To show your commitment to staff wellbeing, most schools will monitor staff attendance, ensure robust procedures are in place, ask staff to regularly attend return to work interviews and try to raise awareness of the impact of absence on the school/trust. However, what do you do about those staff that come into work when they are unwell? Is this seen as dedication? It is harder to identify and measure presenteeism even though it can be easier to manage. The new CIPD/Simplyhealth Health and Wellbeing at Work survey reveals the latest trends to support employers in building healthier workplaces.
In the report, presenteeism (people attending work when unwell) is reported to have tripled in the last 8 years, since 2010.
Presenteeism could account for as much loss in productivity as absence. Staff who are ill will not work productively and could infect others. So, what can you do to ensure staff adopt healthy and productive behaviour?
- Staff usually don’t want to let colleagues down and want to get things done when they should be recovering. The organisation should make clear to all employees what the expectations are of staff who are too ill to attend work through induction and discussion.
- Don’t set a bad example. The leadership team are also human and will get ill and while you may be available by phone for emergencies, assess the need to be onsite or not.
- Train your line managers. They are the people most likely to notice when an employee turns up for work and is unwell or is struggling. Are they clear on how to manage this? Are they aware of the signs of stress or mental health problems?
- Send ill staff home to recover and make sure that support is in place when the employee is well enough to return to work.
- Monitor absence to track any trends.
If you need further help with employee well-being or absence management, please get in touch. You can speak to one of the team on 01924 907319.