Open-access content 3rd July 2012
Ali Moran discusses the issues raised by the arrival of the Olympic games in July.
3 May 2012
The Olympic Clock in Trafalgar Square is counting down the days until the opening ceremony for the London Olympic Games on 27 July 2012.
If you are involved in facilities management, it is highly likely that you have already got plans in place to deal with the impact the games will have on the services you and your team deliver. But what about managing your team's expectations and keeping them focused on the job in hand in the lead up to, and during, the Olympics?
The first step is to identify their hopes and plans so that any conflicts can be established - such as too many people wanting to be away at the same time - and develop a standard response to those issues across the business. Ensuring that everyone knows what the process is for getting approval for their time off and how conflicts will be dealt with - first come, first served, for example - is also key.
What of the avid but disappointed sports fans who did not strike gold in their bid for tickets and are desperately hoping that they will be able to watch some of the action while at work? Possibilities include allowing employees to watch the most popular events, either in the office or in the local hostelry. This is certainly a generous provision, but it can help to limit the time people spend secretly watching events. It is important to be clear about the expectations surrounding such an initiative, such as no alcohol if the plan is to retire to the local pub, or what the consequences will be should anyone focus their attention on the games at other times.
The lucky ticket holders will undoubtedly already have booked their leave, but what of the volunteers (aka 'games makers') wanting time off?
In relation to volunteers, who were used for the first time at the Olympics in 1948
when London was the host city, it will be a brave employer who refuses to allow someone to take up his or her games maker post. And I say this as someone who is a games maker, working both at the main games and the Paralympics. In fact, Simon Aspinall, a colleague on the SIG steering committee, is also a games maker and will be working in the transport team at Park Lane.
But what if your team is delivering essential services during the games and cannot be depleted? From a legal perspective, a volunteer has no right to demand the time off and as an employer you will simply need to follow your usual process for requesting leave. If leave is granted, then this can either be taken from annual leave or as unpaid leave.
Love it or not, the Olympics are coming and to leave you with some idea of the size of the undertaking here is London 2012 in numbers:
- 10 million tickets
- 30 days of competition
- 15,000 athletes
- 46 sports
- 805 events
- 4,000 technical officials
- 10,000 team officials
- 6,000 employees of LOCOG
- 125,000 contractors from more than 100 organisations
- 70,000 volunteers
- One million extra journeys in the busiest nine days
Ali Moran is the chair of the BIFM People Management Special Interest Group and HR associate with Workplace Law.