Employee Benefits Summit 2012: Freshfields uses Olympic sponsorship role to motivate and engage staff

More than a third (34%) of delegates at the Employee Benefits Summit 2012 will offer themed events for staff during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

A further 17% are still making plans around the games, while 15% are undecided, and 34% will offer no Olympic-themed events to staff.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has been using its role as a sponsor in the games to engage and motivate its 1,600 employees. Speaking at the summit, James Daffurn, head of corporate social responsibility at the law firm, said its decision to sponsor the games was first and foremost around employee engagement. He added: “We wanted to use the power of the Olympics to unite all our employees, both fee-earning and non-fee-earning.”

Staff were given the opportunity to enter a draw to win free tickets, while one employee in the billings division was chosen by a firm-wide vote to carry the Olympic torch during the Hackney, East London portion of the Torch Relay.

Employees have also been given the opportunity to attend engagement presentations with the firm’s three sponsored athletes, tour the London 2012 sites, participate in a sitting-down volleyball tournament, volunteer in the host boroughs, and take their children in an Olympic-themed party with mascots Wenlock and Mandeville.

Freshfields is also offering a personal challenge to staff, aligned with its health and wellbeing strategy, which has three categories: bronze, silver and gold. The bronze category, which has had more than 1,000 participants, allows employees to set their own sporting or cultural goal. More than 250 employees took part in volunteering projects in June to qualify in the silver category. The gold category offers opportunities to mentor or coach children in the local community.

During the games, the law firm will also set up televisions around its offices to view events, as well as offering flexible working opportunities to all staff.

In a staff survey, 96% of employees said they are advocates for Freshfields’ sponsorship, while 89% feel pride in the firm.

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