Traditionally, major football tournaments, in which home nations are participating, have presented both challenges and opportunities on the personnel front. While the papers may report on record levels of absenteeism coinciding with a major fixture, we also hear of innovative and successful ways in which organisations use the matches to engage their employees.

We’ve taken a look at some of the key things to consider so you can maximise the morale-boosting opportunity Russia 2018 presents – even if England don’t!

Preparation is everything

As with the teams competing, preparation is everything. Decide on your plans and policies in advance to avoid leaving matters open to interpretation or abuse. Subjects to consider include: maximising engagement, minimising disruption, maintaining productivity, co-ordinating holiday requests, outlining acceptable internet use, monitoring sick leave, health and safety preparations and misconduct procedures.

Communication is key

Communication is everything. Clearly convey any special events or procedures so everyone in the organisation can be involved without misunderstanding, missing out or falling foul of the rules of the game.

There are one or two aspects to guard against. With emotions high and national pride at stake, occasionally behaviour can cross the line. Ensure that what is, and is not acceptable, is communicated and beware the regrettable risk of discrimination.

Identify implications

Many of the matches fall within typical working hours while some branch into evenings and can often be the catalyst for celebrations outside of work. Consider the implications of alcohol the night before should roles within your organisation involve driving or operating dangerous machinery for example.

Respect others

Remember too, that not everyone will be gripped by World Cup fever. Do not enforce any regulations that isolate or effectively penalise those not wanting to get involved.

That said, the World Cup only comes round once every four years, so why not use it to your advantage? It presents a unique opportunity for team building and can be the catalyst to bring people together. By showing the game in communal areas, people can choose to dip in and dip out, in line with their interest and work demands.

If planned and integrated effectively, the World Cup can provide an inspiring and engaging platform for increased interaction across the workforce. Think ahead and avoid the potential pitfalls to make it a positive and successful event for your team.

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