Does your team have the potential to win an Olympic gold medal?
2 August 2012
With the arrival of Great Britain’s first two gold medals, the Games are capturing the attention of more and more individuals.
The Olympics provide a valuable reminder of the importance of team work, communication and motivation in the workplace. And you never know, you may have a gold medal winner amongst you. The BBC have helpfully provided the following link here to help you start to live your Olympic dream. The Osborne Clarke team have a potential gymnast, sailor, diver and even a Greco Roman Wrestler!
However, as Olympic momentum builds, it is important not to take your eye off the ball. We set out below a reminder of key points for employers to consider to minimise business disruption and legal risks:
Have a strategy for dealing with late leave requests. As the spirit of the Olympics takes hold, employees who were not previously intending on taking time off may be tempted to do so. Have a policy in place for accommodating late requests.
Be consistent. Where your business operates from a number of different locations, minimise the risk for potential employee relations fall out where workplaces adopt differing approaches to enjoying the events. Where business need dictates different approaches in different locations, make sure this is made clear to employees.
Be international and inclusive. Diverse workforces require a consistency of approach and fair treatment. Overseas nationals within the workplace may want to watch their team just as much as home nationals. Make sure that precedence is not given to “home” games and events.
Have clear rules for demonstrating national pride. Excessive national paraphernalia may not only be an unwelcome distraction but also create an intimidating work environment for employees of other nationalities. There is a careful balance in not being the party pooper but ensuring the party does not get out of hand.
Ensure clear communication. Communicate now the standards and behaviours expected of employees over the coming months, particularly with regard to attendance and use of the internet during working hours. Remind employees that unless agreed otherwise, they are expected to be in and ready for work as usual.
Be ready to enforce your policies as necessary. Ensure your internet use, sickness absence, flexible working, home working, harassment and disciplinary procedures are up to date and ready to deal with any potential issues that may arise.
Make the experience positive for everyone. The feel good factor over the coming week should be maximised in the workplace. In particular, consider screening key events in the workplace so that staff can engage and watch together whilst minimising business disruption.
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