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12 June 2024

How do businesses manage staff absence through Euro 2024?

How do businesses manage staff absence through Euro 2024?

Summer international football tournaments can bring hope, joy and entertainment to millions of fans throughout the UK as well as a boost to the economy if home nations do well. But they can also bring significant challenges for HR departments and managers as staff compete to book the same days off and ‘sickness/AWOL’ absence increases exponentially.

The cost of long runs for Britain in previous Euro and World Cup tournaments has created workforce problems in the past and the cost to the economy at large is now measured in billions rather than millions of pounds, with a single game in Euro 2016 (England v Wales) estimated to have cost around £200m alone in lost productivity.

And with today’s increasingly diverse workforce, it’s not just British teams shift managers need to worry about. Poland, Ukraine, and Romania are all taking part in Euro 2024 and have significant numbers of people working across the UK.

So how can businesses navigate the Euros without productivity suffering?

  1. Acknowledge the tournament is taking place and encourage advance planning. Getting employees to book leave well in advance buys you more time to understand if you are likely to have a staffing challenge and implement a solution.
  2. Be clear with workers about what is and what isn’t allowed during the tournament. There is no reason why procedures and policies for sickness reporting should be any different, but it’s a good idea to reinforce rules before the football starts so everyone has no excuses.
  3. Being flexible with shifts to fit around kick-off times can help reduce staff absence. It's better to have people in for three-quarters of a shift than for them to miss it completely. 
  4. Win or lose, some people will be on the booze regardless. Book extra staff in advance in case of big game hangovers and remind people about the effects of alcohol at work.
  5. If it is practical to do so, set up viewing areas for the big games.  This is an opportunity for staff engagement whilst not losing entire shifts.
  6. Organise cross-training so you have no single points of failure.  Should you experience no-shows you will be in a better position to cope and remain operational.

“Advance planning is key to navigating the Euros tournament successfully,” says KPI Sales Director Joe Jardine. “Knowing which games will potentially affect your workforce and booking extra staff for dates around them will mean businesses are much more likely to survive without dips in productivity.”

If you need extra staff during the Euro 2024, call Joe Jardine on 07874 867453 or email JoeJ@kpir.co.uk.  

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