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.
"The BHBPA is an energetic and vocal organisation that connects and empowers and informs the local business community acting as an effective conduit to local authority and other organisations. We are proud to be part of that community and the association."
"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."
"If Carlsberg did networking they would do it the BHBPA way. Each event is packed with great ideas, thought provoking presentations and fun. As a small business we feel supported and part of the community. We have built friendships and business relationships and there is always plenty of advice on hand to benefit us all so don’t hesitate to join whatever the nature of your business. "
"“Sutton Winson have been members of the BHBPA for around 7 years. We have found it a great way to keep in touch with Burgess Hill businesses and to meet with likeminded people. It’s not just another “networking” group, as it tackles the real issues and gets things done”"