These been a lot of talk recently about the term ‘Presenteeism’ – I’m sure you’ve heard of it. According to recent research from Canada Life Group Insurance, ‘presenteeism’ is a real issue for UK employers. In fact, 9 out 10 staff said that they have gone into work when they’ve been feeling ill. Some might say that their dedication to the job is admirable, but it’s something that can cause serious problems for employers.
Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out why. Coughs, sniffles, and sickness can easily be spread amongst staff, and before you know it, you could have a situation on your hands that is starting to look distinctly like an epidemic. Productivity falls, and this can result in serious problems in terms of managing the day-to-day workload, particularly for small businesses.
These issues, it could be said are linked to our traditional British culture. As we all know we like to adopt a stiff upper lip style, and just get on with things (well most of us do). Of course though, there are certain things that you can do as an employer to make sure presenteeism doesn’t knock you off course, particularly with a shiny New Year just around the corner.
The simplest solution here (and often the one most overlooked) is to ensure you have a sickness and absence policy that’s fit for purpose and focuses on supporting your staff as well as the achievement of your goals and objectives.
Still though, the problems often go much deeper than this. 28% of employees who took part in the study said that their workload was too great to call in sick. Is it time for you to take a look at your wider practices, and assess where problems might exist that need to be addressed?
Interestingly, 80% of staff said that they would not take time off work for stress-related illnesses. It’s clear that there’s still a lot of work to be done in terms of supporting staff with mental health issues, and tackling the stigma that often exists around non-physical health and wellbeing. When drawing up your sickness and absence policies, it’s vital you consider how you’ll be playing your part in creating that positive change, and bear in mind it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
If you have issues in your workplace around sickness absence or you just want to know more, then we’d love to talk absence with you. We can assess how effective your existing policies and procedures are in ensuring you’re complying with relevant legislation, and look for ways to help your business be more proactive in managing what can be a very tricky issue.