Anyone who has been part of a major event knows how easy it is for staffing issues to trip you up (remember G4S at the London Olympics?).
Whilst recruitment of staff was the issue in that instance, there are plenty of other potholes awaiting the ill-prepared or inexperienced. The team at GetScheduled, creators of the sector’s latest software package, have put together some pointers to help event managers deliver their projects and undertake workforce management more smoothly (and with a lot less stress).
- Major events can be very overwhelming for people the first time they are involved in one – and the more complex the event you are delivering, the more overwhelming it risks being. This isn’t just true for those managing the project, it is true for staff too. Consequently employee scheduling is key; you need to be very clear with your staff as to where you expect them to be and when. Whilst this is somewhat achievable with a well-managed database, email system and lots of phone calls, the right software will make your sports event management much easier.
- Treat volunteers with respectful authority; it is true that volunteers have given up their time to help out at an event but they need to understand that the job they are doing needs a professional approach. Clearly you want people to have fun and enjoy the experience but not at the cost of doing the job well. Hold briefing sessions with volunteers where you can make them aware of this – albeit nicely – and use this chance to weed out anyone who may not be onside with what is required of them.
- Walk in the shoes of your workforce. Most people access data on-the-go these days and so will your staff. The majority of staff at major events tend to be students or overseas workers, meaning they are mobile phone-dependant for most of their data, including emails. You may view it as their responsibility to communicate with you but you will find the team easier to manage if you are more adaptable. Communicate in a way that is easy and convenient for them. It may sound like Mohammed going to the Mountain, but your reward will be that they have no excuses not to be in the right place at the right time.
- Persuade your boss that relying on excel is an under-investment. Whilst you want to be cautious about budget allocation, especially if you are considering volunteer management software, it is all very well serving good wine or booking a celebrity to appear, but if your staff aren’t there that is what people will remember.
- A little praise goes a long way. In the heat of an event, management often forgets to tell the team that they are doing well so, especially after a long or difficult day, be sure to say ‘thank you’ to those who deserve it.