So here we are, at the tail end of the year. The time when there’s often still so much to be done, both in and out of work. The time when, for one reason or another – such as last minute shopping or an unexpected day recovering from a great Christmas function – people want time off. This is fine when it’s planned and allowed for, but if they’re taking a ‘sickie’ at will, well, then, it can be costly.
The NZ Herald reports that a Wellness in the Workplace survey conducted by Southern Cross shows sick days,” ‘sickies’ taken by people who aren’t really ill are estimated to account for 303,000 lost days of work each year, at a cost of $283 million.”
Now, while Christmas may be the season of goodwill, I’ll bet there are very few employers who want to see profits walking out the door because of people taking sickies whatever the reason.
Large organisations are particularly vulnerable as companies with fewer than five staff reported almost no workers throwing sickies.but it can happen anywhere.
So, what to do to reduce the time off?
Show staff you care. Be flexible and be proactive:
- Allow people some glide time and to come in later after a hectic weekend of end of year parties.
- Allow some flexibility for parents wanting to attend end of year school functions – it’s important to allow families to be together on those special occasions, supporting their children – both mums and dads.
- Create a great workplace in the first place – a pleasant staff room to relax in away from the workspace, a bowl of fruit to encourage healthy snacking, team building exercises – this can be as simple as getting staff up to go out for a 10 walk around the block mid morning and afternoon, or getting into some team games like touch or basketball.
Overall, think ahead. You know year after year, one thing’s for certain. Christmas is coming. Plan for it and have a great summer!