While most youngsters will be breathing a sigh of relief after completing their GCSE exams and looking forward to the long summer holiday, employers should be preparing themselves for what comes next – exam results day!

It is fairly predictable that parents of youngsters expecting GCSE results (due 23 August) or A-level results (due 16 August) might want to have the day off to spend with their children either in celebration or comforting them.

Exam results can be one of the most stressful times for young people and their parents will undoubtedly be sharing in that worry with them – so how can employers offer help and support? Here are four key ways:

  1. Plan ahead

Take a look at the holiday rota now to see what impact this might have on the team, particularly as it’s also peak summer holiday season. Think about workflow for the time of year and try to make sure the impact on the team won’t be a negative one.

Anticipate that some parents might not realise which dates the exam results are due until the week or even day before so there might be last minute requests for time off – can those be accommodated?

  1. Communicate with your team

Make sure your team all know and understand the policies and flexible working procedures which they can use for time during exam results – do they need to take annual leave or can they work from home for the afternoon, for example.

Which processes do staff need to follow to request the time they need and how long in advance should they be putting in their requests? Think about sending an email round for everyone a couple of weeks before the results are due out, so that they can see what they need to do and the options are clear.

  1. Be aware of potential staff stress

Staff members might be sharing in their child’s stress in the run up to results day and could become distracted and lose focus during this time, so make sure all managers are aware of this and offer any required support and help. Make sure all managers know how to support staff, and that staff know who to go to for help if they have worries and concerns which might be impacting on their work.

  1. Staff support systems

Once the results have come out, staff might be facing all kinds of issues as parents, from potential university fee payments, to the fact their child won’t get the university place which they had been hoping for. If the company offers employee support packages such as counselling or telephone helplines, make sure communication around these is highly visible during exam results time.

By creating a company culture where staff feel they are supported and looked after so they don’t feel torn between work and family life reaps many benefits for both employers and their staff.  With a little forward planning, good communication and flexible time management, there is no reason for exam results day to have a negative impact on the workplace.

If you’d like any help or advice on planning ahead and offering HR support to staff please do contact the Reality HR team today on: 01256 328428 or email info@realityhr.co.uk