Wimbledon, Tour de France, Olympics equals spike in sickies

by Stephanie Zillman09 Jul 2012

Around Australia many HR professionals are bracing for the sporting season – the Men’s Wimbledon final was last night, Tour de France has just kicked off and the Olympics are just around the corner.

Late nights and beers with mates during the 2010 FIFA world cup in South Africa led to a 25% spike in absenteeism, Direct Health Solutions recorded. But how can HR manage the problem?

According to Randstad, instead of dampening people’s spirits and living up to the HR moniker of the fun police, organisations may find it’s an ideal time to embrace the spirit of the sport, have fun and build employee morale through celebration and a culture of teamwork. Allowing people to express their emotions and be passionate about this global sporting event can have a positive impact on their overall happiness and mental attitude in the workplace. “Themed marketing and business development activities can also be effective tools to generate sales and build stronger relationships with staff and customers,” former Randstad chief Deb Loveridge commented during the World Cup.

Planning for potential spikes in absenteeism is advisable, and HR may plan to ensure projects are resourced at normal levels. Meetings, projects and deadlines may require flexibility or rescheduling, particularly if staff working on these projects are known sporting fans. Loveridge also commented that employers should monitor pre-agreed leave days.

Temporary staff may even be required to fill the gaps where needed. If business leaders recognise that work may stand still or ‘dribble’ along, then they may be more inclined to get behind the spirit of the sport and join in the celebration with their people, Loveridge added.



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