Presenteeism. The role of EWB programmes in tackling this emerging and costly issue.
If you find the following blog interesting, Meridian Business Support, Lockton and Dr. Bridget Juniper have launched a dedicated Linkedin Group Wellness at Work UK where you will find useful information, advice and support on how to easily improve the productivity of your workforce by recognising Wellness at Work and what is involved in this broad subject.
If workforce productivity is the name of the game, is there more pay back on focusing efforts on the vast majority of staff who are turning up to work or reducing the small numbers of people who don’t? In most cases, the answer is to concentrate resource on the former scenario and this talks directly to the issue of presenteeism. We define presenteeism as lost productivity that occurs when employees come to work when they are ill and perform sub-optimally because of this.
Costs to organisations of presenteeism mostly concentrate on lost productivity through ill-health. The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health estimated that in the UK presenteeism, based on psychological health problems alone, accounted for 1.5 times as much working time lost as absenteeism.
Two common factors behind presenteeism that are often reported are workplace stress and, not surprisingly, perceived pressure from managers to attend work when they are unwell. So as well as tackling workplace stress, it is also worth reviewing absence management policies to ensure they are fit for purpose and are well understood by the individuals as well as the managers who are expected to apply them. Flexible working arrangements and workplace adjustments so that particular health problems can be accommodated are also worth revisiting.
Dr. Bridget Juniper is an employee well-being consultant at Lockton Employee Benefits. She is also head of Work and Well-Being Ltdwhich specialises in the measurement of employee well-being. www.workandwellbeing.com