Tag Archives: staff

Penny-pinching bosses incur massive losses with hard-line back-to-work rules

Businessman facing loss
Invisible money-drain: penny-pinching on staff health protection can cost a fortune

That old advice, penny wise, pound foolish, never felt truer.

Sick or not, most managers aren’t happy unless all workers are full-time at their desks, getting on with the job.

Most staff know this. So despite being sick, do their damnedest to get back to work ASAP. There might not be a job if they don’t.

Which means staying at home two days instead of three. Getting back to work only half-recovered. And stressing about under-performance once they’re back.

The downside of penny-pinching

Hold that thought – under-performance.

About what happens when ANYONE is unwell at work.

Impaired competence. Not up to the mark. Not really doing their job properly.

Unsurprising really. How well CAN you perform when your guts are on fire, your head pounds like a pile-driver  and your thoughts are all over the place?

Uh huh.

And the boss is happy to pay for this deficiency?

That jobs take longer, important issues get missed and key clients feel neglected?

Has the price tag ever been calculated?

OK, according to CIPD figures, the average employee costs £522 per year in sick leave.  Six days out of circulation at around £87 a day.  Or as business experts PwC calculate it, an all-up cost to the country of £29 billion a year.

Not chicken-feed, so the average boss tries everything to avoid it.

Usually with stick, not carrot. Psychological mind games and bullying. The emotional blackmail of letting colleagues down.  Real or imagined threats to job security.

Yeah right, a saving of £87 per person, per day.

£174 if pressured into coming back two days early instead of one. Big deal.

False economy

Meanwhile, as businesses are beginning to find, being unwell at work costs 10 times more than being booked off sick.

Save £87 – and lose £870. Penny-pinching gone mad.

And that’s just for starters.

Coming back early, those staffers could be contagious. Bringing back germs to infect others. A domino effect going round the office. More sick days, more expense – and more under-performance for everyone coming back early.

Make that under-performance, de luxe.

Because how motivated is anyone pressured into being at work when it’s a challenge just to be there? How committed? How prepared to go the extra mile?

Which is where the price tag gets scary – applied “germonomics”.

Over and above the cost of being booked off sick – how does it work, being unwell at your desk?

What’s the cost of opportunities not followed up? Orders mislaid or lost? Delay penalties on late finishing work? Cost overruns from lack of supervision? Loss of goodwill? Or the cost of extra time and temp staff hired to meet deadlines?

Kinda makes nonsense out of strong-arming staff back to work, doesn’t it?

Or paying them an incentive to do so. Good money after bad.

And how about the fact that a lot of the time, it’s not being unwell that’s the issue? How about that most of us FREQUENTLY feel off colour and not completely ourselves? That somehow we feel pain or physical discomfort around every three days?

Invisible costs

No wonder that under-performance is as expensive as it is.

Expensive and invisible. Often as much as a whole year’s salary per staff member eaten up in unnecessary overheads – a double salary bill.

Mistakenly accepted as things taking longer than expected, unforeseen setbacks and problems with productivity. All hazily explained away as a “cost of doing business”.

Yet how many bosses ever do anything to prevent it?

Not with bribes or misplaced back-to-work incentives, but a real investment in protecting staff health?

Because it can be done. Actively protecting staff health so they don’t get ill in the first place. At least, not in their working area.

All it takes is regular treatment to eradicate germs. Make the place sterile once a week, or even daily. No germs, people can’t get sick. All that money rescued.

Adding it to normal cleaning procedures will do it. A few hundred quid extra to mist the place up with ionised hydrogen peroxide – to oxidise all viruses and bacteria and be totally germ-free.

Not penny-pinching, but pound-grabbing.

Visible dividends

And a lot extra besides.

How much better will staff feel, knowing that THEIR interests are at heart, that THEIR health is deliberately protected?

How about commitment now? Staff loyalty? Capability and performance? Going the extra mile? Productivity and efficiency? Or the company bank balance?

The costs might be invisible, but the dividends aren’t.

A lot better than penny-pinching, surely.

