Often times, the thing that people miss most about a job isn’t the work, it’s the people. And people are at the center of the traditions like holiday parties, company outings, even the annual rite that is the March Madness office pool. Helping transitioning employees connect with others while giving them a fun break from their job searches is why we created the RiseSmart Madness Challenge, our office pool for transitioning workers. And it’s why we continue to hold the contest now in its third year.
More than half of employees – 57 percent – participate in a March Madness office pool, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management. While many employers once viewed such activities as detrimental to productivity, they are becoming increasingly aware of the positive impacts. The survey noted how 70 percent of employers responding cited relationship building as a positive aspect of office pools. Other positive aspects mentioned were team-building, employee engagement, and improved manager/employee relationships.
In the long run, the benefits of office activities like an office pool far outweigh any temporary reduction in productivity. The same holds true for those people looking for work. Finding new employment can be difficult. Things like the RiseSmart Madness Challenge help employees enjoy a fun office ritual even as they are transitioning to their next jobs. And staying positive can actually be a key to finding work.
We have noted through the years that those who have fun in their job searches find work faster and feel more fulfilled in their new positions once they do find work. It also gives participants an opportunity to interact with one another and feel re-engaged in the workforce.
The RiseSmart Madness Challenge is open to all transitioning workers. Participants can sign up through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RiseSmart/app_1471899216355022 Working much like a typical office pool, RiseSmart Madness Challenge participants access their NCAA tournament brackets online. Winners receive special recognition and prizes including an iPad Air, Kindle Fire and Apple TV.
One of last years winners said she participated in the contest “for the love of the tournament and bragging rights.” She took the opportunity to talk about how much she appreciated her new resume and cover letter as well as her personal career coach, Transition Specialist Jessica.
Best of luck to everyone participating this year. Don’t forget to revel in the Madness!