Cup celebrations key to workforce satisfaction

With the race that stops the nation scheduled to shut us all down this afternoon, every business is expecting productivity to drop. HR and recruitment specialists Randstad warns employers not to focus on the negatives, but rather what can be gained by embracing the carnival spirit.

According to Randstad‟s employer branding research, half of Aussie workers (48%) rank a company‟s ability to provide a pleasant working environment, as well as a healthy work/life balance (49%) among the top criteria when choosing an employer.

“Arguably the most famous horse race and fashion parade in the world, the Melbourne Cup, is an Australian institution,” says Steve Shepherd, Employment Market Analyst at Randstad. “It is also a chance for Aussie employers to take a punt and show off their true colours in a bid to bring their people together, celebrate tradition and boost their workforce engagement,” adds Shepherd.

Shepherd says it‟s important to celebrate in some way, as failure to do so could send the wrong message to employees, which has a potential negative flow-on effect for future talent. “Aussies just expect to enjoy Melbourne Cup and the spirit of the event, even if they don‟t take part in a flutter.”

“Our advice to business leaders is simply to factor in workloads and deadlines around Cup day, or face undoing all their efforts. With our employer branding research showing 47% of Aussie workers considering deadline pressures the main obstruction to a healthy work-life balance, we recommend that where possible, managers across the nation push back non-urgent deadlines to ensure that Melbourne Cup celebrations have the positive impact intended,” adds Shepherd.

To ensure a successful Melbourne Cup, HR specialists, Randstad, provide the following top tips to employers:

  • Appeal to everyone: Depending on the size of the business, keeping everyone happy is going to be a challenge. Play it safe – keep celebrations simple, fun and appealing to all. If in doubt, ask the audience.
  • Make sure leaders are on the same page: There‟s nothing worse than being told you have to get back to work while colleagues in another department are continuing to celebrate. Businesses should take a clear, united front on what is happening with Cup celebrations. Ask in advance what pressing deadlines exist and where possible, push them back to ensure everyone can enjoy the day.
  • Keep it friendly: Most of us like a flutter every now and again, but keep it friendly without pressure to participate. Sweep stakes are a good way to get everyone involved without employees ruing their losses.
  • Have fun but be responsible: Where there is alcohol, ensure responsible drinking so that things don‟t get out of control and ensure food is provided. Failure to do so will mean you‟ll face some unproductive workers the following day.
  • Consider temporary cover: Many businesses choose to employ a temporary worker on Cup day, particularly for customer service and reception positions so that everyone in the office/team can truly relax, have fun and get involved in the spirit of Melbourne Cup. It sends a great message to staff that no-one needs to worry about answering the phones as it‟s all taken care of. It just requires a good briefing for the „temp‟ and a clear process about how to action important calls and who to contact for emergencies.

About Randstad
Randstad is one of the world‟s leading recruitment & HR services specialists, passionate about matching people with organisations that will develop their potential and matching organisations with people that will take their business to the next level. The Randstad Group employs over 560,000 people every day with the aim of ‘shaping the world of work’.