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Sport and business morale go hand-in-hand

by Jo Sellick | 1 July 2019

The eleventh season of the Manchester Professionals’ Cricket League (MPCL) is coming to a close and once again we have had an amazing year of camaraderie and sportsmanship. Since its inception in 2008, the MPCL has attracted more than 50 plus businesses and raised over £60,000 for two charities close to our heart; St Ann’s Hospice and the Lord’s Taverners. The League, born from my love of cricket, has become a hugely popular way for businesses across Greater Manchester to strengthen professional relationships and create new relationships, and I am proud to see the event continue to go from strength-to-strength.

In this blog, I look at why I feel so strongly that sport plays an essential part of our CSR strategy at Sellick Partnership and the benefits that businesses and professionals can gain from getting involved.

The Sellick Partnership sporting culture

Sport plays a key role in the culture of Sellick Partnership and as a seasoned sportsman myself, I fully encourage our staff to get involved with any sporting event we host! Throughout the year we have a number of sporting initiatives like the MPCL, including the Manchester Professionals’ Football League (MPFL), our regional football tournament in Derby, and various other events hosted throughout our regional offices, all of which are integral elements of our events calendar. As a business we use these events not only as tools to raise vital funds for worthwhile causes and strengthen relationships across the business community, but also to provide business professionals with some light relief and friendly competition to balance the day-to-day challenges we all face in the workplace.

This year’s MPCL attracted 20 businesses from across Greater Manchester. The League brings together professionals and promotes the ethos of using sport to find common ground and cement relationships away from the office. I have always found that using sport as an instrument for business and employee development has been successful for increasing morale and productivity. The benefits of healthy competition and social activity within the workplace are evident, with heightened motivation and engagement – both resulting in a stronger sense of comradery across the business.

Engaged, motivated and mobilised

Having the motivation to train or compete in a sport at whatever level can be a real benefit to your success in business. I am convinced the two go hand-in-hand. More often than not motivated and highly driven individuals in both sport and business achieve greatness, and it is an inherent desire to succeed that drives them forward. I firmly believe that keeping yourself motivated ‘on and off the pitch’ and taking on board the philosophy of ‘you get out what you put in’ is an invaluable lesson for all.

The link between keeping fit and success

There is also a positive correlation between being successful in business and keeping fit – each requires stamina, training and innovation; just using two different sets of muscles. The release that physical exercise can provide is vital to personal development in business – keeping employees fresh, both from a physical and mental point of view. The MPCL provides a wonderful opportunity to gain perspective and instil confidence in an individual through sporting achievement and social interaction, helping with ‘soft skills’ that are often in short supply.

Could sport bridge the ‘soft skills’ gap?

Business professionals are under increasing pressures to build ‘soft skills’ – skills that are often difficult to teach through formal training. It is therefore up to business leaders to find innovative and engaging ways of allowing employees to do this. Teambuilding events and sporting activities can be a powerful and effective way of doing this. They can unite staff, develop strengths, and address weaknesses – but only if the exercises are planned and carried out strategically. Too often, organisations plan activities with no end goal in mind and in doing so business leaders risk losing the respect of their workforce if they plan exercises that do not help those involved. Getting this right could be hugely important in helping to bridge the ‘soft skills’ gap often seen in business today.

Working effectively as part of a team is key to success, and team sports like cricket have this, and other essential attributes at the core. Using sport as an alternative to costly teambuilding exercises could be a progressive and beneficial way forward for business leaders to consider. At Sellick Partnership we encourage people of all levels to participate in the MPCL along with our other sporting events, and take pride in ensuring they are effective tools for professional development. The benefits are unparalleled in my opinion, allowing businesses to take control and build on ‘soft skills’ in a situation that is fun, healthy and non-evasive.

The power of sport

It is events like the MPCL that prove the true power sport can have over people. Sports inherent ability to bring people together, whether competing or spectating, cannot be disputed. I believe that businesses who encourage sport and physical activity will naturally find it releases stress and increases productivity in the workplace.

Cricket by definition is a bat and ball game. The MPCL however is not just a game, it is an opportunity to interact with others, raise funds for charity that can be enjoyed by professionals at any level. By taking part and being absorbed in an activity as far removed from work as possible, business professionals can open doors, connect with others and let off some steam. All of which will prove beneficial to anyone looking to succeed in business.

If you agree, and are interested in taking part in one of our sporting tournaments, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can register your interest by emailing our Events and Marketing Executive, Samantha Hattersley at samantha.hattersley@sellickpartnership.co.uk.

Alternatively, you can find more information about our CSR policy, the charities we support and what we are doing in your community here