5 Tips on How to Boost Employee Engagement Through Sports

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Do you have a sport you like playing? Keeping active increases employee engagement by improving teamwork and communication, as well as your physical and mental health as an individual. In celebration of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), join us as we explore the many benefits of sport!

Employees who feel more welcome produce a more unified and driven workforce. Sports events offer a laid-back and enjoyable setting for workers to connect and have fun away from their regular responsibilities, enhancing relationships and communication at work. Additionally, physical activity can increase energy and mood, fostering a happier and more productive work atmosphere.

Boosting Employee Engagement with Sport on International Sports Day

Employee engagement is crucial for a thriving workplace. It’s not just about productivity but also about creating an environment where employees feel connected and motivated. People who feel more welcome produce a more unified and driven workforce, and sports events offer a laid-back and enjoyable setting for workers to connect and have fun!

The Power of Sports in the Workplace

Sports are not just about physical fitness but also a powerful tool for building a positive and engaged workplace culture. According to a study by Gallup, this leads to a 21% increase in profitability. Incorporating sports into the corporate environment can profoundly impact employee morale, teamwork, and overall job satisfaction.

Reducing Absenteeism

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Regular participation in physical activities, such as sports, can also improve health outcomes and lower absenteeism from work, which, according to the American Institute of Stress, costs employers approximately $300 billion annually in the U.S. alone.

Alternatively, a survey by the American Psychological Association found that 53% of employees feel more productive and engaged when their organization supports a culture of well-being. This is consistent with the findings of another study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), wherein workers who engage in physical activity take 27% fewer sick days. 

By supporting sports participation, businesses can encourage a healthier workforce and lower absenteeism costs.

Enhancing Creativity and Innovation

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Sports activities can also stimulate creativity and innovation among employees. A study published in the Creativity Research Journal found that physical activity, including sports, enhances cognitive flexibility, leading to more creative thinking and problem-solving abilities. This can be particularly beneficial in dynamic and fast-paced work environments where innovation is key to success.

Attracting and Retaining Talent

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Providing wellness and sports programs can attract potential workers in today’s competitive job market. According to a Society for Human Resource Management survey, 87% of workers consider an employer’s health and wellness programs when making an employment decision. Businesses can attract top talent and increase employee retention by offering sports participation opportunities.

This is also related to the idea of a work-life balance, which, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), plays a key role in employee retention and satisfaction. Offering such activities in the workplace can provide employees with opportunities to pursue hobbies and interests outside of work, contributing to a healthier work-life balance and less stress.

Celebrating International Sports Day at Work

Organizing sporting events, such as friendly games or fitness competitions, can strengthen bonds between coworkers. This day, in keeping with a UN initiative, celebrates sports’ role in advancing peace and development.

Implementing a Sports Program in Your Workplace

Celebrating the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) is crucial for promoting employee health and wellness in the workplace. By recognizing this day, employers raise awareness about the role of sports in enhancing physical and mental well-being. Participating in IDSDP activities inspires and motivates employees to engage in physical activity, fostering teamwork, stress reduction, and a sense of community within the workplace while promoting work-life balance and demonstrating a commitment to employee well-being. 

Ultimately, observing IDSDP allows employers to invest in long-term health and wellness while minimizing attrition and productivity losses due to stress, contributing to a healthier and more productive work environment.

Implementing a sports program in your workplace can be a game-changer for employee engagement and overall well-being. Here are five detailed steps to help you kickstart a successful sports program:

#1 Assess Employee Interests and Needs

  • Surveys: Conduct anonymous surveys to understand the types of sports or physical activities your employees are interested in. This ensures that the program caters to their preferences and increases participation.
  • Feedback Sessions: Hold focus groups or feedback sessions to discuss potential sports activities and gather suggestions. This can also help identify any concerns or barriers to participation.
  • Inclusivity: Consider the varying fitness levels and abilities of your employees. Offer a range of activities, from competitive sports like basketball or soccer to more inclusive options like walking clubs or yoga sessions.

#2 Plan and Organize Events

  • Event Calendar: Create a calendar of annual sports events and activities. This could include one-off events for International Sports Day, regular weekly sports meetups, or even a company-wide sports day.
  • Logistics: Consider the logistics of each event, including venue, equipment, safety measures, and any necessary permits or insurance. Partnering with local sports facilities or hiring professional instructors can enhance the experience.
  • Communication: Use various communication channels like email, company intranet, or bulletin boards to promote upcoming events and encourage sign-ups. Clear information about the event details, schedule, and how to participate is crucial.

#3 Foster Team Spirit and Friendly Competition

  • Teams: Encourage employees to form teams, which can help build camaraderie and a sense of belonging. Teams can be department-based or mixed to promote cross-departmental interaction.
  • Competitions: Organize friendly competitions or tournaments with small prizes or recognition for winners. This will add an element of excitement and motivate participants.
  • Recognition: Acknowledge participation and achievements, whether through company newsletters, social media shoutouts, or awards ceremonies. This can boost morale and encourage ongoing engagement.

#4 Ensure Safety and Well-being

  • Risk Assessment: Conduct a risk assessment for each activity to identify and mitigate potential hazards. This includes ensuring that the equipment and facilities are safe and suitable for the intended use.
  • Health Considerations: Provide guidelines or resources for participants to understand the physical demands of the activities and any precautions they should take, especially if they have existing health conditions.
  • First Aid: Ensure that first aid kits are available at events and that designated individuals are trained in basic first aid and emergency procedures.

#5 Evaluate and Adapt the Program

  • Feedback: After each event, gather feedback from participants to understand what worked well and what could be improved. This can help refine future events and ensure they continue to meet your employees’ needs and interests.
  • Metrics: Track participation rates, employee satisfaction, and any workplace dynamics or productivity changes that may be attributed to the sports program. This data can demonstrate the program’s value and secure ongoing support from management.
  • Adaptation: The program should be open to adaptation based on feedback and changing needs. This could include introducing new activities, adjusting schedules, or addressing any barriers to participation.


Embracing sports on International Sports Day can significantly boost employee engagement, help employee retention by minimizing workplace stress, and promote overall health. It’s a chance to celebrate the values of teamwork, health, and peace while fostering a more connected and motivated workforce. So, why not leap and plan your company’s next sports event?

To know more ways to keep your team engaged, feel free to reach out to us at HoliFit – the number one corporate wellness company in Ortigas.

You may reach us at info@holifit.com.ph, or check our Facebook page, Instagram, LinkedIn and Youtube Channel to give your employees the best working experience they deserve.

Keep your best people

Studies have shown that proper employee engagement can generate as much as 33% savings from lowered attrition alone.

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