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Talking balls



I don’t think it will come as a surprise to anyone to be told that the World Cup starts tomorrow.  I’m not a hard-core football fan but along with many people I’m interested and excited about seeing one of the world’s big sporting events.  I’ll be taking time to watch a few games and I’ll probably be checking up on the scores whilst I’m at work….

HOLD ON!  What?  I mean is that allowed? 

If I do that, then what does that mean for others?  Surely we need a policy on this, a working group to define “Acceptable Responsible Soccer Enjoyment”.  The ARSE working group can then define an ARSE policy and associated ARSE guidelines which can then be monitored by nominated ARSE watchers.

The amount of HR bollocks that is being spouted over the World Cup is truly amazing.  Legal advice, on legal advice, on legal advice.  Article after article.  “HR World Cup Headache” seems to be the headline of the day.  Even my friends at XpertHR are at it… David Shepherd rightly introduces the video by highlighting that law firms use this for free publicity but then goes on to discuss some of the same guff that they have been espousing.

I even read that their could be discrimination claims involved, because allowing people time to watch England’s games and not those of other countries could be seen to be discriminatory.  Really? No.  The country that we live in is England.  We are allowing everyone to watch England.  There is no discrimination there.  Sure if you are not allowing non-English people the chance to watch the England game there may be discrimination but is anyone really recommending that?  As for sex discrimination (mentioned as well) just don’t get me started. Women watch football (especially the World Cup) as much as men.

And then all the advice about managing attendance and, drinking and internet usage and blah, blah, blah, blah……….if you don’t have an agreed organisational approach to any of these, it’s not the World Cup you should be worried about, it is your overall level of competence.

Talk about over engineering and sullying what should be a chance to have some fun in the office and maybe even, who know, a little legitimate team bonding.  The World Cup has been going on for 80 years, long before HR departments were there to spoil it – we don’t need to start now.

So don’t focus on creating a load of ARSE in your business, focus on the fun.  And look on the bright side, England will only be playing three games before they are back home and we were wondering what all the fuss was about, just imagine if you were an HR Manager in Brazil……..

8 Comments leave one →
  1. BJH permalink
    06/10/2010 07:36

    Hear, hear – thank goodness for the voice of common-sense!

  2. 06/10/2010 07:45

    There was similar hype 4 yrs ago……and I don’t remeber there being any significant fall – out then.

  3. 06/10/2010 08:06

    What a brilliant (goal)post, groan…

  4. 06/10/2010 08:36

    You’re making a good point here, HRD, and I so want to agree with the spirit of your argument. I do feel that employment law firms have gone OTT with the scaremongering on World Cup related issues, and, as you say, I do allude to this legal marketing in the video. They do exactly the same with Xmas parties, of course, when the tone of the apocalyptic warnings can get even more hysterical. (Some people look forward to the lights on Oxford Street but it’s the first alarmist employment lawyer press release of the festive season that usually gets me into the Christmas spirit.) I certainly accept that much of the advice given around the World Cup falls into the category of common sense and following what should be established basic procedures in well-run organisations. In which case, you may well ask why is XpertHR covering this topic in this month’s video? Two main reasons. First, our service is partly about helping employers and HR get the basics and fundamentals right, so we do provide guidance on unglamourous day-to-day issues of managing absence, use of the internet at work etc. All of this no doubt runs like a well-oiled machine in your organisation, but many others have challenges in these areas and they do appreciate help and guidance. Which leads me to the second reason: the issue has been raised by our own users on our advice line, in FAQ suggestions and on feedback forms. If that sounds like we’re having our cake and eating it, so be it. At least we didn’t put out a press release…

  5. 06/10/2010 08:46

    Ha! I love the ARSE approach. I wholeheartedly agree with what you’ve written and blogged about it myself

    Let the un-enjoyment begin!

  6. Lena M. permalink
    06/10/2010 13:05

    …I was imposed a TV at work to attract customers… I will have to deal with Mexican soccer fans… I may be going to the nearest fountain and just plain drown…

  7. 06/15/2010 09:14

    @BJH – Haha! I’ll have to do something overly bureaucratic to atone!

    @Karen – The only one that I can remember being a complete pain was Japan and South Korea and even then it didn’t take much thought to manage it.

    @Cal – The King of the Pun is back……

    @David Shepherd – Thanks for commenting, I think XpertHR is a wonderful resource for the record. But it does worry me if people are asking basic questions on absenteeism. Perhaps something to do with the deskilling of HR?

    @Sukh Pabial – Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’ll check out your post.

    @Lena M – Here is hoping that it brings you lots of trade!


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