Navigating Euro 2024… for employers

Wednesday June 12, 2024

Okay, with the hopes of nations weighing on their shoulders, football managers have a tough job this summer trying to bring home the silverware. But managers everywhere may have to perform some skilful people management too as their staff get caught up in the excitement of the tournament – hopefully accompanied by some feel-good sunny weather.

The football managers have already dealt with having to send their surplus players home as they trim their squads. With the right approach and policies, there should be no need for you to have to do the same.

Here are five ideas to consider to ensure you keep a happy, productive workforce throughout the tournament.


1. Have a policy

As you’ll know if you are a regular reader, one of the fundamentals of good people management is to have a policy. It let’s everyone know the rules of the game and gives you the framework to operate efficiently without having to think afresh every time an employee makes a request or does something silly. Just remember to communicate it to everyone in advance and stick by it once in place.


2. Manage absence

Thankfully for most employers in the UK and Ireland, the majority of kick-off times are scheduled for outside of regular working hours. Only the 2pm kick-offs during the group stages are bang in the middle of the working day, although some employees may be looking to get away sharply at 5pm for the second kick-offs of the day. Look out for clusters of people trying to book an afternoon off (or maybe the morning after a big game!) and be as fair as you can.


3. Be flexible where you can

With absence for key games in mind, it may suit everyone to be flexible. Where you have customers to serve, premises to be manned or phones that need answering, the needs of the business must come first. Some companies choose to have a room with the match on in these situations.

If, though, the time and location of employees work schedule is not so important, you could permit some flexi-time where they leave early or arrive late as long as the time is made up elsewhere. Offer the same flexibility to everyone, regardless of whether they are a football fan.


4. Address misconduct

Whether it is skiving off without permission, banter between nationalities going too far or, in this day and age, bringing your company into disrepute on social media (you can’t unsee an inebriated football fan shoving a lit flare where the sun don’t shine), make sure you have a disciplinary policy in place that allows you to deal with their behaviour appropriately. Keep your yellow and red cards handy! If you decide to put a Euro 2024/sporting event policy in place, make reference to this in it, so that everyone has a reminder to behave before the tournament.


5. Embrace the fun

Win, lose or draw don’t forget to encourage enjoyment during this time. It can be great for bonding a team, bringing focus if there is a deadline to meet before a game or just injecting energy. Why not base a work social event around a match or arrange a sweepstake? Just be careful not to force the fun on anyone who really isn’t interested in football or has other things going on.


Your HR champions

At the HR Dept we don’t need an international tournament to be your HR champions. We are here all year round with our Advice Line to help you manage your workforce effectively at the fraction of the cost of having a full HR team, and we support HR managers too. To find out more, check out our website or get in touch.

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