Jo Kangurs of local Human Resources firm KeystoneHR discusses the impact of the World Cup on business and gives her top tips.
By Jo Kangurs
Love it or loathe it, football season is here with the World Cup about to kick off. With so many fans keen to support their teams, it is important for employers to plan ahead to minimise disruption and use the event as an opportunity to improve engagement and morale. Here are my 5 goals for employers:
- Be clear about your approach
It is likely that you will receive an increase in requests for time off during this period, and you may not be able to accommodate everyone. Clearly communicate how employees need to request holiday e.g. is it a case of “first come, first served”? Will you provide any special facilities for viewing the matches during working time? Will there be any additional flexible working arrangements offered?
You may choose to provide a more flexible working arrangements for matches that take place during working hours. A popular option may involve flexible start and finish times or longer lunch breaks for the games starting at 13:00.
Whatever you approach, be clear and consistent.
- Consider screening matches in the workplace
Some employers may take the opportunity to boost morale and reduce the risk of employees calling in sick by screening key games in the workplace, or allowing employees to listen or watch games on other devices. Just be mindful that not everyone loves football!
- Be aware of potential discrimination
Employers need to consider the potential discrimination issues that may arise and ensure that special arrangements offered to England supporters must also be offered to fans from other countries. Employees should be reminded about the expected standards of behaviours and that any harassment linked to the event e.g. hostile or racist remarks about a particular team/country will not be tolerated.
- Tackle disciplinary issues swiftly
During a major sporting event such as the World Cup there may be situations where an employee takes unauthorised absence, turns up to work hungover or makes inappropriate comments regarding another team. Whilst this is rare, it is important that employers are prepared to take action if required, so make sure your disciplinary policy is up to date and everyone is aware of the potential consequences if they cross the line.
- Use the World Cup as an opportunity to boost engagement
Giving employees the chance to watch and (hopefully) celebrate a sporting event is a great way of bringing people together as well as improving engagement, morale and motivation. Far from being an unwelcome distraction, it is an opportunity to thank employees for their commitment and hard work.
W: www.keystonehr.co.uk Twitter: @keystone_hr
Pictured above: Jo Kangurs