· Features

Hot topic: will the London Olympic Games provide that all-important boost the UK economy needs?

Olympics infrastructure provider Cisco found 40% of employees think the London Olympic Games will build a ‘better Britain’, although the survey also found the mood was still ‘negative’ for 51%. But a separate survey from the CBI and KPMG found 92% of London businesses think the Games will benefit the capital internationally. With opinion divided – especially over the £41 million ‘extra’ being invested in the opening ceremony – can the Olympics provide the boost the UK economy needs?

Adrian Moorhouse, managing director, Lane4, won gold in 100m breaststroke at 1988 Seoul Olympics

The Olympics can be a catalyst for growth, but only if leveraged correctly. Organisations not involved with the Games can feel the impact by engaging employees, using the performance message. Employers have an opportunity to enhance engagement, and impact on the bottom line in performance.

There are many ways to do this, ranging from themed events with sport-related speakers, to aligning the learning with sports performance language and techniques, providing a framework and mindset for change. The latter would have a longer lasting impact, but the key is to make sure the activity relates to employees’ working lives. Inspiration is one thing, providing a ‘feel good’ factor, but if it does not have a long-term impact on performance, it won’t jump-start business growth. Who’s going to get your organisation out of tough times if not your employees?

Bring the Games inside in a meaningful way and engagement, productivity and growth will follow.

Andy Powell, group brand and marketing director at Adecco

The Olympics will have a huge impact on the economy, with revenue flowing in from foreign visitors. There is also the ‘feel-good’ factor around the Games which will encourage consumers to start spending and get the retail sector moving.

But the Games also has the potential to provide a boost to the jobs market. With unemployment higher than it has been for a generation and with huge public sector job losses expected, the Olympics will be essential, not just in creating tens of thousands of jobs for the Games, but also in the skills legacy it provides.

The Games has the potential to address some of the challenges facing the employment sector, by providing people with the work experience and skills for which businesses are crying out. This is a key element in Adecco’s ‘Unlocking Britain’s Potential’ campaign, which aims to bring businesses, Government and other relevant bodies together to address the issues facing the economy.

To celebrate the start of this Olympic year, HR magazine has tied up with Lane4, a leading performance development consultancy with a unique heritage in elite sport and business performance, to offer one lucky winner the chance to attend Lane4's new High Performance Leadership Academy with Loughborough University.

To win this excellent prize please go to the HR magazine Facebook page on www.facebook.com/HRMagazine for more information.