Staff management key to ‘business as usual’ during Olympics
The Olympics presents a ‘once in a generation’ moment for many of us in this country – but it also presents a logistical headache for many businesses, not only in London, but across the UK.
A global event on our doorstep has huge advantages for an economy in need of all the help it can get. But, in order for businesses across the UK to maximise this opportunity, there need to be safeguards in place to make sure that, at times of potential disruption to the daily ebb and flow of working life, it’s business as usual.
While much attention has been given to digesting information about key dates and access to public transport in central London and elsewhere around the UK, we’re finding that one of the main risks to business continuity – the ability of employers to maintain staffing levels – is being overlooked.
There is a real risk that if employers don’t handle things correctly and in an upfront way that a proportion of their workforce will fail to turn up for work on problem days, when transport systems are most affected. At a time when services are facing increased pressure, this could cause serious long-term damage to customer relationships.
People management strategies should be a core part of companies’ business continuity plans for the eight-week period from 16th July, when the Olympic Village opens, through to the closing ceremony on 12th September 2012.
Regardless of where businesses are based in the country, if their services are likely to come under stress as a result of access to, from and passage through the capital, they should start adopting appropriate people management strategies now.
With a month to go, annual leave requests for the eight-week Olympic period should be already be in discussion with staff to ensure adequate staffing levels are maintained. The transport plans of individual workers should also be considered on a one-to-one basis and support provided as appropriate. For example, it may be possible to temporarily allow flexi-working on key dates in order to minimise the impact of potential transport delays.”
In addition to addressing resourcing issues and ensuring adequate staffing levels, workplace incentives may also be needed to encourage workers to get to and from work on key dates.
To minimise the risk of attendance levels dipping on key dates due to absenteeism, employers should consider introducing a programme or workplace incentives and communicating these to the workforce in advance. For example, workers achieving 100% attendance during the eight-week Olympic period could be entered into a prize draw to win a weekend break or they could be awarded a discretionary bonus payment by way of reward.
Former chief superintendent for West Midlands Police, Russ Smith is national security director at Resources Services Group.Tagged in: business, crowds, employees, events, management, olympics, staff
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