Tactics and winning formations - avoiding sport 'sick days' - Business Works
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Tactics and winning formations - avoiding sport 'sick days'

by Doug Mackay, MD, Collingwood Executive Recruitment The World Cup frenzy is upon us. People are debating who the favourite to win is; sweep-stakes are taking place amongst the workforce, with a mix of smugness and disappointment. But, asks Doug Mackay, MD of Collingwood Executive Recruitment, is your business prepared to manage the increase in absences – legitimate and non-legitimate, 'duvet-days'?

According to a recent survey by Coms plc, it is estimated that up to 250 million working hours will be lost to British businesses during the World Cup. This includes employees not turning up to work, arriving late, or poor performance due to the frustration of not being able to monitor results.

With some careful preparation and a good game plan, businesses can still trade, whilst also engaging and scoring with their employees.

Here are some of our winning formulas and coaching advice to help you stay ahead of the game this summer:

  • Know the fixture dates: Starting on 12 June to 12 July for the World Cup Final; with England's first match taking place on 14 June. These are the days that absence will be in the premier league, with requests for annual leave plus a potential increase in 'sick' days. Know your acceptable minimum staffing levels and prepare to manage, with suitably trained staff and handovers.

  • Offside rule: By law, employees have the right to 5.6 weeks' annual holiday, however the employer has the right to set the rules when leave can be taken - stipulated in the contract of employment.

  • Yellow card: Let your employees know early, what is acceptable and what is not considered acceptable. Perhaps you are one of the 1 in 10 organisations that has a policy in place to manage absence during major sporting events. If not, it is useful to remind employees of the relevant policies you do have, for example: sickness absence, use of internet and social media, drugs and alcohol, disciplinary procedures (including minor issues of under-performance and misconduct). With 'kick-off' times varying between 5pm and 11pm, it is also worth advising employees of drink driving penalties (not only for late shift-workers but alcohol can still be in a person's blood-stream the following morning. Penalties include: 12-month ban, fine up to £5000, penalty driving points and even imprisonment.

  • Agree a deal: Show that you would like to accommodate requests for time-off but need to maintain high performance for business continuity. Prepare to be flexible and engage with the team. Employees are good at putting forward recommendations, even if the result is a 1-1 draw.

  • Red card: Most organizations are made up of a diverse workforce and not all will want to support the 'home’' team. High-spirits and banter between different nationalities can lead to unwelcome racial bullying and harassment. It is important that managers make employees aware that they cannot discriminate on the grounds of race or nationality, nor demonstrate bullying behaviour.

  • Extra-time: Depending on the make-up of your workforce, it may be advantageous to allow watching TV or listening to the radio at work. This may encourage employees to attend work and boost engagement, however it may also be irritating to some. Time out to view the match will need to be carefully managed, for instance asking staff to make-up the time at a later date.

  • On aggregate: Discourage employees from taking non-genuine sick days, by reminding them of the policy and procedure to report sickness. Conducting 'return-to-work' interviews with their manager, explaining the reason for absence may also help deter 'duvet days'.

Managers don't always please all their players, they do what is necessary to get the best performance results, but you can still engage your team with careful planning and a winning formation. So don't hide under the umbrella like 'Wally with the Brolly' McLaren, come out fighting like Sir Alf Ramsey – 30 July 1966!!

For more information, please visit: www.collingwoodsearch.co.uk

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