Picture Copyright: andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo

Straight germonomics: forget absentee costs, staff unwell at work will cost you 10 times more

Broke business bloke
You can’t see germs that make staff unwell at work. You can’t see the costs they incur either – until you start paying for them

Staff off sick and in bed you can plan for. But unwell at work, with a screaming headache or twisting gut, they’re the ultimate loose cannons.

How’s their focus? Their attention to detail? Will they push the right buttons, or screw things up completely?

And how about their customer-facing skills?

Smiling selves, or horror-hounds from hell?

The real price of loyalty

Not the sharp professionals you thought you were paying for, hey?

But they’re at their desks – loyalty unquestioned.

Committed and going for it – but dragging you down with them. Because right now, the way they’re feeling, you’d be better off without them.

At least you can budget for them if they’re away. Six days off for most people (the CIPD average), temp cost or catch-up overtime – easy peasy.

Yeah? But how often do they play hero? Struggle in to work, insides like boiled knitting – but not bad enough to justify staying away?

57.5 days according to a GCC study validated by the World Health Organisation.  Almost three working months – and a whole 10 times more than you’re budgeting for sick costs.

And that’s only the beginning. How much extra are you paying for mistakes, oversights, forgotten follow-ups – or messed-up customer relations?

Nine months worth – or a year’s?

Get ready for a shock. Because on top of the fudges and hiccups, effectively you’re only getting nine months worth of work out of the professionals you hired specially.

But you’re paying for a full twelve.

Which means if you could wave a magic wand so they WEREN’T unwell at work – you’d gain yourself a whole third of a year’s productivity from each of them.

All for the same money.

Germonomics in action.

Achievable too.

Because being unwell at work is very often from germs picked up at work.

Large groups of people all working together – sharing the same space, the same air, using and touching the same facilities.

And not really protected at all, if you think about it.

Your cleaning crew come in every evening – and what do they do?

Vacuum around some, empty the waste bins, give the place a quick wipe-down. Nothing that actually gets rid of germs.

Yes, well OK – not in their remit, is it?

Lurking hazards – the downside risk

Meanwhile there’s germs there, all right. Plenty of them too. As scare headlines in the media keep reminding us. 10 million on every desk, for starters. More on the light switches, door handles, keypads and touch screens. You get the picture.

Plus the personal germ clouds that each of us carries around with us. Most of the time benign or harmless – but who knows what they might do to other people?

Plus the awkward fact that none of us are really that good about personal hygiene. If our hands don’t LOOK dirty, we reckon they’re clean. As if we could see a bunch of microbes so small that a billion could fit on the point of a pin!

Meanwhile

Duty of care

Yes, so?

Part of your duty of care is to keep staff secure. Out of the cold, away from damp, in non-hazardous surroundings. Safe from germs like legionella, which you are required by law to ensure.

Except legionella’s not the only one. There’s billions more germs than that, just waiting for the opportunity. And not just the usuals either – like colds and flu and tummy bugs.

Pretty well every one of us carries a few cells of MRSA and other nasties.

Plus with all kinds of other infection possibilities about, the simplest paper cut could cause sepsis. In just hours, a professional member of staff could be dead. On your watch.

Germ-free – the upside gain

Unless of course, you work the other side of germonomics – and turn potential health deficits into dividends.

By making hygiene a key factor in your nightly clean up – ensuring ALL germs are safely destroyed every evening after staff have gone home.

No viruses, no bacteria, no mould, no fungi – 99.9999% sterile.

All press-button easy – by misting up the place with ionised hydrogen peroxide on top of your regular cleaning routine.

Forty minutes is all it usually takes to oxidise germs to nothing. To remove the major cause of making people unwell at work and be sure they’re safe.

And to make your productivity a whole ONE-THIRD better than it is at the moment.

Not so tight for cash now, hey?

Now see how your staff perform when they’re well and motivated – and the feel-good factor kicks in.

Picture Copyright: luislouro / 123RF Stock Photo

Get the right cleaning service and they’ll SAVE you a fortune

Cleaning team with Halo
Real cleaning includes getting rid of germs – push-button easy with a Hypersteriliser like this one

Getting it right means choosing a service that does more than mop and sponge.

