It's coming home! (and so are your employees!)
The morning after the night before, and many business owners will have been left dealing with absent employees who perhaps took their celebrations of England dramatic Penalty shoot out win against Colombia in the 2018 World Cup a little too far!
The World Cup is a true spectacle, adored by millions across the world. Even better when your national team are doing well and progressing through the tournament. However the better England do, the more problems it may create for you as a small business owner, as employees take time off to watch games, celebrate or recover!
After last nights win in the last 16 , the national press are reporting up to 5 million Brits potentially pulled a "sickee" today in order to recover. Indeed the cost of absenteeism overthe course of the tournament is estimated at a staggering £13 Billion!
Additionally, should England continue to progress, the semi final will be played midweek (meaning potential for more absentees the day after), and the Final on a Sunday (so again perhaps best not to diarise any important meetings for 9am, Monday 16th July!)
Unless self employed or on a flexi-time contract, employees should have to stick to their contracted hours, so unauthorised absence is a real problem.
So how should small business handle this? Here's a few suggestions.
1. Have a clear policy in place for absenteeism and procedures to follow to properly request time off.
Self explanatory really, but clear, well communicated policies will reinforce to your staff what is and isn't acceptable, and the consequences should they abuse them. They should know how to properly go about formally requesting time off.
2. Try to be reasonable
Acting rashly when faced with an unauthorised absence can lead to further problems and aggravation down the line such as an employment tribunal. Talk to your staff, explain your grievance and try to move on, especially if the absence is unlikely to be repeated.
3. Consider a temporary "flexi-time" policy
Perhaps offer employees the chance to change up their hours over the course of the tournament - A World Cup is a rare event - once every four years (and national team success even rarer!), so your employees may be gratfeful for some leeway
4. Use it as an opportunity
Consider viewing parties for staff to encourage team building, or indeed customers as a way of strengthening your relationships.
5. Incentivise the "day after the night before"
If England win (or even lose!), why not offer your staff a free breakfast for the morning after at work - The cost of a few coffees and bacon sandwiches should definitely outweigh the cost of a day's lost labour, and a small gesture like this may go a long way to enhancing your relationship with your staff.
So don't despair if England continue to prosper in this tournament - with good clear management and communication, you should be able to "dribble" around any potential HR problems (sorry!) and keep your business "onside" (sorry again!).