The Vancouver Olympic Committee (Vanoc) has released its 10 suggestions about how local businesses can help out during the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. Many involve setting human resources policies, including businesses altering their work days, mandating vacation or allowing telecommuting.

Vanoc’s 10 suggestions are:

  1. Leadership: Appoint a team captain for your company
  2. Heroes: Give employees time off during the Games so they can serve as volunteers
  3. More heroes: Lend staff to Vanoc
  4. The work day: Shift daily hours of business during the Games, to help ease traffic congestion
  5. Time off: Encourage staff to take vacations during the Games
  6. Fewer cars: Reduce business-related traffic during the Games
  7. Work at home: Encourage this, to help reduce traffic
  8. Embrace the spirit: Get behind the Games as a company
  9. Support the athletes: Support a team or athlete and attend test events in 2009
  10. Spread the joy: To those who might not otherwise be able to take part

The decisions made need to be based on operational and customer needs, while also considering attraction and retention issues. As well, decisions need to take into account the road closure and parking restriction plan announced by the City of Vancouver to take effect during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.

Here are some critical questions for you to consider for operating your business during the Olympic Games:

What are your customers’ needs?

  • Can you afford to shut down, reduce work hours or switch open hours during the Olympics?
  • How will current economic conditions impact your company in a year’s time?
  • How will you meet your customers’ needs during the Games?

What message will your 2010 Olympic Games policies send to your staff?

  • What input will you consider from staff in designing your policies?
  • Is this the impetus necessary to consider adding telecommuting as a flexible work arrangement to your company?
  • Do your employees want group Olympic-themed events as a way to foster camaraderie and boost company loyalty?

What is your transportation plan?

  • How will employees commute to and from your workplace?
  • How will customers and suppliers get to you and vice versa?
  • Can you shift your open hours to reduce traffic congestion during peak times?

What is your time off policy?

  • Will you mandate a closure and require employees to take vacation?
  • Will you allow employees to take leaves of absence to volunteer for the Games? Will they be paid or unpaid leaves?
  • Will you be flexible in start and end times of your work day?

What is your plan for giving back? 

  • Will seconding employees to work for Vanoc engage them and provide them a memorable work experience? Can you afford to pay staff to work for Vanoc?
  • Will your company select an athlete or team to sponsor and to follow throughout the games?
  • Will you make the games accessible to those less fortunate?

There are many important human resources policy decisions for Vancouver businesses to make about how to operate during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, which provide a tremendous opportunity to position your company as an employer of choice and to engage your workforce when handled well.

Copyright 2008 Clear HR Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.