Ready, set, match | Your gameplan for workplace harmony during the Women’s World Cup final
Written on 17 August 2023
With the Women’s World Cup final taking place this Sunday, employers across various industries, particularly those in the hospitality sector, might be gearing up for potential employee relations challenges.
Sporting events such as this can serve as a dynamic and compelling way to enhance team engagement by fostering a shared sense of excitement, camaraderie, and competition among team members. However, while we understand the excitement and passion that events like these can bring, it’s crucial for employers to effectively manage situations where employees fail to show up for work or exhibit inappropriate behaviour during and after the match.
In this blog, we’ll delve into two scenarios: handling employee absence and other-related issues on the day of the final, and addressing the aftermath on Monday.
Sunday sickies and no-shows
It’s not uncommon for employees to call in sick or simply not show up for work during a high-profile event like the Women’s World Cup. While it’s important to maintain business operations, it’s equally important to avoid an own goal by not jumping to conclusions without clear evidence.
When dealing with a potentially bogus absence, try to keep an open mind. Approach the employee privately and enquire about their absence, rather than immediately accusing them.
However, if an employee is posting pictures on social media enjoying the match during their supposed sick leave, this should be dealt with as a disciplinary issue. Follow a fair disciplinary process that involves gathering evidence and giving the employee an opportunity to explain their side of the story.
The level of punishment will be determined by the facts but could potentially include dismissal without notice.
Just like in the beautiful game, defence is often your best offence, and employers must take proactive steps to reduce the risk of disruptive absences:
- Encourage a positive work culture that values attendance and teamwork, making employees less likely to engage in spurious absences.
- Utilise HR software, such as PeopleNest, to track and manage absences. Ensure line managers log instances of sickness, including duration and reason.
- Implement a return-to-work interview process to deter absenteeism. Employees will know their absences are being monitored, which could act as a deterrent.
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Addressing late arrivals
In addition to handling suspicious absences and inappropriate behaviour, employers should also be prepared to address late arrivals on both Sunday and Monday.
Setting expectations ahead of time will help to prevent issues:
- Communicate the importance of punctuality, especially during events that might lead to employees arriving late.
- Remind employees that their lateness affects team cohesion and the smooth running of business operations.
Approach late arrivals with a balanced perspective. While understanding that occasional delays can happen, discuss the impact of consistent lateness on the team and the business.
Consider using progressive disciplinary measures for repeated tardiness, including verbal warnings and written notifications if necessary.
Managing inappropriate behaviour on match day
Employers may also face issues with employees who show up to work drunk or under the influence of alcohol due to the event. This behaviour not only disrupts operations but also compromises workplace safety.
Here’s it’s important to set clear expectations. Prior to the event:
- Communicate your company’s policy on alcohol consumption during work hours or before shifts.
- Remind employees of their responsibility to maintain professionalism and adhere to workplace policies, even during celebratory times.
The repercussions of employees’ drinking can also extend to the following day. The World Cup final falling on a weekend might be bad news for businesses, as employees turning up in a less-than-optimal state on Monday could impact productivity, disrupt the workflow, and lead to mistakes being made.
Again, proactivity is key. Promote accountability by:
- Establishing clear guidelines on alcohol consumption before workdays. Emphasise the importance of personal responsibility and the impact of absenteeism on colleagues and the business.
- Encouraging employees to plan their schedules responsibly, accounting for potential post-event fatigue.
If an employee does arrive at work hungover, it’s important to handle the situation discreetly and professionally. First, ensure that their behaviour doesn’t pose a safety risk to themselves or others. If their condition is affecting their ability to perform their duties, consider assigning them less critical tasks for the day.
Avoid embarrassment or confrontation; instead, have a private conversation to remind them of workplace expectations and the impact of their condition on their performance. Isolated incidents might be addressed through a more informal conversation or a reminder of company policies. However, if such behaviour happens repeatedly and affects the workplace and its operations, it could potentially lead to formal disciplinary measures.
Remember, maintaining open communication and addressing the issue constructively can lead to a better outcome for both the employee and the business.
Monday morning absences
Turning up worse for wear is one thing, but some employees may not turn up at all.
While kick off is at 11am, more enthusiastic World Cup fans may find their celebrations continue late into the evening. In case of absences the next morning, follow your company’s absenteeism policy. This might involve providing sufficient notice or utilising available paid leave options.
Address frequent Monday absences through a constructive conversation. Discuss the importance of consistent attendance and the impact of irregular attendance on the team.
Balancing business needs and employee wellbeing
As the Women’s World Cup final approaches, employers must be prepared to navigate attendance and behavior challenges while balancing their business requirements with the wellbeing of their employees. And just like in the World Cup, achieving that goal requires strategic planning and teamwork.
Prevention, clear communication, and a fair disciplinary process can help maintain a positive workplace environment and keep disruptions to a minimum. By handling these situations delicately and professionally, employers can ensure that their business runs smoothly while fostering a culture of responsibility and trust. So, keep your eyes on the goal – a harmonious workplace long after the final whistle blows.
Ready to tackle absenteeism and disciplinary challenges in your workplace?
WorkNest’s Employment Law and HR experts are here to guide you through the process. From personalised advice to policy creation and confidence-boosting manager training, we have the solutions to minimise disruption to your workplace, even during events like the Women’s World Cup.
Don’t let attendance or conduct issues hold your business back – contact our team today to discuss your specific situation and see how we can help. Call 0345 226 8393 or request your free consultation using the button below.