IIP warns employers to tackle Euro 2004 absence

Employers
must take action now to avoid a drain on productivity through unexpected staff
absences during Euro 2004, Investors in People (IIP) is warning.

IIP
believes a number of employers, particularly those with evening and shift
workers, could find their staffing patterns threatened if employees go AWOL to
watch big games. To counter the temptation, IIP says organisations must to face
up to the problem now, and consider their game plan in advance.

Ruth
Spellman, IIP chief executive, said: "This problem always exists around
big sporting tournaments, but employers seem to ignore it and hope it goes
away. Our advice is to get systems in place that recognise the issue and offer
staff greater flexibility in working patterns, so that staff are appreciative
and productivity levels are not undermined."

IIP
suggests a number of ideas that may help employers to manage the issue:


Introduce the ‘peakie’ system, whereby employees can start work an hour later
the day after a major match if they make up their time during the day


Offer staff flexible working options so that they can make up time earlier/
later in their day or shift


Create a rota for finishing early, so everyone knows they will get their chance


Provide a television screen and extend break times while matches are taking
place. Employees can then make up time earlier/ later in their day or shift.


Allow employees to bring in radios to listen to the games


Create team-building exercises around the tournament. This could include a Euro
2004 sweepstake.

Spellman
said: "Employers can make the situation work to their advantage by
increasing staff motivation through the flexibility they introduce on
employees’ behalf.

"Obviously
different approaches will suit different organisations, but the key point is
that employers should be proactive," she said.

"They
should consider what reasonable adjustments can be made to enable their
employees to follow the football – and keep their productivity. If not, they
risk scoring an own goal in the long-run."

By
Quentin Reade

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