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  • "Sickies": the costs, the causes, and strategies for reducing them

    7 March at 12:52 from atlas

    Organisations are still battling to tackle unplanned absence effectively. The solution to absenteeism begins with leadership and management. To reduce absenteeism, leaders need to:

    * Focus on creating a positive workplace in which they take the time to listen to employees, to treat them fairly and with respect and to provide realistic timeframes and the necessary support to complete their workload.
    * Be in tune with their employees' needs and be aware of any evidence of employee stress in the workplace.
    * Keep abreast of market salaries and remunerate competitively.
    * Recognise and reward employee contributions.
    * Increase employee involvement in decision-making processes.
    * Support work life balance principles in the work place.
    * Perceived unfairness in the workplace is under the control of individual managers. If there are good relationships and clear expectations and staff feel that managers care about them, then staff won't want the organisation to suffer.

    Other strategies are available to reduce absenteeism and can have significant cost savings. The key is tighter controls on sick leave including:

    * Monitoring absences more closely.
    * Requiring staff to ring their manager and give clear reasons for the absence.
    * Ongoing contact from managers during the employee's absence.
    * Contact from health workers, following up sick staff with treatment advice.
    * Medical certificate requirements.
    * All this becomes easier if you have the right sort of HR Manual in place