How Does Too Many Employee Sick Days Affect Your Bottom Line?
Unless your business is a nonprofit, you’re in business to make money. Nothing hurts your bottom line more than a loss of productivity. According to a study performed by the Integrated Benefits Institute, missed work days has cost corporations more than half a trillion dollars in income per year. More than a third of that was due to lost productivity directly related to illness.
Anytime employees miss work there is a financial impact on your company. When absenteeism is excessive, the effect can be harmful to your business. When employees are off work, other employees often have to take up the slack, which can result in an increase in overtime. In a fast paced companies, missed deadlines due to absenteeism, frequently result in heightened stress levels. Productivity suffers when workers are stressed, overworked or don’t show up for work at all.
While there are those who will take advantage of the benefit of sick days, there are others who legitimately need the time off. To ensure benefits are not abused, there are several preventative measures that employers can take.
To offset absenteeism, educate employees on preventative health topics or giving incentives for taking measures to stay healthy; be flexible with time off by allowing employees to make up missed time; gage the morale temperature in the work place. Take steps to ensure employees are happy and fulfilled in their work environment. Happy employees are less likely to take time off work; show empathy when an employee has to take off. Knowing an employer is concerned about an employee’s well-being and not just the bottom line, creates loyal employees who show up for work; finally, make sure all employees understand the policies pertaining to absenteeism. When there is a clear understanding, employees are less likely to abuse benefits.
Presenteeism is a relatively new phrase. This is when employees come to work ill instead of taking the much needed time off. When this happens, productivity is affected a couple of ways. First, because the employee is sick, they are not capable of functioning to full capacity. Secondly, the ill employee infects other employees, which causes them to miss work or become underproductive as well. Some of the same preventative methods mentioned for absenteeism will work for presenteeism. In addition, if employees are not paid for sick days, you might consider paying them. Employees that are not compensated for sick days, will have a tendency to show up at your establishment sick to avoid losing pay.
Whether employees are missing days excessively (absenteeism) or coming to work ill (presenteeism), if changes are not made, you bottom line will hit rock bottom!
How Do You Measure the Level of Production from Employees?
Depending on the type of business you own, measuring the production level of an employee can be challenging. If you are unable to measure production, your bottom line may be suffering. Even if your company is doing well, you may be leaving money on the table.
One of the greatest mistakes employers make is expecting employees to deliver great results doing a job they have not been adequately trained for. If you want peak performance, you have to make sure employees have the tools needed to perform at peak! Once an employee is properly trained, communication is key. Clearly communicate your expectations to your employees. Discuss the importance of meeting deadlines and get updates from the employee frequently. Model the behavior you want to see and reassure the employee that you are there to help them be successful. After all, if they succeed, so does your bottom line.
Be careful not to micromanage. Micromanaging tends to deflate employee morale and decreases productivity. When employees are micromanaged, they feel as if they are not trusted and that you are not confident they are capable of doing their job. It creates a stressful atmosphere that may prove to be counterproductive.
After your expectations have been discussed, assess the employees work habits. Ask yourself, is the employee completing task in a timely fashion? Are they meeting goals? Are you getting results? If your bottom line is not where you want it to be, you may have to adjust and sometimes, readjust to ensure you get your desired results. If it is, be sure and thank the employee for a job well done. Get their buy-in on how they might further improve the task to further increase production.
When good, old-fashioned managing falls short, there are systems that allow employers to monitor employees electronically. These systems will give you a greater look into the work life of your employee. If your employees feel as if their privacy is being invaded, you might explain that these systems are not to police them, but a useful tool to track and improve job performance and the overall productivity of the company.
Monitoring systems include: key stroke, monitors data entry, speed and accuracy; video surveillance, allows you to see what employees are doing; phone tracking and tapping devices, monitors phone calls and voicemail; active badges, allows you to know where employees are at all times. These are just a few of the systems available. There are pros and cons for both employees and employers.
Whether you use traditional measuring or more aggressive tracking to keep an eye on employee production, make sure you keep a watchful eye on your bottom line. It’s the best way to measure productivity!
How Do You Control the Cost of Excessive Social Media Use By Employees?
To say that social media is on the rise would probably be the understatement of the century. With the click of a button or the touch of your finger, you can have access to social media anytime and anywhere. The workplace is no exception. More and more employees are accessing their personal social media accounts while on the clock. When their usage leads to loss of productivity, is excessive or offensive, it can be very costly to an employer. Furthermore, depending on the nature of the company’s business, a breach of network and data security is also a possibility.
Have a Policy in Place
To counteract these risk, employers should have policies in place to regulate the practice of social media use. This should happen long before usage becomes excessive. The employer should establish clear, written social media policies. Having a policy in place will establish company procedures. However, to be enforceable, employees must be aware of and have access to the policy. The policy should outline rules regarding usage for business as well as personal social media. It should clearly define what an employee can and cannot do along with the consequences if these rules are not adhered to. Having a policy in place and deciding what position your company will take on social media, should help with controlling excessive usage cost. So, what is your position? How will you handle social media issues? There are several methods you might consider.
One option an employer has is to totally forbid usage of social media during working hours. This can include any and all technological devices: phones, watches, computers, tablets, etc. The prohibition of social media usage and any disciplinary actions must be explained in the social media policy. The downside to prohibiting all access to social media, is that it can possibly affect employee morale and be just as costly as excessive employee usage.
Another option would be to monitor employees’ usage. Employers are able to monitor which sites are visited during work hours, but the monitoring can not infringe on the employees private lives. If employee usage is going to be monitored, your social media policy must explain how the monitoring will take place and to what degree.
Employers are able to limit access to sites through the use of firewalls. Employees can be restricted to using social media when on lunch or breaks. Some employers even go as far as having designated computers for employees to access social media. Restrictions should also be documented in your policy.
In short, the best way to avoid the high cost of excessive social media usage in the future, is to take some preventative measures today.
Has running your business become a hassle, a burden? You’re no longer excited to go to work? The gratification you felt when you first started your business, has dissipated and things just aren’t the same. You don’t jump out of bed each morning raring to go. In fact, you want to roll over, pull the covers over your head and sink back into your pillow. Not only are you not singing all the way to the bank, you don’t even make enough money to pay the bills! Your employees make more money than you do and they work less hours! The market has changed and you’ve had to change the way you do business! The competition is taking all of your business because he’s able to charge less! You’re tired and you need a little rest and relaxation but there’s no room in the budget for that. Besides, there’s simply no time for R&R! After all, who can rest at a time like this? Your company is on the brink of death and your enthusiasm is on life support. You’ve got to get back on track. Something has got to CHANGE! But you don’t know what to change or where to start.
You’ve worked hard to establish your business and you deserve to be happy as a business owner! Perhaps, a little R & R can fix it but what if it can’t? If a little R&R doesn’t fix it and running your business has become a drag, if you have forgotten why you started your business in the first place, why not consider reawakening your PASSION?
Reviving your passion for your business can be the difference between success and failure. Your passion is what sets you apart from any and everyone else. That strong desire you felt to help others and make a nice living while doing it, doesn’t have to die. Your dreams and aspirations can flourish! You can wake up each day with a sense of purpose and anticipation. Your business does not have to be a burden. You can, once again, be excited about going to work. You can sing All it takes is a few simple steps to have the thriving business you’ve always wanted. In our “7 Steps to Business Excellence” you’ll learn how to “Re-Assess” “Re-Invent” and “Re-Invest” in YOURSELF and Your BUSINESS!