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Rio Olympics 2016: Business as usual

It’s just moments away now.  Soon we’ll all be gripped once more by 2016 Olympic fever.  With over 200 countries competing in 42 Olympic disciplines, you’ll have to dig a very deep hole indeed to bury your head in the sand over this one!

Even if the games aren’t your cup of tea, it would be a mistake to do that.  Although the Olympic and Paralympic games are being held miles away in Rio, they could still have a dramatic effect on the behaviour of your own team.  If nothing else, it’s a great opportunity to do what the Olympic games do best – unite.

Our last sporting themed tips focused on how to manage a winning team during the Euros. This time we’re going to look at how you can approach the games, turning them into a success for your business.

A ‘one size fits all’ strategy just doesn’t exist and it’s always interesting to see the stance some of our customers take. Whether laissez-faire or ‘business as usual’, finding yours will help you tackle any key issues which arise.

Showing the game during working hours

Almost all of us now have a device capable of streaming live sporting events or monitoring results live via social media. What do your policies say about this? They should protect you if your staff are live streaming the games.  It can look unprofessional, is very distracting and if they’re doing it from a mobile device whilst on the move, could be downright dangerous (think of all the issues around Pokémon Go!).

But it’s not game over. Good employers can use this enthusiasm to foster greater unity within their teams and create a better working environment. It might even bring two people together that otherwise would barely have spoken! So organise a social, run a sweepstake and engage with your team. This is the perfect middle ground for a manager to keep the ship moving in the right direction, whilst not taking the fun out of the games.

Annual leave

Be prepared for a spike in annual leave requests. This could leave you short staffed, especially over the summer months when you may already be thin on the ground. The games may be in Rio, but there will still be plenty who want these key dates away from work to properly enjoy the occasion. Good planning is essential and our HR Toolkit technology is here to help you.

Expect the unexpected

It’s common to see an overall upwards trend in unplanned absences over major sporting events and national celebrations.  Though they may not come, it’s best to be prepared should your team be hit by ‘Olympic fever’. Check you’re properly protected by your policies and that they’re fair to both the employer and the employee. We can help you manage any short and longer term absences you’re faced with.

Your team are sure to love the games – you can too if you stick to your policies and keep The HR Dept close by!

Travel concerns: If you’re concerned about the Zika virus, there’s some useful information here, and as always, The HR Dept is here to help you.