Workplace lotto syndicate – risky or rewarding?
In 2015, a controversy regarding a workplace lotto syndicate was splashed across the headlines. In a case that has only recently been decided in the Supreme Court, Geelong transport workers sued a former workmate for allegedly cheating them out of Powerball winnings of 16.6 million dollars.
Is a workplace lotto syndicate good workplace practice?
Should you allow your employees to participate in a workplace lotto syndicate? This question is often asked by managers concerned that allowing this practice could pose a risk to the business.
As an HR Manager, virtually every company I worked for had workplace lotto syndicates. I have participated in them myself! However, there have been disputes that between co-workers involved.
I encourage activities that promote a positive workplace culture and allow employees to have fun together at work. Who doesn’t love a lunchroom discussion about what we will do with our share of the winnings? A workplace lotto syndicate can be a way to bring together employees that do not usually cross paths and build healthy relationships.
Manage the risk
In my opinion, a successful workplace lotto syndicate explicitly sets out the rules before they begin. It is not about trusting your colleagues. Making sure all parties are clear on how it is going to work means there are no misunderstandings down the track.
One of the best examples I have observed had a list of simple rules, clearly stated and posted on the wall in the tea room. The rules covered:
- the amount of contribution each week
- when payment was due
- when the ticket is purchased
- what happened if you went on holidays
- a ruling on what happens if a member forgot to pay one week. For the record, it was one free go as long as you paid the next day, after that you miss out.
After the lotto ticket was purchased, a photo was taken and emailed to all participants. Everyone was happy because they knew the rules.
For a workplace lotto syndicate or footy tipping competition, encourage employees to set guidelines for participation. This practice will reduce the chance of unnecessary conflict in the workplace.
A little planning can go a long way to avoid a bit of fun between employees becoming a management headache. If issues do arise, Strawberry Seed can provide advice on how to manage the situation. Click here for more information on our HR Services.
Updated: March 2018