Monthly Archives: December 2016

One-third extra staff – FREE

Business team walking
When they’re well they deliver 100% – and now they can give a third extra

It’s called making the impossible possible. Extra staff at no extra cost. People you already know and trust. Already familiar with how you work and committed to it.

Even better, they’re your EXISTING staff, already in place and going for it. The difference is, they’re available to you full time – beyond the regular hours they serve at the moment.

Your best assets – used to the full

Yes, you’re already paying them – so yes, they’re already in your budget.

It’s just that now – without it costing you a bean more – those same staff can deliver much greater value for money. Specifically, another third of their time. The third you’re not currently getting because they’re off sick, or struggling with an unwell feeling at their desks.

Six days a year is the average time staff are absent because they’re sick.

But every year for ten times longer than that – in what the HR people call “presenteeism” – they’re all at work struggling with anything from a cold to a major tummy upset. There’s a lot of work on, but they can’t take hands off. Or maybe they’re worried about job security.

Whatever it is, they’re determined to be above it. So they drag themselves into work and force themselves. Feeling grim but ignoring it. Trying to do their job as if nothing is wrong. And that’s how it is for around 60 days a year – three whole working months.

Trouble is though, it’s hard to give 100% when you’re not well. When your head aches or your insides are in knots, 75% might nearer the mark – or often, even less. Concentration is a battle, so things take twice as long.  And at less than full attention, quality inevitably takes a dip.

Less than 100%

Reality is, like that your staff are less than themselves. They might be reassuringly at their desks, but they’re not on full song. You’re paying for 100%, but through no fault of theirs, you’re getting 75%. And this is most likely happening for 60 days a year.

Which means out of 250-odd working days a year, you’re only getting 190. Less another 6 for actual days sick in bed, and that’s down to 184. But we’re all so used to carrying on when things aren’t perfect, that we’ve all got used it. It’s a cost of doing business.

It’s an invisible cost too. So it never shows up on our radar. There’s no “unwell offset” for under-performing productivity – no way to measure a pounding migraine against job expectations. It still costs money though – even if we can’t see it.

Money that’s paid for in time.

Tick, tick – time is money

So you have this high-powered IT expert working flat-out on meeting a quote deadline. And running to the loo every ten minutes, because last night’s takeaway chicken tikka was off. No way that job will be finished by tonight – or maybe even tomorrow night. Just grind your teeth and take it.

Which is how you’re already paying a massive presenteeism bill without even being aware of it.

Normally, things go quick and the team is very efficient. Get somebody off-colour though – and things take so incredibly LONG. Then worse, because they impact others, the delays snowball.

All of a sudden, a two day job takes two weeks. With all the unwanted knock-on effects. Other work displaced, late finishing penalties, sagging customer confidence.

Then colleagues of our IT expert get the runs too. Rushing back to the keyboard without washing hands. Raging e.coli all over the Shift key. Suddenly it’s not one IT expert running to the loo, it’s three. But all doggedly staying at their desks because they’re pros and committed to the job.

So two weeks drags to six.

Assets at risk

Sure, MOST OF THE TIME staff are up and running, everything hunky-dory – the 100% you pay for. But a whole extra third of their time could be 100% too.

250 days instead of 184.

If only they weren’t feeling like death warmed up. If only they weren’t unwell at work. If only they were protected from germs that cause illness in the workplace.

Lurking viruses and bacteria not removed by normal cleaning. Clinging to documents, on light switches, door handles, touchscreens and phones. Floating through the air, which is most of any room space. Behind cupboards and servers and photocopiers. In coils of wire, cracks and crevices.

The kind of places that normal cleaning cannot reach. The kind of germ-kill that normal cleaning cannot deliver. Concentrated bleach everywhere soon does people’s heads in.

All of which can be fixed right now with a Hypersteriliser – fully automatic sterilising of your whole workplace area so all germs are eliminated.

Complimenting your normal cleaning, a superfine mist of hydrogen peroxide disperses everywhere, oxidising germs to nothing. In 40 minutes, your place is sterile. No chance to feel unwell because there are no germs to catch.

Want proof?

Sniff the air. All smells – the sign of viruses or bacteria at work – should be gone.

Check mould. Most places have at least some. See how it’s no longer pitch black, but grey. How it brushes off easily now it’s dead.

Check your calendar. With everybody at full strength, jobs should sail through. No delays, no set-backs, your team of pros can deliver at 100% productivity.

With maybe a little plus, too.

Real health protection

Since they know you sterilise the place for their safety, their commitment is even stronger. They’re feeling well and healthy, it easier to go the extra mile. Full of beans, their job is FUN. It’s great to be alive, let’s go for it!

