Sickness absence costs UK businesses an estimated £29 billion each year. Absenteeism in the workplace also costs employers 6.3 days sick days per year. The top five causes for long-term absences are stress, acute medical conditions, mental ill health, musculoskeletal injuries and back pain.
Employers that invest in workplace health and wellness can expect to see improvements in productivity and performance. Additionally, benefits could include staff retention, improved employee engagement, cost control and a reduction in absenteeism. Tackle reducing absenteeism in the workplace:
Implement an employee wellness programme
A wellness programme can help to lower absenteeism and demonstrate sustainable business practices. First of all, proactively preventing absenteeism can be done through educating employees. For example, with management training days, bespoke monthly health campaigns, and wellness days. Offering health assessments can enable employees to identify any health issues and be able to tackle them head on. Staff education on health and wellness will give your employees the best tools to make healthy behavioural changes. Thus in turn can have an impact on absenteeism.
Keep employees motivated and engaged
Offering staff incentives can help to increase employee engagement and demonstrate staff appreciation. Selecting incentives that are also health based can help reduce absenteeism. For example, discounted gym memberships, healthy snack boxes, or other group workouts.
Reduce work-related stress
Stress can cause unplanned office absences; therefore, employers should take a proactive approach towards wellness. Investigating what areas of stress employees are suffering from could help determine how Human Resources can aid in reducing and addressing it. An employee could be stressed because of heavy workloads, uncomfortable work conditions, difficulties with colleagues or feeling overwhelmed. Offering employees office massages can help relieve tension and stress, providing staff with a short break.
Provide employee support
Employees can be affected by their personal life and there may be a genuine reason why workers are failing to show up. Workplaces should create an environment where employees feel comfortable talking to line managers or HR departments about stress in the workplace in order to provide support.
Offer flexible working
Flexible working can be beneficial to both the employer and the employee. Employees who have a family or obligations to meet are less likely to be absent from work on a regular basis if flexible working is offered. Flexible working can include working from home, shorter hours and flexitime. Implementing this within your organisation demonstrates the you acknowledge the personal lives of your company and trust them to work their hours.
Read more: How to Boost the Wellbeing of your Employees