The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France is heating up (with the scorching June weather) as the England lionesses storm their way into the semi-finals and reach the last four from the 24 national teams taking part.  Can this winning team reach the final which is being held in Lyon on 7 July?

If that’s not enough sporting excitement, the opening match of the 2019 Rugby World Cup kicks off on 20th September as countries from all across the globe begin their campaign to lift the William Webb Ellis Trophy in Japan.  The opening stage of the competition sees 20 teams attempt to battle their way out of four Pools with only two teams from each pool advancing into the knockout stages.

As with any major sporting event, employees may want time off to watch the matches and where the matches take place in the morning, as is the case this year, problems may arise for employers. This is where employing creative and supportive HR practices can make a real difference.

This guide reviews a number of human resources practices to ensure that the operation of your business is protected, and the morale of your team is enhanced during the Rugby World Cup and other major sporting events.

  • Be fun and creative – Organising dress down days for key matches or arranging a sweep stake is a fun way to engage staff and boost morale.
  • Handle multiple leave requests – Where a key match takes place during working hours, you are likely to receive multiple requests for holiday at the same time.  You should consider a fair method of managing this and communicate it in advance, such as on a first come, first served basis.
  • Flexible working arrangements – Offering your staff the opportunity to leave work earlier, start work later or extend their lunch breaks for the duration of the event will provide your staff with the flexibility to see key matches. Provided that time is made up and operational requirements are covered, this effective HR option will again build morale and prevent unauthorised absences.
  • Screen matches at work – This can be a great way to boost morale and spirits within your team and avoid unauthorised absences arising.  Consideration needs to be given to resourcing requirements and rules, such as whether alcohol consumption is permitted.
  • Treat all your staff the same – Care should be taken to ensure that those staff who are not interested in the matches or who support a different national team are not treated less favourably.  For example, if staff were permitted time off to watch an England, Welsh, Scottish or Ireland match, the same consideration should be given to other nationalities who may wish to support their national team.
  • Introduce a sporting events policy – this HR practice will ensure that the operation of your business is protected during events such as Rugby World Cup the by communicating expectations in advance.

If handled correctly, major sporting events can bring real engagement and positivity across the workplace which are the defining factors of many successful businesses. For more details, contact us today.

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