Is your business ready for football fever?

Love it or hate it, the 2014 World Cup is almost upon us. But as die-hard football fans and patriots prepare for kick off, we ask – is your office on the ball and ready for the impact that the fixtures may cause?

When high profile events such as the World Cup take place, the level of anticipation can be felt long before the excitement of the real thing. The nation gets behind its team with fresh hopes that ‘this could be the year’ and the routine of an ordinary week can soon become disrupted.

It is therefore no surprise to read reports that organisations large and small may encounter lost productivity or unauthorised absence costs, as a result. Some managers dismiss these claims, believing they simply make interesting headlines. However, with four weeks of football fever only days away, it is important to ensure you are prepared nonetheless.

World Cup article

Keen to ensure you create the right impression for your staff, whilst making best use of the functionality within your HR software, the Cascade team shares some top tips for preparing for the World Cup:

“If you want to show your employees that you acknowledge their enthusiasm and value the contribution they make to your business, consider making compromises during the World Cup. Detail everything in a policy and recap on the procedure employees should follow if they wish to request an authorised absence. Circulate this to staff or add it to the company documents module of your software – you could even prompt employees to tick when they have read the policy, for your HR department’s records,”

Donna Larvin, HR Manager 


“If using a paper-based HR system, it may prove difficult to manage the volume of incoming requests for annual leave or to grant appropriate authorisations. However, HR technology can alleviate this potential administrative burden, and ‘key man blocking’ functionality can assess pre-authorised absences and prompt  line managers as to who can and cannot be off as a result,”

Sarah McNicoll, Service Desk Manager 


Self service is a fantastic tool when it comes to lots of individuals potentially requesting leave at the same time. It promotes transparency across your organisation, by allowing employees to look at their present holiday entitlement and assess who else is on leave at a given time (using team planners),”

Kieran Hicken, Product Consultant 


“It may not be realistic for you to authorise holiday requests, especially at such late notice. So why not consider playing radio match coverage in the office, or displaying a plasma screen that employees can watch when working? If you think this might be too disruptive, you could nominate  a line manager to monitor the event and distribute internal e-updates or group announcements, via your HR software

Richard Anderson, Commercial Director


“Flexi time might pose the solution you’re looking for, or you could grant unpaid annual leave, providing you’re comfortable that productivity will not be affected. To ensure this doesn’t create additional workload for your payroll team, you can record any unpaid leave within the HR software and, due to the fully integrated nature of our payroll product, the necessary wage calculations will be made accordingly,”

Andy Court, Head of Marketing 


“Remember that, as UK workforces become increasingly diversified, your employees may support a different national team, other than England. Try to ensure you adopt a non-discriminatory approach throughout, whether you are authorising absences, allowing flexible working patterns or showing key games in the office,”

Laura Kirrane, HR Assistant 


“Make the most of this opportunity to illustrate the personality of your business. Even if you aren’t personally too excited about the World Cup, it is likely that a large proportion of your staff might be. So boost their morale and capitalise on the chance to bring different members of the workforce together by holding your own events.  At Cascade for instance, we’ve organised a World Cup launch party, a football shirt ‘non-uniform’ day and we’re going to provide food and drink for anyone that wants to come and watch a chosen late afternoon fixture in our social area,”

Michael Trevethan, Marketing Specialist 


“Not all employees will have football fever, but that is not to say they should be exempt from any temporary changes to working practices, as this could dampen their morale levels. Ensure consistency and equality in your approach,”

Emma Jones, Internal Sales Team Leader


“When there is such a highly-anticipated competition taking place, ask yourself if there is similarly a way to instil a sense of friendly rivalry within your organisation. You could organise a team sweepstake or a five-a-side tournament for example. Or you could simply make the most of the Brazilian culture we will come to learn a lot about, and have themed lunches in the office. Whatever you decide, it’s a great way to utilise your imagination, capture the enthusiasm of your workforce and build fantastic inter-team relationships,”

Heather Vitty, Client Services Director


“If you are approaching the World Cup and you don’t have HR software in place to help alleviate some of the labour-intensive headaches that such events can bring, utilise this opportunity to plan ahead for the future and ensure your HR team is best-equipped to cope next time. Why not book a free demonstration of Cascade?,”

Marc Greggains, Sales Manager


For further information about Cascade’s HR software, or to speak to a member of the Cascade team about how we can help you plan for the future of your HR department, please contact 0113 255 4115, email or download our free information pack.

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