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  1. Implement an absence policy. If you do not have one already, an absence policy to balance employee and employer needs is the first step in addressing the potential problem.
  2. Communicate the policy. There’s little point in having an absence policy if you do not communicate it to employees. Highlight any specific rules around time-off requests during the World Cup.
  3. Proactive communications. Encourage proactive communications between managers and staff about requests to take time off, or to work a different schedule.  Unplanned absences are more expensive to manage than those you know are coming.
  4. Support flexibility.  Consider early starts and early finishes for 5:00 p.m. kick-offs and late starts/late finishes for staff who want to sleep in after a big game. But make sure that you have a system in place to cope with monitoring the flex hours.
  5. Consider unpaid leave. Planned absence is always easier for a business to manage, than unscheduled absence. Accept that staff will find a way to watch key matches – unplanned absence is expected to be high during the World Cup. Offer staff the opportunity to book unpaid leave up to a maximum number of days.
  6. Make controlling absenteeism a business priority. There’s no excuse not to be in control of absence. Business tools are available to control and monitor absence levels and trends – you can even set the parameters to alert you to all unscheduled absences on match days, or on the morning after a big game.
  7. Enforce the absence policy. Any absence policy needs to be monitored and enforced consistently and fairly throughout the organization to curb unscheduled absences – more than half of employed adults believe that their work performance is negatively impacted when attendance policies are not fairly enforced.
  8. Provide incentives for excellent attendance. In large organizations, time and attendance systems are an invaluable tool for tracking and reporting on attendance levels. Many organizations effectively use perfect attendance bonuses as an incentive to reduce absenteeism.
  9. Be realistic. Rather than hindering staff enthusiasm over the World Cup, go with it – install a TV in the staff room; sit down and enjoy the matches with your staff – and with a bit of luck, you’ll improve staff morale for long after the ref blows the final whistle.
  10. Make absence management part of your long-term business plan. Managing absenteeism isn’t simply a tactical activity for the duration of the World Cup. Organizations can benefit from a well-designed, consistently monitored absence policy.