WITH the Commonwealth Games and golf’s Ryder Cup both just weeks away, Scotland is the place to be with a series of memorable occasions, capturing the nation’s attention.
As well as these global sporting events, there’s also Scotland’s biggest festival, T in the Park, taking place.
Undoubtedly, there is going to be a high volume of employees requesting holidays at the same time.
However, as an employer it is important to be prepared and ensure you have an adequate amount of staff present in the office to guarantee the steady functioning of day-to-day work.
Empire, an Aberdeen-based HR and employment law specialist, suggests that holidays and days off should be monitored closely, as it is vital that major events do not impact the running of the business.
HR manager at Empire, Donna Gibb, said: “It’s important for individuals to recognise that unexplained absence or taking a sick day to attend or watch events can be a huge cost to the business.
“When organisations have to deal with unplanned absence it is a lot more expensive and stressful for other staff who are left to deal with the extra workload.
“From an employers’ perspective having policies and procedures in place for this type of situation is extremely important.
“Employee’s must understand the consequences of taking unexplained absence and it is important for employer’s to ensure this is communicated effectively to staff, it could be useful to formulate and distribute a factsheet for staff with regards to company policy.”
Here are some winning tactics for employers to handle the holiday hassles:
First come, first served: When an employer is faced with lots of competing holiday requests, it can be very stressful, however it is important to deal with the requests fairly and consistently, perhaps on a first come first served or on a rotational basis. With a number of major sporting events on this summer, it is also good to make your expectations clear, so it is a good idea to create a sporting events policy or memo to staff to ensure employees are aware of the correct procedures.
Keep staff motivated: With many favourite sporting events taking place, it is important to ensure staff are motivated in the work place. The option to show the coverage of the sports events in the office, or have them showing at lunch and break times could keep employees happy at work and will ensure they do not feel the need to take a sick day to watch it at home. Embrace the sports fever and have fun with the events, creating a buzz in the office.
Monitor staff absences: It is important for employers to keep track of unplanned days off particularly if individuals seem to be out of the office more often than usual. Also, if you cannot accommodate all requests, you may see more people calling in sick so it is important you put in place measures to monitor absence, which should deter employees from calling in sick unless they are genuinely ill.
Return to work interviews: Other than being best HR practice, these meetings will help organisations outline absences and assist in highlighting other issues which may arise. A five-to-ten-minute meeting spent with an employee with regards to their return to work can be very beneficial when it comes to people management. This procedure allows the employer to ensure the absence was genuine and provides an opportunity for them to investigate if the employee has a high level of absence. An individual meeting shows employees that the employer cares about them and can in turn, have a positive influence on working relationships.
Genuine sickness absence should be dealt with sympathetically; however, if necessary, the correct procedures and policies must be followed to ensure multiple unexplained absences are kept to a minimum.
With a number of different events taking place over the next few months, it is important to ensure that your business is prepared for a possible increase in unexplained absences and that managers can deal with excessive holiday requests appropriately.
Issued by Frasermedia Ltd on behalf of Empire.
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