It’s your duty of care to provide a secure working environment for staff – and that should include protection from germs.

For example, you wouldn’t expect them to work in surroundings with mould damage. Nor would you want to expose them to legionella – in fact by law, you have to safeguard them against it.

Which underlines the basic business rule about cleaning services: cheap is expensive.

Make that VERY expensive.

Unwell at work – the high cost of presenteeism

Because having staff out of action from a bug they picked up at work has a knock-on effect way beyond paying for sick leave or replacement staff.

Your hero types will drag themselves to their desks even if they’re not 100%. And nobody performs at their best if they’re unwell at work. Things get missed, service levels slip and critical deadlines go for a ball of chalk.

Big bucks, you’re right – the perils of presenteeism.

So while a quick run-round with vacuum cleaner and sponge might make the place look tidy, it’s unlikely to do the job you really need – to get rid of germs.

No, that doesn’t mean the doom and gloom scenario of a deep clean every night. Or the place reeking of bleach so that your head spins.

As any top-line cleaning service can tell you, eliminating germs can be quick, easy and safe. Just mist the place up with ionised hydrogen peroxide and the germ count drops to zero.

Well to 99.9999% at least – a 6-Log Sterility Assurance Level.

No viruses, no bacteria, no fungi, no mould – they’re all oxidised to nothing.

Checking for proof

How can you tell?

Well you can’t see germs, they’re too small. But sample testing at various locations around your premises should all prove germ-free.

Your nose will confirm it too. Germs smell when they’re at work, the key giveaway that they’re there. Treat the place with hydrogen peroxide and smells disappear – instead there’s a neutral freshness.

The other giveaway is mould – if you’re unfortunate to have any. Around the air conditioner maybe, where water drips from the condenser. After treatment, those black shadow marks turn grey. The stuff is dead and easily brushed away.

Best of all though, is that your staff are safe. Their health is protected and they know you’ve gone out of your way to do it. Much more significant than feng shui treatment with colour schemes and furniture.

Better even than gym membership or medical care. You’ve taken steps to PREVENT illness before it happens – putting their health first.

The upbeat power of health

That does things to their morale and psyche. Activates the feel-good of being actively healthy and WANTING to get cracking. They’re committed, full of energy and busting to achieve.

It’s motivation not possible any other way. The kind that fuels commitment and voluntarily going for best. A competitive edge that happens literally overnight.

Not bad for a lowly cleaning service, hey? Though they’re not exactly lowly.

As the right choice, they provide the right facilities at the right time. And it doesn’t get righter than keeping germs out of the workplace.

It all adds up – being right.

Saving money because staff don’t go off sick so often. They’re at their desks with their finger on the pulse.

No downside costs from being unwell at work either. They’re in control and at full strength, delivering everything you pay them for.

And MAKING money from positive vibes. A bunch of professionals healthy and well – fully motivated and going for it.

Ready to take on the world.

Picture Copyright: andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo

2017 bonus – productivity up a third with exactly the same staff

Revved-up team
When people feel well, they perform better. Help them perform all the time – you win, and so do they

Nothing to lose, you see. No coughs or colds. No sitting at a desk with a pounding headache. Productivity untouched.

All the hours you’re paying for at full strength. Easy peasy with staff revved up and going for it.

Nobody off sick while work takes a back seat.

Full performance

Nobody off-colour either. Going through the motions while they feel like death. Grumpy with customers, missing details, making mistakes but grimly determined.

No, no. None of that.

It’s your New Year’s present to them – and to yourself.

No more germs in the office.

No more picking up somebody else’s bug. No more sick days. No more off days. No more feeling less than 100%.

Up and ready, raring to go. Full of bounce and feeling good with it. On a high from being healthy and reacting to it. Ready to conquer the world.

That’s what you get when everyone’s on song. Maximum productivity, maximum efficiency, everyone motivated and WANTING to achieve – all 250 working days of the year.

