UEFA gives its employees the opportunity to expand their range of skills and increase their understanding of football by offering them dual roles. Senior HR manager Florian Python explains how staff members can get involved in jobs that come as an ‘added extra’ to their day-to-day activities at the organisation.
What is a dual role at UEFA?
In addition to the job that they have been hired for, some employees opt to take on an additional, operational role. That can take them to our youth tournaments, to matches in the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League, or even to a tournament like UEFA EURO 2016. These on-site roles are sometimes quite different from the employee’s day-to-day duties in the office. One of my colleagues, for example, is a HR officer in my team, but for UEFA EURO 2016 she was a VIP protocol officer in Lyon for four weeks. This kind of experience offers staff the opportunity to do something different and get close to the operational side of football, which can help them in their main job.
What do employees at UEFA have to do to get a dual role? Do they have to apply?
Employees can register with HR to be on the list of staff who would like an on-site role, as long as their line manager agrees. For EURO earlier this year, there was a long list of jobs available for staff, and employees were given the opportunity to contact project managers directly to discuss the possibility of getting involved with the tournament in their area of interest. At UEFA, we operate like a family. Everyone knows everyone, more or less, and that definitely makes internal movement a lot quicker and a lot easier, so being accepted for a second role is not complicated.
Are there any patterns regarding teams and dual roles?
That can be the case, but not necessarily. Some jobs at UEFA are linked to operations, and so it’s a natural progression for staff to take on similar roles on-site. For example, an employee who works as an accreditation manager in Nyon might also work in an accreditation role on-site. They have prepared the concept and implemented it for many months before the tournament, and then they run it during the tournament – so you really get the best of both worlds in a role like this. I must say that this tends to be the case for most positions in the operations division, which is in charge of running UEFA events, but it can be different for other teams: some other staff can have a completely different role on-site to the role they undertake on a day-to-day basis.
How do employees split their time between roles?
They have to ensure that their primary, day-to-day role is covered while they are away, either by continuing to do the job themselves or with the help of their team, who could take on some of their key tasks during their absence. Usually the on-site role is on top of an employee’s day-to-day activities, so that can be quite tough sometimes.
Are dual roles only for competitions or are they year-round initiatives?
There are a range of national team and club competitions that staff can work on throughout each season. The different tournaments and competitions run for different lengths of time, which enables our employees to find a second role that works best alongside their existing commitments.