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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  11 Aug 2010

2010 WORLD CUP: World Cup Spirit Benefited SA More Than Realised


Recent Gauteng Business News

GDP growth trend experienced in World Cup host nations is inevitable

Employers concerned about the lower productivity during the World Cup when workers took advantage of ‘sick leave’ and shorter working hours are now reaping the rewards of a stronger economy and improved team spirit generated by the event.

So says Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, MD of Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters, who believes that the World Cup created a common talking point across all levels of people in the workplace – from the mail room through to the board room.

“The games provided a way for employees to speak the same language and have a shared goal, whether artisans or professionals, improving cohesion and creating an atmosphere more conducive to teamwork".

“In many ways employers who enabled staff to take full advantage of the spirit of the games have benefitted. There were different perspectives: some attempted to limit the damage by policing work attendance, while others looked for ways to let staff enjoy the moment."

She adds that what was lost on the swings in terms of productivity has definitely been made up for on the post-games roundabout. A survey carried out by Deloitte recently revealed that people were willing to work longer hours if their bosses allowed them to watch some matches.

“Additionally, World Cup host cities have typically experienced significant growth in GDP before, during and post games. Argentina’s GDP stood at -4.5% in 1978, the year prior to their hosting of the games, the following year, GDP grew to 10.2% and a year later stood at 4.2%.

“Similarly, Mexico had a GDP of -3.8 in 1986, which grew to 1.9% in 1987, the year they hosted the World Cup, and levelled down to 1.2% the year following the games.

She says economic growth instils a confidence in consumers that encourages spending and thereby positively impacts on the bottom line for companies across the board.

“South Africa can only but experience a similar trend to what has been seen in all other World Cup host countries,” adds Goodman-Bhyat.

"The impact of the World Cup on society in general and the workplace in particular was quite unique. Whereas there was considerable negativity in the build-up, there is no doubt that the economy has benefited and, added to this, the feel-good factor generated by the unequivocal success of the event has changed things forever. It transcended differences and brought people together in a quite unexpected way".


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