Beverly King: How can employers use the Olympics to boost staff engagement

At Panasonic, we have been keen to inspire and bring a buzz to the workplace. It’s not just a short sprint, but more of a gala, with a big run-up, impressive leap and spectacular finish.

We held various activities for staff ahead of the opening ceremony, including a pin badge competition, a visit from Panasonic’s Olympic ambassador, heptathlete Louise Hazel, and a ‘20/12 day’ with themed activities and meals.

We held an internal competition to find eight torchbearers for the Olympic torch relay. Employees and their family members who are dedicated to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and Olympic values were nominated and chosen by a judging panel and a draw.

Panasonic also helped internally recruit ‘Games maker’ volunteers and, with 10 days of leave required to do this work, we provided an additional five days above their normal entitlement to help support them.

A regular Olympics newsletter, intranet bulletins and even a television channel have been introduced to keep staff informed about activity progress, with competitions to win Panasonic products or Olympic merchandise. We also purchased a small number of games tickets to be used as prizes for a staff competition.

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Sponsorship of an event of this kind can awaken pride in employees and bring lasting, personal memories of a significant sporting occasion, enduring long after the closing ceremony is a distant memory.

Beverly King, compensation and benefits advisor at Panasonic