What kind of sickie, fake or real?
And for a genuine cause, or is that a load of porkies too?
Because, you may not know this, but you’ve already written off the cost. It’s already paid, so it’s not like you’re out of pocket.
Your people investment
Kinda nice to have the background, though. To know that your investment is properly justified.
Huh? Already paid? Investment?
Sure. Written off, right? You’ve paid, or you’re about to.
It comes out of salaries, like every sickie does – real, as well as fake.
And you’re paying for a lot more besides.
Like all the times staff would like to pull a sickie, but don’t dare:
- They’re sick alright, but they’ve pulled one sickie too many, and now their job’s at risk.
- They’re too embarrassed or scared to ask about something, so come to work anyway.
- They’re hiding a real problem, and they don’t want anyone to know.
- They’re genuinely sick, but don’t reckon it’s bad enough to stay away.
- They’re genuinely sick, and don’t want to burden colleagues with extra work.
- They’re genuinely sick, but dread the reality of being home alone.
- They’re genuinely sick, but want to stop their rivals getting ahead of them.
Each one a non-sickie, yes? Because they’re at work.
The price of sickies-on-the-job
So the reality is, you’re now lumbered with sickies-on-the-job – and you’re paying for those too.
Because they’re at their desks, all present and correct – but not in proper shape to handle their work effectively. Feeling grim as all hell and going through the motions.
Under-powered and not really concentrating, what sort of work quality are they capable of delivering? And if their mind’s not fully on the job, how many errors are they making, or simply not recognising? At what cost?
Better the job’s not done at all if it’s botched. Plus you pay for it twice to get it right – and it takes twice as long. Where’s the economy in that?
Presenteeism, it’s called. About as much use to you as if they’d stayed home anyway.
And get this. On average, everyone on the payroll goes through it 57.5 days a year – including you. Ten times the number of days most people book off sick – almost three working months.
Never mind if every instance is kosher or not – the fact is, at the moment when it happens staff are not up to the job, even though they’re present. Unproductive and costing you money.
And it’s not always your veteran skiver with a massive hangover every Monday either. It’s just as likely to be your hot graduate newcomer, falling apart inside because her boyfriend dumped her. Or your IT whizz-kid in a blue funk about his gambling debts. Or your rock-steady accounts lady, trying to hide running to the loo every five minutes with some tummy bug.
Often illnesses, always issues. Some of them so big, they take over the whole person. Because we’re human and not always perfect – needing constant attention to keep ourselves functioning. Just look for the signs – fatigue, unusual temper, sudden changes in emotion, behaviour and appearance.
We’re not always on top form either. Like for instance, each of us has something that ails us about every three days. Headaches, back pain, stomach cramps, coughing like crazy. Or every cold and flu bug that goes around, a paper cut that goes septic, period pains, and the inevitable virus.
All of which prevents staff from doing their job properly. And all of which you pay for. The glitches and mistakes – and the salaries of course.
Twelve months’ salaries, nine months’ work
TWELVE MONTH salaries. Out of which your expectation is to get twelve months’ productivity.
Except presenteeism robs you of it – subtracts three working months’ worth for everybody on the payroll.
So whatever salaries you’re paying are effectively only nine months’ worth.
Which is why you can afford to indulge staff who pull a sickie. You’ve got 57.5 days you can afford to give away anyway – before making losses on REAL staff costs. 57.5 days with which to soothe their anguish, ease their worries – and establish your reputation as the most caring boss in the country.
Because count on it, most reasons for pulling a sickie are for genuine issues – staff just assume they’ll never be accepted. Aside from the lazy ones who can’t get motivated after holidays and weekends – and without strong commitment or enthusiasm for the job, who needs them anyway? One or two duvet days is OK – but after that, take a hike.
Anyway, granting time off because you can puts you in a different league. You’re a boss who understands and has staff interests at heart. Never mind going the extra mile, you’ll have them eating out of your hand.
Look at it from their point of view. So how DO you explain that Argos say they’ll deliver some time between 8.00 am and 5.00 pm – which means hanging around like a spare part or the goods get stolen? And how easily it’s fixed by taking the laptop and working from home.
How much better do you feel that you can attend Aunt Bessie’s funeral and carry the flag for your side of the family so the in-laws don’t get sniffy?
Or better still, that you can go for the knee op – and take proper time to convalesce – not hobble round like a peg-leg pirate for the rest of your life?
Time for your staff is the most valuable motivator you can have. And every business has the opportunity to deploy it – a whole new dimension to your duty of care.
Inspired, motivated, committed
Suddenly working for you becomes sought after and special – a valuable recruitment plus and retention advantage. The trick now as Mr Nice Guy is to coax back as many of those 57.5 days as you can to bump up productivity.
Flexible working is a great start – particularly as some staff may have a commute of two hours or more – and this week there are further delays on East Anglia / Virgin / South East / Thameslink. Besides, coping with sick kids gets easier when operating hours aren’t rigid and people can log in remotely at two in the morning.
Just make sure every issue is properly discussed and reviewed afterwards. If you’re giving time away it has to have value, be appreciated as a privilege, given proper respect.
And you can claw back more time by racking up workplace wellness.
No, no, not the feelgood bribes of gym membership, fitness clinics, stop smoking groups and diet classes. Yes, they work, but they don’t win back time.
We mean REAL workplace wellness – actually making the place safer and healthier from any illnesses caught from the office environment or from colleagues.
It’s dead easy too – and not expensive. Add sterilising the office to your regular evening cleaning sessions and there are no illnesses to catch.
Once again you’ve proved to staff you have their interests at heart, making the place pleasant to work in and safe from germs.
Now who would want to pull a sickie after that?
About this blog
Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.
The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.