Major football games, basketball tourneys and awards season, oh my! Reasons to celebrate outside of work are numerous and help liven up daily grind, but they may also lead to loss of productivity. Unplanned absences like the millions of people who planned to call in sick or show up late after the Super Bowl have a negative effect on their team's ability to accomplish work, costing employers time and money.
But each of these celebrations is an opportunity to build culture and trust within the workplace—if managers take important steps in motivating employees to make responsible decisions. Awards season may have just ended, but March Madness upon us, so how can employers encourage everyone's love and celebration of their team while meeting their responsibilities to their colleagues and company?
1. Initiate the Conversation Early
Let your employees know that you're aware of upcoming events and share your expectations as their manager or employer. It shows that you're in tune with things that matter to them, while providing the opportunity to establish your own expectations. Inviting requests for time-off or scheduling changes helps you avoid unplanned absences that hinder productivity for the whole team.
2. Integrate Celebration Into Your Work Plan
Brackets tend to make their way around pretty easily, as do the construction of fantasy leagues (departmental and cross-departmental), with or without the bosses. But managers can demonstrate support for their team by providing opportunities to watch key games and events in the workplace when appropriate (as long as the work gets done, of course). Knowing there's time set aside to enjoy can be a motivating factor too! This recent conversation at The Workforce Institute at Kronos presents a few good examples and ideas how this might work.
3. Use Workforce Management Solutions to Your Advantage
Fielding time-off requests or shift swaps could create an administrative hassle, especially with scheduling for part-time employees, but workforce solutions like the new Kronos Workforce Dimensions can monitor and manage these requests automatically. With the right configuration, these systems can approve time-off and schedule swap requests that meet the right criteria: available vacation time, scheduling compliance, adequate staffing and more. Managers receive appropriate updates and only handle any requests that raise any red flags, which can often be done simply on mobile devices.
Setting expectations and encouraging teams to be proactive around anticipated "sick" days can go a long way to keeping your teams on track. Communication is always key, and there's a lot to be gained from using celebrations as an opportunity for cultural growth within as much as it is outside of the company. When your team knows you're paying attention to things that matter outside of work, it builds engagement. And having a workforce system in place that supports proactivity helps. As professional workforce management consultants and a Kronos certified partner, our team at The WFC Group is eager to help you find, implement and manage software systems configured to keep you management ahead of the curve and support your company's cultural growth. If you see an opportunity for improvement with your workforce management system, we're eager to help you meet your goals and maximize productivity. It all starts with getting in touch!