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Firms urged to prepare a game plan for Euro 2004



Employers must take action now to avoid a drain on productivity through unexpected staff absences during Euro 2004, warned Investors in People today.

With the nation gearing up to go football crazy on the 12 June, 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.

A survey carried out around the 2002 World Cup found that four out of ten football fans called in sick during the World Cup, costing business on average £391million.

Investors in People suggests a number of ideas which may help employers 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 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.

“This problem always exists around big sporting tournaments, but employers seem to ignore it and hope it goes away,” said Ruth Spellman, Chief Executive of Investors in People.

“Employers can make the situation work to their advantage by increasing staff motivation through the flexibility they introduce on employees’ behalf. They should consider what reasonable adjustments can be made to enable their employees to follow the football – and keep their productivity.”

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