When a member of your team calls in sick, it puts pressure on everyone else. The occasional day off with a 24 hour bug might be welcome, as no one wants it to spread, but longer term sick leave can have costly and detrimental effects.
The majority of companies are working close to full capacity, so few have sufficient resource to continue business as usual when a member of the team is unexpectedly off work. Other employees have to take on additional tasks, lower priority tasks are put on hold and it becomes tougher to meet customer expectations.
If staff are already stretched, morale is low or the additional tasks are outside the skillset of the employees taking it on, then mistakes can easily be made. Low priority tasks might not need urgent attention, but they may still be important for the business. Without the time to address them, they could escalate into bigger issues. If customer expectations aren’t met, the reputation of your business can be called into question.
With the reputation of the business at risk, it is in every organisation’s interest to implement measures that actively aim to reduce the likelihood that any member of staff is off work for lengthy periods of time.
Preventing Illness and Injury
Health plans are one way in which organisations invest in ensuring their staff have access to good treatment in the case of ill health, but what about preventative measures? Free screening for common health conditions and offering flu jabs to your employees are two options if you can engage the services of community health teams.
A Clean Work Environment
Cleanliness isn’t often a top priority on a business agenda, yet there are many benefits to focusing on workplace hygiene. A clean work environment is more likely to be tidy and organised. If things are kept in order, then they are easier to find when needed. This can help everyone to work more efficiently, respond quickly to customer and colleague requests and reduce the risk of workplace hazards. This is also an effective way of reducing stress and the spread of germs, so can also help to sick leave.
Hygienic practices in food preparation areas and washrooms are particularly important, but these are jobs that few employees are keen to take on. By investing in external cleaning and washroom services, you can ensure that health and hygiene are a priority and the risks of illness and injury are minimised. For Buckinghamshire businesses looking for professional washroom services, Aylesbury and surrounding areas are served by Chiltern Hygiene.
Diet and Exercise
Investing in the health of your employees is another means of helping to reduce sick leave. Free water dispensers, bowls of fresh fruit or promoting healthy options in the staff canteen can influence a better diet. Organised lunchtime walks, bike to work schemes or an on-site gym can help staff become more active. Simply insisting that people get away from their desks during lunch breaks can allow them a much needed break, so they return refreshed.
A Focus on Backs
Back injuries are a common issue that can result in longer term sick leave. By providing ergonomic work stations, suitable chairs and lifting and handling training, these risks can be reduced. Offering regular workplace massage services or Pilates classes may seem excessive, yet the cost of such professional services may be worthwhile if they prevent long term sick leave.
Finally employees who feel valued, motivated and appreciated are less likely to take time off work. In a workplace that offers good training and development opportunities, recognises and rewards achievements, engages staff in decision making and handles disciplinary issues efficiently, the cases of sick leave are reduced.
By investing in preventative measures, you can install a positive workplace culture and address the issue before it occurs.