With only one year to go to the London Olympic Games, we need to start planning and getting in shape! The summer holidays always cause a headache for us in the HR team, but we are expecting August 2012 to be even more challenging when the Olympic Games come to London
70,000 volunteers, 6,000 paid employees and 100,000 contractors, 7.7 million spectators and over 40,000 athletes for a short period of time across the Olympics, kicking off with the Opening Ceremony on 27 July 2012, a serious resource planning commitment!!! But are we all ready for the effects of the Olympics on our daily working environment?
- We are expecting increased demand for annual leave – How do we handle this?
- What about volunteers for the Olympics? Do we have to give time off
- We are London based – how will our staff, clients and customer are going to reach us given the predicted congestion in the city.
All questions I have been asked recently and I’m sure we will have more questions next year.
But rather than looking at this negatively, ensure you have a plan and can implement it and look at this positively. What better way to boost staff morale than get them involved in London 2012 Olympic Fever?
London will be very busy during the Games; you will need to be flexible to ensure that staff can still carry out their duties and your business isn’t affected. Here are a few pointers to help you plan.
- Establish policies and communicate these well in advance.
- Review your Contracts of Employment, particularly the clauses relating to hours and place of work – are they flexible enough
- Small changes to working patterns for your teams can prevent headaches build in temporary flexible working patterns so that staff can start early/late in order to watch or attend key events
- Remote working schedules where business allows – especially in areas where travel will be a problem. Making sure your remote working policy clearly states that employees are still expected to complete a full day of work.
- Do you have a Business Continuity Plan for any disruptions during the Olympic disruptions?
- Manage demand for annual leave – allocate leave fairly and make sure your holiday policy is up to date.
- Inform staff early to ensure they are aware of a first come first served basis for holiday application.
- Will employees be required to use their annual leave if they have been selected as volunteers? Communicate the policy clearly, ensure consistent treatment amongst staff and ensure that the policy is stated to apply for volunteers at the 2012 Olympics only. Whether you choose to relax some of your rules or enforce them as normal, ensure that your approach is consistent.
- To ensure you prevent any problems going forward when it comes to staff taking unauthorised absence, communicate your policies and consider sending an email reminder of your absence and disciplinary policies. If you do decide to invoke your disciplinary policy make sure you follow this consistently and most importantly don’t jump to conclusions!
- Watching / downloading the games over the internet. Again communicate your policy so that everyone is aware of what is expected and allowed. If they want to watch the games live, does this breach your IT policy? Are they able to do you have the right bandwidth available? Do you have a TV Licence?
- Check you don’t discriminate between your staff. Beware giving Team GB supporters priority over non-Team GB Supporters.
- Plan well and earn some easy employee relations points and save management time!
Interesting marketing facts that you may not have heard:
Do you know that: 2012, Summer, Gold, Medals, Olympics are protected words. You could get in trouble for using them either on their own or combined with other words in the course of trade.
London 2012 has been dubbed to be the “first truly digital Olympics” – Tweeters at the ready!