Everyone worth every penny of their salary – and KNOWING they’re giving their best.

A little duty of care

And all it takes is a little extra attention. A little extra showing that their health is important – beyond cleaning the place every night, and keeping it neat and tidy. By getting rid of the germs that every workplace has – especially with lots of people all working together.

Yes, people DO get sick and need time off. Six days a year on average, according to the CIPD. And more often than not, from bugs picked up at work. Sore throat, sniffles, tummy problems – sometimes even more serious.

On top of that though, there’s all the days when people don’t feel well, but drag themselves into work anyway – what HR experts call presenteeism.

They might be there and committed, but their performance is hardly their best. How can it be, when everything is an effort, a challenge just to stay focused?

And what does that do to your business?

Not sick, not well either

According to a GCC report validated by the WHO, it affects 10 TIMES more than the standard 6 days off sick. A loss through under-powered performance of 60 days productivity – on top of the necessary absence. A total of 66 days that affects ALL OF US, not just the unlucky ones.

Which makes getting rid of germs a vital business necessity.

Around one-third of staff productivity is riding on it. Money that you’re already paying out, but getting nothing for. Cash that should be bank-rolling new projects and enabling new projects – instead of being wasted on cough, splutter, sneeze.

It’s so easily fixed too.

Every treatment of your workplace by a Hypersteriliser machine eliminates ALL viruses, bacteria, fungi and mould. First thing in the morning the place is sterile. Safe, secure and germ-free. All oxidised to nothing by hydrogen peroxide – the same stuff our own bodies produce naturally to fight germs.

Looking after the pennies

Oh sure, it’s an expense you don’t face at the moment. You could shove it aside and keep going as you always have. And keep paying for the 66 days of lost productivity every one of your staff is costing you – including yourself. It’s money you don’t see anyway, so what the heck?

Not a lot of sense to turning your back on it though, is there?

For not much more than you’re already paying for daily cleaning, you can have reliable workplace hygiene too. Be sure of full staff performance all the time. Get full value for money from every one of your high-powered team.

Plus the inevitable bonuses when everyone’s healthy and well. More smiles, more can-do, more attention to detail, more positive attitudes.

A lot of organisations would pay big money to achieve all of those. But you can do it with just the press of a button. The one on the Hypersteriliser that starts getting rid of germs.

The one that puts a whole new perspective on your all-up productivity.

Picture Copyright: iordani / 123RF Stock Photo

Could a workplace illness put you out of business?

Distressed businessman
Paying out thousands for a tiny germ you can’t see – time to get some protection

Don’t think it can’t happen. Either out of business, or very out of pocket. Red ink everywhere, profit figures to hell and gone.  The end of the world.

All too easy too. From some teensy-weensy bug one of your staff brought in. Not even sick with it either, just sitting on their clothing.

But everybody touches the front door handle. And everybody uses the coffee machine. From there to a phone keypad or computer keyboard is just a step. Suddenly it’s on every document to hit everyone’s in-tray.

Serious? It depends.

Even the tiniest germ can cost you a fortune

Flu can be inconvenient and unpleasant – but people can die from it. Most other bugs too,  if the circumstances are right. And they can ALL bring you to a stop – flu, norovirus, e.coli or salmonella. It doesn’t have to be a heavyweight killer like cholera or typhoid.

Thing is, with everybody grouped together in one location, it’s easy for any germ to spread. Which means anybody can get it it, not just a solo case.

Some of them will clock off and later call in in sick. The team is running short and that’s the first of your expenses. They’re not working, but you still have to pay them. And their work is not done, do you call in a temp or let their jobs run late? Either way could cost you.

Other staffers will tough it out and crawl in determined, no matter how bad they feel. They’re working, but only at half-power. Not concentrating fully, missing details, making mistakes. Brilliant when they’re well, right now they’re a loose cannon. Costing plenty, left, right and centre.

Things start getting forgotten, have to be done again, run over budget, run over deadline. Clients start complaining, cancelling work, moving business elsewhere. The price tag is going up, expenses starting to snowball. All because some microscopic bug is making your staff unwell.

