Summer is here and with it come some of the great sporting tournaments, Wimbledon, Test match cricket at Lords, Stockport County’s pre-season friendlies… Ok so I was joking about the last one, but there is the small matter of the FIFA World Cup which starts next week. The timings are such that many of the games will happen during normal working hours. So now is the time to start thinking about your company’s polices; what are you going to do about the World Cup?
It’s all about culture
Does your company police internet use or is usage based on trust? The answer to this question will determine how you will approach the World Cup issue. Do you restrict access to sites or do you allow employee’s to watch the games that mean something to them?
One approach is to block access to sporting sites throughout the Summer period. If you are concerned that productivity is dropping then you could ask IT to block the sites in question. However, the prevalence of mobile devices will not prevent those who really want to watch the game from doing so.
Creating a World Cup party
The opposite response is to build it into an event, organise table football tournaments, sweepstakes, food based on different countries participation. Clearly this takes effort, a budget and may not be suitable for all organisations. Where it is appropriate, it could be a massive boost to employee engagement.
Communicate and don’t make assumptions!
Whatever your approach, make sure you communicate it! You don’t need to create a World Cup policy but you should tell your employees what is expected of them over this period. From there, it’s all about trust. If that trust is breached, implement your existing policies but ensure that you don’t assume that any absence or performance issues are sport related. Ensure that you complete return to work interviews as normal and complete thorough investigations where needed.
This is a once every 4 year event and especially if you have a multi-national workforce, it can be a great way of bringing the company together. And when England get knocked out, we can all get back to talking about the weather.