Of course, not all of them might feel like that. So you might not always get 100%. Some unwell feelings are long-term conditions beyond your control. Accidents, muscular pain, asthma and sensitive tummies all take their toll.

And not all germs originate in the workplace. It’s a big world out there, full of dodgy places and experiences. But at least if somebody brings in something, your hydrogen peroxide treatment will reduce it to nothing.

Plus look at the costs you avoid when unwell people make things go wrong.

Which makes staff extra healthy, extra safe, extra enthusiastic – and all for free.

Better than the £6,264 you would be losing on each of them otherwise (see last week’s blog).

Picture Copyright: andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo

Wellness rebates keep yielding thousands, are you getting yours yet?

Exec in chair
Sitting pretty, free from germs – with all that money in the bank

Never heard of wellness rebates?

That’s the money a business gets back when staff are NOT  sick.

Not actual cash payments, but money in the bank. That big bulge, right there on your bottom line

Five grand per staff member per year, maybe even more.

Crazy not to claim it too – because all businesses can.

Easy peasy, just by pressing a button.

All those years of paying money for staff to be ill – not actually gone, but substantially reduced. Expenses most of us never even think about, usually just accepted as a cost of doing business.

Invisible costs cut to size

All staff get ill at some time, right? It’s a fact of life.

And when that happens, you keep paying for them – even though they’re not doing any work. Their desks are empty, their job is not done – while they’re at home in bed, feeling miserable.

£522 a year that’s costing you, according to the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development). 6 days at £87 a day. That’s the median annual absence cost per employee in the private sector for 2016. It’s even more in the public sector – £835.

OK, so what do you do? Pull in temp staff to cover the gap, right? Without replacements there’s going to be holes. Which straight away doubles the sick cost to you – from £522 to £1,044.

You can see where this is going, can’t you?

Avoid staff going off sick, and you can save £1,044 per employee, per year.

15 staff  members passing a tummy bug around? That’s 15 times £1,044, right there. A grand total of £15,660 you’re out of pocket – paying for nothing, while staff stay home to get better.

But that’s not all.

The “presenteeism” problem

You know yourself there are times when you feel like death, but you HAVE to go to work anyway. Too much stuff to get done, or deadlines approaching. Or maybe you feel you’d better show your face – because if you don’t, there might not be a job to come back to.

OK, so you’re at work, head pounding or guts churning, but you’re going for it. Not exactly at 100%, are you? Taking longer to do stuff, not always noticing things, forgetting others, grumpy and difficult with everyone who tries to talk to you.

Uh huh. Your own experience tells you the truth of it.

You might be at your desk, but you’re under-performing. Which is how most of us are, 25% of the time. Grappling with asthma, backache, or twinges of IBS. Around 60 days a year that we’re not up to our best. What the HR people call “presenteeism” costs.

Which is TEN TIMES the days we booked off sick. And TEN TIMES the cost too – at £5,220.

Which, together with the cost of temp staff hauled in to cover – absenteeism plus presenteeism – comes to £6,264. Money you’re ALREADY PAYING OUT for one staff member per year.

And 15 staff members, because you’re all in the same office together? Do the math. That’s a whacking £93,960 – one heck of a bill to pay for basically nothing.

Getting your own back

OK, so what can you do about it? Plugging a leak like that could finance all kinds of things. Shouldn’t you be able to get some of that back?

Yes, there is. Which is what we mean by a wellness rebate. Recovering costs that are otherwise going down the drain.

Obviously you can’t recover all of it. Long term conditions like depression, COPD, or recurring migraines don’t go away – and accidents can make anybody under-powered.

But all of us are susceptible to germs – and all of us come down with some bug or other – usually when we least expect it.

That’s OK, as long as we isolate ourselves. Stay home and get better, without infecting anyone.

The trouble with germs is, they often incubate before we know they’re there. We can be carrying flu days before the first sneeze – or norovirus hours before the first violent upchuck.

Whoops, atchoo!

Meanwhile we’re contagious.

Everything we touch, everyone we talk to, can pick up whatever viruses or bacteria we have. Next thing, everyone is down with it. Bad news running a business that depends on human assets at full power all the time.

Which is where pressing the button comes in.

It’s the start button on a Hypersteriliser – a machine that destroys germs in enclosed workplaces by oxidising them with ionised hydrogen peroxide.

When staff go home, it mists up the entire place, reaching all surfaces and air spaces – even remote corners. Oxygen atoms clamp on to germs and rip them apart. In 40 minutes the whole place is sterile – to a Log 6 Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% elimination.

