Olympic Volunteering vs. Showing up for Work: How to Handle the Dilemma

9th February 2012

With the rapidly approaching 2012 Olympics in full view, many employers are wondering how they are going to handle the sudden lack of employees who, understandably, have been named volunteers for all or part of the Olympic experience. If you are an employer in a similar dilemma, your choices are limited but not insurmountable.

Clearly your employees who volunteer enjoy their jobs, and chances are you may "rough it" by going without them until the games are over. Whether you pay them (they might use holiday time) or not is up to you. As long as you explain their choices, the important thing is to make their decision to volunteer a responsible one.

Your employees volunteering may also be a great online recruitment tool for your company. If you know that your volunteers will be doing jobs that allow them to wear what they wish, make sure they have shirts or coats with your company logo on it. "Official 'Your Company' Games Volunteer" emblazoned on a shirt could get your people talking with others who will see your company as a great place to start careers or find excellent, exciting jobs.

Finally, if you can afford it, there's always the possibility of hiring temporary help to fill in for your regular employees while they are volunteering at the games. This helps to keep things running smoothly at your shop. When the games are over or your employees return, they can pick right back up and be on track with everybody else. Plus, they will have some great stories to share with everybody around the water cooler.

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