The 6th of February is National Sickie Day

It’s the day that employees are statistically most likely to call in sick.

While one day in a year probably won’t be a big cause for concern for you, when absence rates get high in your business it’s time to act.

But what can you do if people seem to be genuinely ill?

One of the best ways to knock sickies on the head is to conduct back to work interviews. This gives you a chance to speak about why your employee was off, and check that they’re fit to be back to work. This can work as a deterrent for people taking days off when they don’t really need to.

However, one of the biggest causes of unplanned absence is stress, depression, and anxiety. And while these issues may not always be directly caused by work, it’s worth remembering in some cases they are. There is a lot that you can do as an employer to help alleviate the causes and reduce the impact that stress, depression, and anxiety can have on a person.

First, you should make sure that you’re not putting undue pressure on your people. Are you expecting them to do too much? Are they taking on more work than they can get through? Are you asking them to do things that are above their skillset?

Next, make sure they’re taking assigned breaks and using their annual leave. Burnout is a big cause of absence and people working through lunch or not taking holiday because they have nothing planned can be a contributing factor. Everyone needs a break to come back refreshed and raring to go.

Do you promote healthy living practices in your workplace? For example, look at the snacks you have on offer. Is it biscuits and cakes, or do you offer healthier alternatives? Do you encourage physical activity, such as going out for walks at lunchtime, or even group exercise classes?

Finally, think about what support you can offer to employees who may be struggling. Training managers to spot the signs and to be open to private, honest discussion can go a long way. They should be able to recommend the right support to employees in need, or even help them to fund counselling sessions if that’s a benefit your company offers.

If you’d like any further help or advice on how to reduce absence in your business, contact us or give any of the Cluer HR Team a call on 01386 751740.

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