribute to improving productivity and performance, as well as reducing mistakes.



Five ways to encourage team spirit and improve motivation


show rugby games1. Show games in the office

If you have a television in the office, breakout room or coffee break area consider showing the matches live, it can be a great bonding experience for your employees and give them a chance to socialise with employees they may not normally meet at work.

2. Offer flexi-time

Some matches are due to kick off as early as 14:30 and not everyone works a traditional nine to five. Before the World Cup starts sit down with your staff and discuss watch matches people will want to watch, and how you can make flexi-time work for the duration of the World Cup whilst still meeting deadlines or maintaining customer service levels.

3. Encourage match day activities

Allow employees to decorate their desks with the colours of their favourite team or come into work wearing their team shirt/colours on days when their team is playing. You could even organise match day snacks that come from the countries that are playing that day.

4. Engage in friendly competition

employee team spiritEncourage a little friendly competition with either a sweepstake or ask employees to pick the first four places, and answer a tiebreaker, perhaps how many tries will England convert. Offer prizes but tailor them to the competition, for example, Australian wine, vouchers for an Italian restaurants, or an experience day based in the Home Countries.

5. Recognise and reward

Create a ‘Man (or woman) of the Match’ award for every day of the World Cup and award it to an employee who has demonstrated a particular behaviour or value such as teamwork, customer service, or collaboration. By doing so you can include those employees who aren’t rugby fans.



Enjoying the festivities of the Rugby World Cup can be a good reward for hard work and commitment, and can be used to encourage team spirit, improve motivation and create a feel good factor. Just remember to be inclusive of all staff whether they are office-based, field-based or remote workers.


John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
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