No viruses, no bacteria, no germs to make anyone sick. Everyone stays at 100% performance. And you’ve just saved yourself a massive chunk of £6,264 – or £93,960 if there’s 15 of you together in the office.

Not had a wellness rebate yet? Get on to your cleaning company and make waves. Or get a Hypersteriliser of your own.

At the rate you’re saving, it’ll pay for itself within weeks. Your staff will be bouncing around, full of the joys of spring. And you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

Picture Copyright: auremar / 123RF Stock Photo

Win back losses from unwell staff at half power

Problem girl
At work and unwell, you’re not yourself – at half power, making mistakes, more liability than asset

You know who they are. Dave, Fiona and Ranjit. The workaholics. Utterly committed and always at their desks. Unwell, but determined to finish the job. Doing themselves no favours. Nor you either.

Because feeling like that, how can they do anything straight? Half power, half attention, half as good as they usually are – there’ll be mistakes for sure. Big ones that cost money.

They’ll miss things too. Impossible not to, when your head’s not with it. Little details, like a decimal point. Kinda risky with a million-pound deal.

Besides, sitting there with their germs, they’ll infect everyone else. The whole place at half power, or rows of empty desks? No business can afford this, you’re haemorrhaging money.

Damage control

First off, send them home to get better. They’re costing you more at their desks than taking time off.

At least with time off, you only have to cover their salary. On the job at half power, you’re paying double for what they CAN do. Plus bankrolling any mistakes, lost deals, mislaid customer requests, contract overruns or late penalty clauses. A big bomb if you’re not careful.

Second, don’t take chances, make your workplace germ-free. Get rid of sick germs, plus any others that might be floating around. At least you’ll be protecting the rest of the staff – part of your duty of care, right?

So even though you’re a couple of team members down, at least everyone else is on song. They’re up and motivated and going for it. Plus they’ve seen how you handle your unfortunates – so they’re with you and fully in support.

Now at least, any money you have to spend is being constructive. Temp staff to handle the gaps, or maybe outsourced to experts. Bonuses and overtime for staff who double up. Everything under control.

Still costing a bomb though, isn’t it? Scribble them down and the totals get scary. You’ve got to do something fast.

Fixing it

So here’s how to stop it. And claw back the costs of your unwell-at-work heroes – by protecting them from illness in the first place.

Process the place with a Hypersteriliser – or ask your cleaning company to do it. A press-button simple way to protect staff health and make everything germ-free.

It’ a small wheelie-bin sized machine that mists up your workplace with an oxidising antimicrobial after regular cleaning is done. The actual stuff is ionised hydrogen peroxide –  forcibly dispersed in all directions by electrostatic charge.

Germs are destroyed on contact wherever they are – on, under or behind surfaces – or up in the air. Ripped apart by oxygen atoms, they have no hope of survival.

Your whole place has now reached a 6-log Sterility Assurance Level. That’s 99.9999% of all bacteria, viruses, fungi and mould destroyed – down to 1 microscopic germ cell per million.

Getting proof

How can you tell?

Well you can’t see germs anyway, but you can get a good indication. Smells, for instance, they’re gone. Like the forgotten coronation chicken sandwich jammed down the side of someone’s desk. The pong will come back if it’s not found and removed, but for now the place is fresh.

Likewise with any mould. The smell has gone. So has that dark black stain, now knocked back to a light grey. It comes off with a brush or a vacuum. Vanished for the moment  – though it too will come back if the cause of damp is not fixed.

So now you’re safe, your staff’s health is protected.

With no germs around, there’s chance for anyone to get sick. Kinda important when most of us are fighting on-going conditions anyway. The sort of things that germs make worse – migraines, arthritis, back pain, allergies, sinuses, asthma, COPD, skin conditions, or long-term depression.

Uh huh.

Back on track

But at least now, the money drain stops. All those unwell costs that you’ve somehow just absorbed as the price of doing business are gone.

And your staff are back, at 100% productivity.

You’re getting everything you pay for.

Charge more for cleaning – make your clients rich

Show me the money
Charge your clients a few hundred more – and help them recover thousands

Yes of course, charge more.

Not just for the same thing though, obviously.

For extra added oomph.

The same top-level service you give at the moment. Plus the chance for your clients to claw back costs they’re maybe not even aware they’re paying.

£2,000 per employee per year – possibly 10 times that.

Value for money plus

Worth a bob or two if they’re going to recover that kind of money don’t you think? And as you’ll see, worth every penny.

Because you’re not just going to clean the place, you’re going to eliminate all the germs as well. Make your clients’ workplaces sterile – protecting staff, customers and suppliers from any kind of virus or bacteria. Genuinely worth it to charge more.

