World Cup advice to business owners
22nd June 2010
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As the World Cup progresses, businesses across Shropshire are set to experience increased numbers of employee absence as they dedicate themselves to watching England’s attempt to win the contest for the first time since 1966. Are you going to be working when England play Slovenia...?

For employers, this could mean a potential decline in productivity and profit, as well as the risk of discord amongst staff.  Justine Vaughan, Founder and Director of Shropshire-based Triangle HR, offers her advice and guidance on how a proactive and positive approach can help employers avoid costly absenteeism, and boost morale...

“Huge sporting events such as the World Cup can create considerable challenges for businesses, as they are forced to deal with the overwhelming desire from staff to be a part of the whole experience.  While employers are not legally obliged to allow their staff to watch the games during work hours, some are acknowledging the negative impact it will have if they don’t.

“If a football ban is imposed, employers are more likely to experience an epidemic of ‘migraines’ and ‘sickness bugs’ as staff are encouraged to take unauthorised leave in order to watch important games.  This can result in productivity levels falling, customers being let down, as well as frustration amongst non-football fans who are left holding the fort in their colleagues’ absence.  

“Businesses can look to prevent this by taking a flexible and open approach and by introducing systems which will allow employees to watch games while still undertaking their daily responsibilities.   For example, if it is possible, it may be worth employers investing in a television screen and situating it in rest room so that they can keep track of all the action. 

“Another option may be for employees to be given the opportunity to forgo a lunch break, or take a shorter one, to allow them to take time off to watch the matches, or perhaps allow staff to work from home or swap shifts with those who may not be interested in the ‘beautiful game’.

“Being as flexible as possible during the tournament can be hugely valuable from a motivational perspective and can really help to boost morale amongst the workforce.  Not only will it show employees that they are respected, but it can also help to demonstrate to both staff and the outside world what a great place the business is to work for.  It is also not uncommon for employees to actually put extra hours in if they feel they are valued and respected, and their needs met!” 

“It is of course completely at the discretion of the employer as to whether they allow their staff to watch the matches, and whether they make it clear to employees that the privilege will be taken away just as easily as it was given, should there be any repercussions. 

“Taking the decision to introduce flexible measures throughout the duration of the World Cup may prove far more time and cost-effective in the long-run than prohibiting access to the games during work hours.   At Triangle HR, we specialise in providing practical HR support to businesses, and can help you develop and maintain a happy and successful work environment, particularly during major events such as these.”

If you require further help and advice on the best ways to deal with the potential issues surrounding the World Cup, contact Justine Vaughan on 01939 270781 or 07801 500462, or send her an email.

Article courtesy of Zen Communications.

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Emma R

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