Employers should embrace sporting events

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The majority (82%) of employees believe embracing Euro 2016 matches is good for staff morale

More than six out of 10 (62%) UK workers believe businesses should show support for international sporting events, according to research from CV-Library.

The majority (82%) of employees said they believe the Euro 2016 football matches are good for staff morale. The most popular ideas among workers to embrace these fixtures were showing games in the office, allowing flexible lunchtimes around matches and events, and setting up teams to represent each country then providing perks each time that team's country wins a game.

Gary Cookson, HR director for Trafford College, agreed that employers should embrace the engagement opportunities such events provide. “They don't come around too often but they're a good chance to get staff talking to each other, for managers to engage with reports on non-work topics, or even to introduce a little gamification into the workplace,” he told HR magazine.

“Too many employers stifle engagement by clamping down on flexibility and individuality during such times, and highlight the negative aspects of policies like absence, time and attendance and the dreaded code of conduct. Businesses should treat staff more like adults and trust them to do the right thing while giving opportunities to discuss the events, get involved in activities related to the events, and feel a greater bond with their employer by grasping flexible working opportunities,” he added.

Lee Biggins, CV-Library's founder and managing director, warned that major sports matches can be considered a potential disruption by employers, but agreed they should instead be harnessed. “Planning ahead and considering ways to embrace international events in the workplace can actually reduce disturbance and encourage team building,” he said.

“Events such as Euro 2016 and the Rio Olympics shouldn’t be viewed as a negative – they are actually a great opportunity for businesses to engage with their staff and improve productivity, particularly during the summer months when employees can be distracted. Implementing internal sweepstakes and other incentives associated with sporting events make staff feel valued, while also helping employers to manage expectations. Ultimately happy staff are productive staff, so it’s a win-win situation.”

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