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Easy Ways To Ensure Your Employees Never Need To Go Sick For More Than Three Days.

February 15, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Health & Wellness, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThySistas.comUs managers never embrace employee sickness. That’s because we usually have to pick up the work which sick team members can’t complete. Adding these extra tasks onto a manager’s already busy day is a sure way to a meltdown. And, the risks of that only increase the longer sickness lasts. If a team member is away for a week or more, you may be unable to keep on top of the workload you’re losing. That can lead to missed deadlines and unimpressed clients. That’s terrible news for your business prospects.

It’s no wonder, then, that your heart sinks whenever you get an early morning call from an employee. The chances are that you want to slam the phone down, or tell them they have to come in anyway. Of course, you can’t do that. Sickness is sickness, and even the best employees fall foul sometimes. If you try to fight against that, you could end up breaking the law, or ruining working relationships.

What you can do is take steps to ensure that no employee ever needs to go sick for more than three days or so. Of course, this isn’t an exact science. There will be times when severe illness strikes. But, for general coughs and sneezes, three days should be ample recovery time if you take care of the following.

Spot signs of illness as early as possible

Often, extended illness comes about because employees force themselves into the workplace when they aren’t well. This then leaves them at risk of worsening issues and secondary infections. And, those are the kinds of sickness which need antibiotics and time to heal. By making an effort to spot signs of illness in your team, then, you can at least go some way towards preventing this. Something as simple as detecting sniffles and sneezes could help here. You would then be able to call that employee in and ask what’s going on. It may be that you can let them leave early, or offer them a day off for recovery. This preemptive move allows you to cover for their lost workload. That alone can take away the pain of being one team member down.

Thinking ahead like this can also catch illnesses before they become too severe. That means this one day off could work to clear a bug which would’ve taken far longer if that employee didn’t relax. As a side bonus, spotting these early signs can also help you to stop the spread of illnesses. As well as reducing individual sick time, that ensures no one else needs to take time off. As sickness goes, we’re sure you’ll agree that would be a pretty good outcome.

Put health benefits in place

You may also be surprised to hear that putting employee health benefits in place can reduce the length of absences. Options like health insurance and sick pay, for example, ensure no colleague avoids taking time off due to financial worries. It also ensures that they can afford to seek treatment as soon as possible. Along the same vein, you may even find it worth your while to put an employment health system in place which can see staff getting treatment straight away. Again, this can lead to early diagnosis and treatment from day one. That in itself can more than half the time an employee needs to take. By comparison, traditional appointments can take a matter of weeks. That’s potential weeks you’ll need to go without those critical members of your team. Before casting these benefits aside, then, give them serious consideration. They don’t just make you a more appealing employer, but they can also near enough put an end to sick calls. Remember, too, that these additions will soon pay for themselves if they achieve that goal.

Never punish sick calls

As we’ve already mentioned, no one likes to get a sick call. You probably start raging the moment someone utters the words ‘I don’t think I’ll be in today.’. But, the last thing you want to do is punish sick calls. Still, countless employers make the mistake of guilting staff or putting them on probation when they go sick a lot. To some extent, you need to put procedures in place if one person calls in like this a lot. But, as a general rule, you should be understanding and accommodating to calls like these. You certainly shouldn’t make the employee in question feel guilty.

With an attitude like that, you’re only going do dissuade staff against phoning in. And, guess what happens then? They come to work, spread their sickness, and still need to take time off later. Even if they take time off, the stress of punishments could prevent them from relaxing. Instead, they’ll spend that whole sick day stressing about what’ll happen when they get back to the office. As simple as that, you’ve doubled the time they need to take for recovery. That’s why it’s essential that you’re cooperative and caring during phone calls like these. You should never threaten disciplinary action, or push staff members to return. If you like, you can call them for a check-up, but only out of concern, not to make them feel bad. The main thing is to urge them to get the rest they need and come back when they’re ready. The chances are that they’ll then be ready far sooner than they would have otherwise.

Work on health in the office

You may also find that focusing on a healthy office environment helps you here. That’s because this both works towards keeping your employees happy, and also boosting their immune systems. A well-aired office complete with potted plants and fresh fruit is sure to work wonders for their immune systems. By comparison, a stuffy space with only sugary snacks could leave their bodies unable to fight anything. This is something of a pre-emptive strike, but it’s one which could benefit you.

In reality, these are things you should be aiming to put in place in your office anyway. Fruit instead of sugary snacks, for example, can work wonders for productivity. Plants are also miracle makers in any business space. And, fresh air circulation generally makes an office a nicer place to be. These health benefits are just extras. You may also find that staff can return to an office like this far sooner. That’s because they know that the work environment is fresh enough to aid their recovery at a certain point. When they do return, a fresher office space can also help to prevent the spread of any last contagions. There’s nothing to lose from focusing your attention here. With that in mind, you have no excuse for not making your office a healthy space.

A final word

In the grand scheme of things, all the suggestions mentioned here are easy enough to put in place. None of them needs to set you back or even cost you much. They’re certainly not going to impact your business as much as extended sickness could. Still, each of these could be the difference between staff taking at least one or two days extra off. And, that alone can be the difference between missing and meeting a deadline. As we mentioned, this is no one size fits all solution to illness. There are going to be times when staff will need more time off. But, you should find that these precautions work for the majority of sicknesses which stand to rock your boat throughout the year.

Staff Writer; Lisa Washington


One Response to “Easy Ways To Ensure Your Employees Never Need To Go Sick For More Than Three Days.”
  1. Vic says:

    This is true! I once had a manager who always push us to our limits as she wants to impress the upper managemenT and won’t accept reasons as having a fever even though there’s a medical certificate to prove it. All she thinks is herself. To make it short. Almost all of us started with long sick leaves and later on we filed a resignation and guess what. They’re having problems finding employees because it takes time to train new hires.

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