If your response to this question is 'why should I care?’ then perhaps another article in our blogs may help.
If you’re really concerned about perhaps high employee absence levels or if you have a sense that ‘presenteeism’ exists, eg, the lights are on but nobody is in, then read on!
It is apparent that employees are facing significantly increased stress levels which are currently at their worst compared to 10 years ago. According to the CIPD’s 2016 Absence Management Survey* stress is the main cause of long-term absence (53%) and the second-highest cause of short-term absence (47%) across all industries.
There are luckily many solutions and practices that a switched on manager can deploy including, employee assistance programmes, occupational health services, and stress awareness training can all help to manage employees in any level of distress - for that is what stress ultimately causes.
Other interventions that managers could consider may centre around the working environment. As well as appropriate lighting throughout your offices and properties, you could provide an employee relaxation environment, somewhere that shows you care about providing support to your employees, somewhere they can let go of some of the pressures they may face in their day to day activities.
It should be remembered (and has been mentioned extensively in our previous blogs) that if an employee feels unduly stressed in say a high pressure sales role or if a manager or director has a particularly unpleasant demeanour, then that probably isn’t reflected in the contract agreed between the company and the employee. Stress has a bad way of bouncing between employees, better perhaps to quickly identify and address the cause of say workplace bullying, before it gets out of control.
Stress may be a big issue but it is closely followed by musculoskeletal injuries and disorders (especially back pain) which are having a big impact on absence levels. Managers have to comply with workstation assessment reviews process, making sure the employees physical environment is appropriate.
Work station assessments look into whether their employees have the right chairs, desks, posture, lighting and lifting advice, and physiotherapy support where required.
We hope you’re aspiring to create and provide a positive and supportive working environment so that employees feel encouraged rather that compelled to meet their targets/objectives.
Feel free to comment if you have something to add to this discussion, we’d love your opinions :-)
We hope that you've found this information useful. To find out more, why not check out our fantastic software HR Pulse - 'At the heart of your business'.
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*CIPD Absence Management 2016, Annual Survey Report.