HR advice from Kerry Mercer, HR Advisor at FDR HR in Warrington
Q: How do I keep my staff focused on work during the Football World Cup?
A: Football-friendly flexibility is the key to keeping your staff happy and motivated during the World Cup, which kicks off in Russia on 14th June.
Depending on the make-up of your workforce and your business sector, there could be an opportunity to introduce an element of flexible working during the frenzied month of international fixtures.
How you pitch your approach could score you some great wins with your staff for being an understanding employer, and with some advance planning will pay dividends in boosting employee morale.
England’s games are scheduled (so far) for Monday 18th June (7pm), Sunday 24th June (1pm) and Thursday 28th June (7pm)
You might want to consider offering flexible start times when there has been an important game the night before, or earlier finishes to allow workers a chance to get home in time for kick-off. Maybe you are in a position to install a television in the office or a communal area during the competition for special occasions.
It is natural for employees to want to know where they stand and it would be helpful to both sides to state what is expected of staff during this period. They need to know that absence or ‘pulling a sickie’ is not acceptable, nor is turning up at the workplace under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
It is important to note that you must treat all employees equally and fairly, after all not everyone will be supporting England, or interested in football so any requests for absences or flexible working, does need to consider everyone – and of course the workload.
If you are in a position to use this opportunity to reward staff loyalty and reliability with a little flexibility, then the World Cup could give a serious lift to workplace morale – whether England do well or not.