Posted on 19/03/2013 by Phil Hall
Your business should be getting up to speed for this summer’s Olympics now. Many employees will want to take time off during the London 2012 Olympics if they have tickets for an event. You should think carefully about how you will respond to holiday requests, especially if several employees request employees request the same day off.
What about requests from employees who wish to volunteer at the Olympics? Several thousand “Games Maker” volunteers will perform key roles during the Olympics and commit at least three days for pre-Games training and at least 10 days during the Games. This could be a serious drain on your resources. There is no legal right to be paid for volunteering and you are free to decide whether to give paid or unpaid time off or whether the employee should use their annual leave. Why might you be happy for employees to volunteer?
Possible business benefits of allowing employees to volunteer include the employee developing new skills and supporting the community.
To retain productivity while harnessing the positivity this unique event creates, you need to plan early.
Here are some practical tips for you:
Implement a ‘first come, first served’ policy for booking leave. Advise employees to request any leave they wish to take for the Olympics as early as possible to avoid disappointment
Plan for popular sporting events in advance – for example by providing access to a TV during agreed times
Provide flexible working arrangements for those wishing to watch some TV or internet coverage whilst at work – for example allowing employees to use their lunch hour flexibly
Make clear whether or not employees are permitted to view the Olympics via your company’s internet access to avoid potential risks cause by high volume streaming.
As always, the key will be to have a clear policy in advance and communicate this to all staff. This way, everyone knows where they stand and your business interests are protected.