HPC’s guide to the Rio Olympics

It only seems we are just getting over the excitement of Euro 2016 when the next big sporting event is ready to start, the Rio Olympics Games.   As the Olympics has so many different sporting events, this can bring its own difficulties in the workplace.  HPC would like to provide you some top tips for dealing with employees during this time:


  • Consider whether you can be flexible in your approach fi you have employees that work during the evening and nights, i.e. allowing for the key events to be shown in work, allowing for people to take longer or later breaks. You just need to be clear to your employees over what you can implement.


  • If you do allow for the events to be watched in work make it clear to employees what standard of conduct you expect as emotions can run high which can result in offensive comments being made against opposing countries.


  • You may find an increase for requests for time off work for the key events, so make sure you have a good system to record any request including any requests you have to turn down so you can refer back to them.


  • Make sure your holiday policy is up to date and well publicised to all employees, ensuring that you deal with any requests for time off fairly and consistently.


  • You may find a higher than usual amount of sick absence, so you need to ensure your absence policy is applied including the use of return to work interviews. Make sure you keep accurate records and if you use trigger points to monitor sickness absence apply these during this period.


  • Following key events, you might find that the morning after there are issues with timekeeping. Be clear from the outset that you expect people to be in work  on time and any lateness issues with be dealt with under your company’s disciplinary procedure making sure it is applied fairly and consistently.


  • Make sure your alcohol policy is clear on whether employees are allowed to drink alcohol whilst on breaks, as some people may have a couple of drinks watching any events.


  • Check your IT policy. If you are going to allow employees to use the internet to watch the events, and your policy does not normally allow this make it clear that it is exceptional circumstances.


  • You may find that the Olympics could have an impact on the productivity and sharpness of those supposed to be at work, particularly as the majority of the events will be nocturnal. Unless businesses decide on a more accepting approach for the duration of the competitions, it is better to instil a ‘business as usual’ approach and be prepared to tackle under-performing, negligent or disruptive employees in the usual manner.


  • You may want to consider it an ideal opportunity to build team spirit, motivation and engagement including events which encourage socialising between teams, setting and rewarding team targets.




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