Tip-off: Is The NCAA Tournament Helping or Hindering Your Productivity?

You’ve likely seen much in the media addressing how the NCAA tournament affects productivity – positively or negatively – like here, here, and here!

So, does it help or hinder productivity and performance?

As a firm who works with client’s in the areas of employee engagement and high performance culture I can say – it depends. I don’t believe it’s a clear-cut answer for every organization. Organization cultures are like snowflakes, no two are ever the same, and thus neither are the impacts of events such as these on productivity and performance.

There are many factors involved – and this is the perfect time to review whether such activities help or hinder maximizing people –> performance –> profit™ in your organization.

So how do you measure potential impacts of employees engaging in events like the NCAA tournament?

First – what are your data points? This varies for each organization. It could be sales numbers, lead generation; customer service outreach, goals and deadlines met, or maybe even the amount of output from your organization. But you need to set clear data points to determine a baseline – are you gaining or losing productivity?

Second – what are you comparing it to? You need a true apples to apples comparison. For example – the tournament is roughly 19 days. Find a time period that is comparable to this time of year or create a similar event – create your same data points – and sit back and watch it unfold.

Third – what is the network effect? For the NCAA tournament to be hindering or helping productivity, you need to pay attention to the network effect. Does this informal interaction reduce stress and increase engagement, helping teams work better together? Are you seeing more collaboration and innovation amongst your employees? Do such activities promote a better overall working environment?

The fact of the matter is…you can read as many articles as you want to convince yourself whether these types of activities help or hinder your productivity and performance (or you can say screw it – I like college basketball – and do it anyway.) But the reality is you’re never going to know until you test it in your organization.

I was asked by a colleague if I’d help test this scenario with their organization – to provide them data on how the tournament is affecting their productivity over the next few weeks. This organization is a tech start-up with lots of goals and deadlines to achieve in a short amount of time so should provide an intriguing example.

I’ll be sure to share an update on my blog – until I do please share with me how you plan to test this at your agency or within your department?

Now…let the “madness” commence!

About Scott Span, MSOD: is CEO & Lead Consultant of Tolero Solutions – an Organizational Improvement & Strategy firm. He helps clients in both the public and private sector in facilitating sustainable growth by connecting and maximizing people –> performance –> profit™, and creating organizations that are more responsive, productive and profitable.

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