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How to manage a winning team during the Rugby League World Cup

One thing’s for sure: we’re all in for a special couple of months towards the end of 2017. Rugby fans the world over are already anticipating the sport’s greatest exhibition: the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

“Here we go”, the HR Manager thinks. Here come the sickies, the endless and unproductive chats about “that game last night”, the hangovers from one too many bevvies, and staff with one eye slyly catching the game on their phone. To top it all off, here ‘don’t’ come the staff on time, thanks to strained public transport services. Sounds like an employer’s nightmare!

Au contraire we say, what an employer’s dream. If you’ve planned ahead that is. Once you have fairly and consistently handled all your holiday requests, and made sure your staff know what’s expected of them during the world cup (do you have a Sporting Event Policy?), you can start to embrace the RLWC 2017 as a chance to bolster team spirit!

Avoid the scrum! Just as with the Olympics, public transport could be troublesome at certain times and places. Getting to and from work for some may be a struggle. If any of your team are likely to be affected, try to be as flexible as you can regarding their working hours. It may be more convenient (and cheaper, if they’re catching a train) for them to start and leave earlier or later.

Being a little more flexible with working hours could also put a smile on the faces of those wanting to catch a game during working hours. According to research, around three quarters of employers plan to let their staff leave early to catch those mid-afternoon kick-offs, seeing the benefits to employee morale as just reward.

Sounds great but in practice this isn’t always feasible, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. Flexible working for some may mean shutting down for a whole afternoon. Not ideal. So what could such an employer do instead? Well there are plenty of other ways to engage with staff and their love of rugby, and so spread some positive vibes amongst the team.

Consider putting the matches on in the office or in a break room, so those unable or unwilling to work flexibly don’t miss out. Aside from creating a really positive atmosphere, this could deter staff from pulling a sickie to avoid missing out on a vital fixture!

Sweepstakes are also a great way to get everyone, even those who weren’t planning on following the rugby, involved in the fun. Have a chat with your team and see whether they’d like to put a couple of quid in the jar and draw a team. Drinks will be on the winner at the next team social! 

Without doubt it’s going to be a great tournament, providing employers with an opportunity to bring their own team together to enjoy the atmosphere. As long as staff know what is expected of them throughout the tournament, you’ve acted reasonably regarding holiday requests, and you get your team involved, you’ll have kicked any potential issues out into touch (sorry).

If you’d like some advice about flexible working policies and procedures, and how to engage your staff over the Rugby League World Cup 2017, please get in touch.