No, no – not with a deep clean. You’ve been that road before and it’s just hard work.

Yes, a deep clean is more than you usually do, but with lots of rubbing and scrubbing. It doesn’t really take out ALL germs though, does it? Despite the strong smell of bleach, there’s still germs lurking, waiting to come back. And if you haven’t experienced that, you’ve never dealt with norovirus.

Besides, with the best will in the world, rubbing and scrubbing cannot reach every single nook and cranny to be sure the place is safe. Nor does it touch the air, which is 80% of most room spaces. Plenty of germs floating around in it though, remember how you caught your last bout of flu?

Claw back big money

Should give you a clue of how your clients will recover big money though. And why  you can charge more.

Get rid of the germs and you instantly chop a whole load of absentee costs.

People might be off sick, but they’re still on the payroll, even if they don’t receive sick pay. And the hole they leave by their absence has to be paid for as well. Doubling up, or getting in temps, it all costs money. And EVERYBODY goes sick at least once a year.

But that’s not the half of it, as you’ll know from running your own business.

The big costs come with “presenteeism”. Unwell people who drag themselves into work anyway. All in their places, going through the motions – and feeling like the end of the world doing it.

Yeah? Not very productive, is it?

Like having a car that’s off tune. Twice as much fuel to do the same thing, but without any performance. No power, no acceleration, no going up hills. Better off in the garage until it gets fixed. An unreliable resource.

And just think of the costs.

Invisible losses

According to the CIPD  (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development), absenteeism averages at four days off work a year and costs an employer £522. Presenteeism is reckoned as costing 3 times that, bringing the total to £2,088 per employee per year.

OK, now getting rid of all germs is not going to turn things around completely. Accidents, backache and non-communicable illnesses like IBS account for a large chunk. But colds, flu and all kinds of tummy bugs are par for the course in most workplaces. Mostly accepted as that’s the way life is, you have to live with it.

Except take away the germs and they disappear. Personnel are less likely cross-infect each other. Less likely to get ill. Less likely to be half-well, pretending they’re at full power. Good reason to charge more.

Which suddenly relieves a whole load of productivity costs, doesn’t it?

Especially when the CIPD estimates are more modest than they might be. American experts put typical presenteeism “outages” at 57.5 days a year, almost 3 working months per employee per year. A heck of a whack to pay for something you’re not getting.

Thousands and THOUSANDS

Compare that with research by Oxford Economics that puts the cost of bringing a NEW employee up to speed from nothing at £30,000. That’s from zero productivity to “sort of” knowing the job in anywhere from 23 to 32 weeks. Not far off an experienced veteran, feeling like death, slogging away at 25% of normal capabilities, determined to shrug off a tummy bug.

Those aren’t the only costs either. How many mistakes does that same veteran make, not being able to concentrate properly? How many forgotten contacts? How many missed deadlines? How many cost issues could have been avoided by somebody fully alert and on the ball?

Big bucks, right? Money your clients are ALREADY LOSING, just by being normal. Thousands and thousands. More than off-setting the extra you might charge for getting rid of germs in the first place. And way more effective that just cleaning and making tidy.

So if not labour-intensive rubbing and scrubbing, how’s it done?

You’re going to love this.

Press the button

Just press a button.

Get yourself a Hypersteriliser machine, wheel it in, set the exposure time and as soon as your cleaning team has finished their regular work, hit start.

The place mists up with an ultra-fine spray of ionised hydrogen peroxide. So fine, it’s more gas than vapour – actually a gas plasma. The ionising makes it electrostatically charged – forcibly dispersing it in all directions, deep into cracks and crevices, hard up against all surfaces.

Underneath and behind everything too. The stuff permeates everywhere – that same charge reaching out and grabbing at viruses and bacteria like a magnet. Clamped on tight, oxygen atoms rip the germs’ cell structure to shreds. They are oxidised to nothing, eliminated, gone.

Forty minutes later and the place is sterile. No germs, no effort, no problem. Including the high-touch high-risk “fomite” areas that normal cleaning never reaches – keyboards, touch screens, light switches, lift buttons.

Charge more, it’s OK

Worth it to charge more for your range of services? On the cost recovery alone, how can your clients refuse? Thousands and thousands accepted as unavoidable till now, one of the overheads of doing business. An instant boost to their bottom line.

Yours too, for very little effort. All-automatic and push-button easy. A daily or weekly hygiene routine as essential as brushing your teeth. Good, steady, repeat business you can rely on.

Charge more? Sure, go ahead.

Picture Copyright: andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo