The first ever winter football World Cup is underway!
Although the time of year may have changed, it doesn’t alter the fact that it will be the most popular sporting event of the past few years. The internationally trending tournament is being covered everywhere, so it is likely that it will grab your employees’ attention.
With the World Cup running from the 20th November to the 18th December, this month-long football fest could present a challenge to SME business owners when managing staff – especially as many of the matches will fall during or shortly after the working day.
Follow the rule book
Consider reiterating your usual workplace policies to your team. This could be making sure everyone is up to date on acceptable Internet usage or your employee code of conduct, as they may come into play if a big game is on.
It is also worth remembering that your workforce may support a variety of different teams between them. When any games or players are being discussed in the workplace, ensure people are not being offensive or discriminative in their conversations. The same goes for reference to the tournament’s location of Qatar, which was a controversial choice. This caution will help to minimise the risk of upset employees or discrimination claims.
Make sure you have a full squad
If your employees are especially organised, they may have requested their days off the moment the fixture list was released.
However, depending on how the tournament progresses and how well teams are doing, you may experience a sudden rush of annual leave requests as it is revealed which teams will earn a spot in the final stages.
When you are dealing with these additional requests, you should follow the policy that you already have in place and ensure that you are treating them fairly and equally.
Keep an eye on kick off times
Matches during the tournament are scheduled for morning, lunchtime, and early evening here in Ireland.
It may be tempting for your employees to tune into the games whilst they are meant to be working. To reduce any dips in productivity, you could consider flexible working. This could help avoid employees trying to livestream matches during the working day. For example, if employees want to watch a match at 4pm, they could start work earlier so they can finish earlier.
If the game is on over lunch, you could let everyone take their break at the same time and set up a viewing room – providing, of course, that you have sufficient cover.
If your employees see you making an effort to allow them to enjoy the World Cup, they will not have to go behind your back. It can also lead to a boost in morale, and they will appreciate a better work/life balance.
Embrace the atmosphere
If it is something that could work for your business, you could fully embrace the World Cup atmosphere!
By incorporating the tournament into your daily work life, it can be a great way to develop morale and a sense of camaraderie. Make your team feel better about being at work through themed events such as fancy dress, food, games, and live showings of matches.
Office sweepstakes can also make people feel involved in the fun that is going on around them, and may even attract those who aren’t interested in the football itself.
Consider the wider team
When considering or implementing any of the ideas above, always ensure that you are treating all staff equally. Those who are not interested in watching the tournament should receive the same allowances as those who are.
If you need help preventing people problems, please feel free to contact your local HR Dept.