In companies, 42 % of employees consider sport to be a factor in team cohesion and 80 % of them say they have better relationships with their colleagues through sport. Physical activity and sports in companies seem to have undeniable virtues in improving the social climate. Indeed, it develops values such as solidarity, loyalty, respect for others or courage. Essential elements to build a strong team spirit in business. We can then ask ourselves the question of the choice of sports activity to strengthen team cohesion.
How to meet the divergent expectations of employees while developing and strengthening team cohesion?
Instinctively, we tend to think that team sports, which pit one team against another, are more a source of social cohesion than so-called individual sports, which pit one individual against another.
If their benefit in this area is indisputable, we will see that other disciplines also participate in the creation and strengthening of team cohesion and that betting on diversity and complementarity can be a key element.
Which sports should be preferred?
In team sports, the development of social proximity is inevitable. Among them, futsal is an excellent sport to work on team cohesion and "knowing how to live together". As the teams are composed of only 5 players on the field (goalkeeper included), the good understanding between them must be felt in the game. Its practice requires a collective organization where individuals play complementary roles in order to fulfill a common goal. If you organize a futsal between colleagues, each will perform a precise and essential function: he will have to carry out his tasks, rely on others, delegate and will have a share of responsibility in the common outcome (victory / failure), which reinforces the feeling of belonging to a group. Of course, these virtues can be found in other collective activities such as basketball, handball, volleyball...
Finally, between sports team cohesion and team cohesion in companies, there is only one step.
Benefits to remember: team spirit, complementarity of roles, common responsibility, sense of belonging.
What could be better than combat sports and martial arts to break the ice between colleagues?
If we take the example of boxing, when two employees exercise together, the function and hierarchy of each disappears: everyone is put on the same level. During the sparring (because boxing does not necessarily mean hurting oneself or the other), the two individuals will try to identify the other, to anticipate his strokes, to analyze his strengths and weaknesses ... So as to score first.
The practice of such a sport requires essential respect for the other and breaks down barriers to the extent that everyone expresses himself spontaneously, by instinct and therefore works his "letting go". For each of the two individuals, it is also a work on oneself: one pushes one's limits while respecting strict rules.
Karate, Taekwondo, Judo or Krav Maga are also disciplines that push individuals to respect each other and to know each other more deeply.
Benefits to remember: respect for others and rules, lowering hierarchical barriers, spontaneous expression of each.
If the very principle of climbing is to be alone in front of a wall and climb to reach the top, the practice of this discipline between colleagues considerably strengthens team cohesion.
Indeed, if you go to a block room (a room where you can climb at a low height: -10 m, without protection except for a fall mattress), you will notice a roll between "climbers" and "spectators" and you will hear very frequently: "There is a catch for your foot that you do not see at the bottom right", "you should put your hand on the upper left take", "I'll show you how to climb this track", encouragement, applause and a shared sense of satisfaction when a goal is achieved.
Even if a track is climbable by only one person at a time, people who wait their turn observe, analyze the possibilities for the person to reach the top safely, return to the ground correctly, give advice from their point of view from below.
For the practice of the way (Climbing to a great height: +15 m, with protection: rope, harness ...), needless to say that the development of confidence in oneself and especially in others (role of parade), necessarily develops.
In addition, once you acquire a minimum level, practicing blocking in the heart of nature on dedicated sites, is an original and beneficial team building idea in terms of team cohesion.
Remember that man is not an innate climber, he needs others to reach the top and overcome his fears like vertigo.
Benefits to remember: Confidence in oneself and in others, responsibility, empathy, solidarity.
What conclusion may be drawn?
"Collective" or "individual", each sport has different virtues, and all are complementary.
Unlike in-house gyms that can appeal more to "already sporty" employees, unlike in-house gyms that appeal more to "already sporty" employees than others and are limited to bodybuilding and fitness, the à la carte sports offer advocates variety and flexibility, while developing cohesion. To meet the different needs of employees, avoid individualism and generational conflicts, organize collective sessions and favor adequate sports such as those mentioned above is an effective recipe.
In addition, if doing sports regularly with your colleagues strengthens social cohesion, the before and after sport (journeys, changing rooms...) are also privileged moments vectors of cohesion, beyond the practice of sport itself.
To converge the different needs and strengthen the cohesion of your employees, discover our sport and well-being offer!
- Gymlib x OpinionWay, 2017
- Thierry Lardinoit, holder of the ESSEC Chair of Sports Marketing for https://www.businessofeminin.com/sport-management/