Employees take an average of 6.9 sick days annually, according to a CIPD study. This then costs businesses an average of more than £550 per employee. This highlights the importance of reducing the number of sick days taken across your company.
So how can you do that?
Identify the causes
If you’re struggling with the number of sick days taken in your company, you’ll have to look into what’s causing that. Every business is different, so each firm will find that they face different challenges when it comes to sick days.
For example, if you’ve been struggling with the number of accidents at work, you’ll have to look into why your company’s health and safety processes aren’t up to scratch. Meanwhile, if your workers seem to struggle with coming into work on Mondays after particularly heavy weekends, you might need to take a look at your hiring methods. If there are frequent outbreaks of illness, your company could benefit from examining hygiene issues.
It can be a good idea to get the insights of some of your team members. As employees, they’ll have a clearer idea of what your company could do better to keep people healthy – and showing up!
Encourage working from home
Businesses are increasingly benefitting from technological advances, and employees are now able to work from wherever they can connect to WiFi. This means that working from home – or anywhere else – is something a lot of organisations can embrace.
Allowing employees to work from home if they’re not well enough to come into work – but still well enough to get some work done – can be a huge help. It means you’ll maintain productivity, but give your staff members the time to get themselves feeling better. They won’t have to spend time commuting and can even have a lunchtime nap if they need to.
When staff members can keep to their own work schedules and stop work piling up while they’re unwell, they’ll find it less stressful going back into the office. It also takes the pressure off their colleagues, who would otherwise have had to pick up their work.
Provide health boosters
When you want to keep people healthy at work, you might want to consider going above and beyond what employees expect of you. This could mean providing subsidised private healthcare or gym memberships. You might choose to offer free flu vaccines or hold sessions on discussing health.
You could also make it simpler. You might decide to provide free fruit and vegetables to encourage healthy eating. You might want to offer more annual leave. You might want to consider standing desks or allowing employees the chance to stand up and walk around to keep themselves active.
You could also allow employees to take mental health days. It may sound counter-intuitive to the idea of reducing sick days across your business. However, if you allow workers to take the odd day or two when they feel like they need it, they’ll be less likely to take extended periods of time off for that reason.
When it comes to reducing sick days, there is no magic solution that will wipe out every potential reason for a day off. But if you can show understanding and the will to help people stay healthy, you’ll undoubtedly help to instil a positive atmosphere in the workplace.
And that will go a long way towards keeping people motivated to show up for work.