• >
  • ...
  • >
  • How to manage Match Day Madness: An employer’s guide for the UEFA Euros 2024

How to manage Match Day Madness: An employer’s guide for the UEFA Euros 2024

Learn how to protect your business from unplanned absences and foul play during this year’s Summer of Sport.

First published on Tuesday, Jun 11, 2024

Last updated on Tuesday, Jun 11, 2024

6 min read

It’s summer, and footy fever is hotting up across Europe. Fans are keenly anticipating the start of the UEFA Euros 2024 tournament, set to kick off on Friday the 14th of June 2024 with a match between Scotland and host nation Germany.

For supporters everywhere, the Euros signify an exciting time, with many teams in great shape to contest the trophy. But for employers, the Euros can represent a different kind of match day, where the goal is to tackle workplace challenges without ending up in a penalty shootout over policies.

So, as the opening whistle blows, how can employers keep on the right side of the pitch? Read on for advice to help you minimise disruption and keep staff morale and productivity high throughout the tournament…

What challenges do employers face during big sporting events?

Unexpected absences

Like sporting injuries, major tournaments can bring a surge in unexpected absences—leaving your key players on the bench. Data shows these absences can cost businesses up to £100m in lost productivity due to ‘questionable’ sick days or lack of concentration for long periods during the working day.

Einstein once said, “intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.” Fortunately, you don’t need to be an award-winning theoretical physicist to minimise increased absences during the footy!

As a business owner, all you need to do is set out a clear policy outlining expectations ahead of the competition. Make use of rota scheduling software to keep things simple, filling vacant shifts instantly and minimising any disruption to your operation.

Once the tournament begins, keep your eyes on the ball, noting who’s calling in sick, and when. Tracking team attendance on key match days and the day after big matches is key to keeping things pitch-perfect!

Be careful not to jump to any conclusions though, as disciplinary action against a genuine case of sickness might land you in the sin bin.

If only there was a way to view staff absence at a glance… We’re talking about BrightHR’s attendance and absence management software, obviously!

Social media and red card behaviour

Emotions during the Euros can run high, and passion for the beautiful game may taint employee behaviour both in and out of the workplace.

This was especially evident during the Euros 2020 final, when members of the England squad were subject to racist abuse and discrimination after penalties were missed.

While some frustration is understandable, abuse and discrimination should never be tolerated. Employers should be mindful of these issues and remind their staff that any abusive behaviour—whether online or off—could be dealt with as part of an internal disciplinary process.

For more information, ask Bright BrAInbox “Can I use social media posts as part of disciplinary evidence?”

Subbing out substance abuse

While we’ve covered the rise in ‘mysterious’ illnesses and last-minute leave requests, there’s a chance some team members might kick off celebrations early with a cheeky tipple during office hours.

If you have concerns about the impact of Euros pre-drinks on your workplace, remind your staff to review their contracts for the company’s policy on alcohol consumption. If you need more information on what should be included in your alcohol policy, ask Bright BrAInbox “What should I include in an alcohol policy?”

Balancing holiday requests

As the tournament excitement builds, employees will be keen to support their home squads, potentially causing a surge in requests for time off.

Employers would be wise to fine-tune their policies and rotas in anticipation, making sure there is a fair distribution of duties and that backup plans are in place to prevent any department from feeling overburdened with work.

Want to spend less time worrying about holidays altogether? BrightHR’s staff holiday planner might be exactly what you’re looking for!

How can business owners take advantage of the Euros euphoria?

The Euros season isn’t just about navigating challenges; it also presents a unique opportunity for savvy employers to enhance team spirit and drive productivity.

Here are some winning strategies:

Remind your team to take time out

While an increase in holiday requests might not be the most helpful thing for your business, companies that see lower workloads in June and July could use the sporting season as a chance to encourage staff to take time off.

61% of UK workers failed to take their full annual leave in 2023, leading to burnout, the lowest engagement rates ever, and drops in productivity and workplace culture.

Reminding your workforce to take annual leave not only gives your team time to shift responsibilities and manage additional tasks smoothly but can also help boost morale in the long term.

Business owners may also want to consider allowing holidays on shorter notice than usual, provided it won’t have any negative effects on their workplace.

Just ensure to be inclusive of non-footy fans by sticking to your usual method for managing annual leave!

To see which staff have been taking enough holiday at a glance, check out BrightHR’s annual leave balance tool.

Embrace flexibility

With the new recent flexible working rules in play, employers must adapt to employees’ needs.

Take, for example, the Denmark vs England game on the 20th June at 5pm—offering the option to begin work earlier could help staff get home in time for kick-off, scoring a goal for productivity, team morale, and staff retention!

Leverage matches to boost morale

The Euros should be an enjoyable time for everyone in the workplace, introducing friendly competition among a diverse workforce and bringing people together.

Employers may want to consider screening matches in the office, muted or otherwise, and relaxing the dress code on match days, giving employees the chance to show off their favourite football shirts and have some fun with it!

Keep your business on the winning side for the Euros and beyond!

Overall, while employers need to be prepared for workplace foul play throughout the Euros, businesses can also play to the competition’s strengths. Sporting events can be a great way to foster a positive work environment and boost morale and productivity.

Need more support on managing the match mania?

From last-minute absences to employee time-keeping and annual leave management, create the perfect team game plan with our leading suite of team planning tools. See them in action by booking a software demo with one of our friendly experts: Book my demo.

Share this article