The difference between clean and safe

Shouldn’t happen, right?

You have a cleaning company, they’re supposed to make things clean, what’s gone wrong?

Yes, well as you’re starting to find out, clean does not necessarily mean safe. And the cleaning company are just doing their job. Nobody can SEE germs anyway, how are they supposed to know they’re there?

It gets worse.

Because when staff recover and race back to handle the emergency, they go down with the same bug again. Still there, see? And nasties like norovirus are well-known for bouncing back again and again.

But so are others if you don’t take steps. Spores of c.difficile for instance can survive for ages on surfaces.  And they all feel the same, these work-sapping miseries – gut-wrenching tummy cramps, violent diarrhoea and vomiting armageddon.

Take steps – what can you do? This thing could shut you down any minute.

First off, put a stop to it right now.

Second, make sure it can’t happen again.

Both of which require the same action. Hit your workplace hard, so there’s no germs of any kind. No viruses, no bacteria, make the whole place sterile.

Fortunately that’s the easy part. Quick too.

Send in the cavalry

All it takes is a machine called a Hypersteriliser.

You press one button, mist the place up with ionised hydrogen peroxide, and ALL germs are oxidised to oblivion. The stuff reaches everywhere, right into remote hidey-holes – nothing survives. In around 40 minutes depending on room sizes, your workplace is safe.

Sure, some of your staff might still carry germs as they get back into things. But with a zero germ threshold, there’s less chance for them to settle and spread.

And if you repeat the exercise – mist up again, once a week, or even daily – you’ll send those germs to oblivion too, protecting your staff from future infections.

Protecting your bank balance too. A near thing, but thank goodness you’ve recovered. A few pounds well spent, getting rid of the problem – and you’ve easily saved yourself thousands.

You could save yourself thousands in the future too. Just keep on with the Hypersteriliser. A regular routine for saving your business – just like brushing your teeth.

Out of business?

Not you. You’re in for the long (and profitable) haul.

Picture Copyright: twindesign / 123RF Stock Photo

Take a bow, NHS – your dedication is showing

Happy doctor
How wonderful to feel wanted
and treated like a human being

Apologies for the last few blog-less days.

An elderly relative needed an urgent hospital check-up – a blood clot and infection scare.

Negative, as it turned out – though a bit nerve-wracking as it happened.

Not that it was allowed to be a drama.

Special people

Without exception, hospital staff from reception to department administrators to nurses to doctors were all reassuring, calm and professional – nothing too much trouble – dignity and respect super-plus.

Doubly important when you’re over ninety and a bit unsure of this world whizzing round you.

Yes, there were waits. Long ones watching the clock while blood tests were processed and ultrasound time was found.

But things happened, somehow the busy schedule was opened up to accommodate this little old lady – all on top of the usual hectic pace that is the hospital norm.

The extra mile – every day

Yes, take a bow – everything about this experience was exemplary.

Nobody wants to be in hospital and it was two days out of everyday life. Tiring, drawn out – but inspiring in the company of staff amazingly adept at putting smiles on our faces.

In reassuring surroundings too.

Spend a few hours in a waiting room chair and you notice things like clean floors and dust-free furniture. Same thing with the inevitable loo-breaks. Clean, properly up kept, with every sanitising precaution visibly upheld.

All stuff that is really difficult in a super-busy place with several hundred people all doing different things to the best of their professional ability – dedicated, committed and involved like you’ll never find in a supermarket or clothing store.

Horrible people get treated nice too

Sure, there were people all around who moaned and complained.

One look at their faces though, it was obvious they will always whinge about something.

How have we become so awful that we have to bellyache all the time – especially with so many people trying to help us?

A lot of people seem to bad mouth the NHS – and maybe they have reason. But two full days going through the system without anyone putting a foot wrong seemed to be the norm in this hospital – not at all an exception.

So, a message to the moaners on behalf of NHS staff who are far too polite to say:

“Shut up, you lot! Let us get on with our jobs.”

Thank you folks, you were wonderful.

Maybe we can do the same for you some day.