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!