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World cup 2014 news: “SCORE” with your employees

Whilst I am not a footy fan it is hard to imagine a work place where no-one is interested in the World Cup which kicks off on 12 June. The majority of matches are outside office hours (if you are open from 9:00am to 5:00pm) but there is still the risk of disruption to the business. Some matches start at 5:00pm which could lead to requests to leave work early. How do you manage this and keep everyone happy?

There may be an increase in holiday requests during the World Cup which could leave the business short-staffed. It will be impossible to accommodate all requests. The key is to manage employees’ expectations. Adopt a policy and stick to it. Stay consistent.  By not allowing holiday requests there is always the risk that employees will call in sick on match days. There are two ways to deal with this:

1.            Consider allowing employees to watch the match at work if the facilities are available. This is likely to increase employee engagement and motivate employees.

2.            Make sure sickness reporting procedures are in place to monitor employees. Some employers don’t provide for return to work interviews when an employee has been off sick. This meeting is key to establish why the employee was off sick and to raise awareness of any issue that an employer should be aware of, such as serious health issues.

One way that employees may choose to engage in the world cup is by streaming the matches over the internet. Employers should consider what internet usage policies they have in place and manage the use of the internet. If this would be a breach of the internet policy which could lead to disciplinary action make sure employees are aware of this.

It may be sensible to send a memo to all staff about the World Cup and what is expected of staff during this time. Addressing any potential issues before they arise could prove vital to the smooth running of the business and save businesses the hassle of conducting a disciplinary process.

Employers should also recognise that football is not for everyone. Some employees will not be interested at all and they should not be treated less favourably because of this or any policy that the employer enforces. It is also important to ensure no conduct amounting to harassment takes place.

You may be left thinking “how do I keep everyone happy?” The main thing is that you stay consistent and operate fair policies that do not treat anyone less favourably. If you are in doubt about the policy to adopt we would be happy to advise you on this. Contact us on 023 8064 4822 today.

Posted in: News

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