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Sports and business morale go hand in hand

Posted by
11 Jul 2016
The eighth season of the Manchester Professionals’ Cricket League (MPCL) is underway and continues to raise much needed funds for two charities close to our hearts; St Ann’s Hospice and The Lord’s Taverners. The league, set up from my love of cricket, is once again proving to be a popular way to strengthen professional relationships across Greater Manchester.

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 ‘stuck in’ 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 some light relief, friendly competition and a way for people to wind down after a busy work day.

The MPCL this year includes 18 participating 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 within Sellick Partnership. The benefits of healthy competition and social activity within the workplace are evident, with heightened motivation and engagement which has resulted 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.

In my opinion, there is 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?

It is up to business leaders to find innovative and engaging ways to motivate staff to participate in exercises designed to harness and nurture soft skills. Teambuilding activities can be a powerful way to unite staff, develop strengths and address weaknesses – but only if the exercises are planned and carried out strategically. Too often, managers plan an activity with no real thought or goal in mind. This tends to be a waste of time and managers risk losing the team's respect when they plan an exercise that doesn't actually help those involved. Getting this right could be hugely important in helping to bridge the soft skills gap often seen in business today.

Being able to work effectively as part of a team is paramount 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 and 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 days of icebreakers, bowling, and the ‘trust fall’ are in my opinion, a thing of the past.

The power of sport

It is events like the MPCL that prove the true power sport can have over people. Sport’s inherent ability to bring people together, whether competing or spectating, cannot be disputed. I believe that businesses that encourage sports 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 cricket league, it is an opportunity to interact with others, raise funds for charity and can be enjoyed by professionals at any level, from junior executives right up to industry leaders. By taking part and absorbing yourself in an activity as far removed from work as possible you can open doors, connect with others and let off some steam. All of which will prove beneficial to anyone looking to succeed in business.

To keep up to date with this year’s competition or find out more about our sporting endeavours please visit our sports in the community page.  Sports in the community
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