Posted on 21st April 2016
An effective absence management programme is one approach that businesses can adopt to try to support employee well being and reduce sick leave. The CIPD’s 2015 report into absence management highlights that mental health is a big reason for long absences, with stress counting as one of the top reasons for short-term absenteeism.
There are simple changes employers can make to cut stress in the workplace, for example, by making changes to workloads and office culture to better support staff. We believe that one way of doing this could be to take steps to introduce a shorter workday or to give employees more flexible working options such as a day working from home.
Presenteeism is still identified by the CIPD report as an issue for employers, but no one wants a snuffling, poorly colleague sitting next to them. Perhaps they would be more effective working from home on that day? Trust is of course a major player when it comes to offering incentives like this.
Some companies have introduced targets to reduce office absence. There’s a lot of emphasis in the CIPD report about controlling short-term sick leave with return-to-work interviews and disciplinary procedures. Employers can find useful information about sick notes and statutory sick pay at the gov.uk site here. However, while this could be necessary for some workplaces, it’s important for employers to take positive steps for change as well.
Some forward-thinking businesses are now looking at the complete workplace picture and seeking far more proactive ways to prevent a culture of absenteeism in the first instance. Many companies have also taken up employee wellness programmes, offering gym memberships or private health insurance as an employee benefit. Sweden has even introduced a shorter working day, with the view that staff productivity will increase. This has been mirrored by some companies in the UK.
A good way to implement positive change is to encourage employees to get moving. For example, Sport Relief is coming up in March, so you could find an organised run or fitness challenge that employees can join in with. These sort of ideas often boost staff morale as well, and act as a positive talking point. It’s also true that employees who are fit and healthy are less likely to suffer from coughs and colds.
Get in touch if you’d like to talk about your flexible recruitment options in further detail. If workload is an issue in your working environment, it could be that hiring a part-time or reduced hours employee could make all the difference to your current employees.
"As MP for Mid Sussex I believe passionately in the importance of a vibrant local business community in order to create and sustain fantastic opportunities that enable people to meet their responsibilities, prosper and fulfil their potential. I am committed to collaborating with BHBPA and others to be an effective collective voice for Burgess Hill."
"I am delighted to have a long-standing relationship with the BHBPA. Since its foundation the Association has gone from strength to strength and there is no doubt that it has brought huge benefits to its members and the business community as a whole through the partnerships it has formed with the local authorities, Sussex Police and local organisations. It is paramount that Burgess Hill businesses have an effective collective voice."
"“I can’t speak highly enough of the BHBPA. As a small local business we feel very much part of a community and thoroughly enjoy the annual exhibition and meetings throughout the year. Over the years we have built fantastic working relationships with many BHBPA members and every meeting and event offers us opportunities to work with more. This is networking at its best! ” "
"The BHBPA is the most effective and dynamic business organisation I have ever worked with in over 30 years in Local Government. It has a very active and large membership whose points of view are taken seriously by all government structures. Peter Liddell does an excellent job in providing unique and enjoyable networking opportunities where members interact and discuss points of mutual interest. It provides a forum for businesses to discuss common issues, to share experiences and to play a powerful and meaningful role in the Burgess Hill community. The BHBPA provides important and credible support for all its members and ensures that their best interests are represented where necessary. "