e-days blog

How did your business fare on National Sickie Day?

Authorby 14 February, 2014


We've all had those days when getting ready to work requires the kind of herculean motivation usually associated with running a marathon, or climbing Everest.

In fact, lethargy is so prominent in the winter months that National Sickie Day was coined. It marks the occasion where the highest number of people traditionally call in sick.

It is somewhat unsurprising. The financial hangover from Christmas and the spread of flu and other illnesses across the country in the new year are more than enough to leave workers feeling downbeat.

Bosses may not be conscious of the true financial cost of National Sickie Day. After all, the name itself can easily be perceived as nothing more than a gimmick. In a world where Groundhog Day is nationally recognised and celebrated, it's easy to dismiss the celebration.

However, recent figures from Employment Law Advisory Services (Elas) illustrate the true gravity of the problem.

Elas predicts sick day absences on February 3rd will go on to cost the economy up to £34 million in salaries and drops in productivity. I'm not sure Umbrella Day or Grammar Day puts such a dent in the country's finances.

An absence management  system can help to illustrate the true damage of absence. By using the data, organisations can get to the bottom of the issue and improve their work environment. 

Tackling motivation and low morale

There are many ways businesses can tackle National Sickie Day and the problem of absenteeism as a whole.

Managers may dismiss the problem as personal issues they cannot change, but this is not the case. Often, the best way to address absenteeism issues is by assessing your workplace.

Ask yourself:

  • Is the office atmosphere positive?

If it isn't, address the problem. Is there any music playing? Are people able to balance their workload with social conversations with their colleagues?

Bosses may believe social interactions should not take place, but they could not be more wrong. A strong social bond between colleagues can only yield benefits for a business. That early morning chatter will be worth its weight in gold when the team work together to clinch that upsell.

  • Are social events popular across the company?

Having friends within the workplace is imperative for employees. After all, who enjoys being in a room with strangers? Friendships can only blossom away from the office and social events are vital for this.

  • What message does the office environment portray, bright and rosy or glum and dreary?

With many businesses facing tight budget limitations, the design of an office is often neglected, but workplaces should be well-organised and presented in a way that employees can be proud of.

Minor changes such as installing company-branded décor and putting up awards or pieces of work can make workers prouder of their surroundings and, as a result, prouder of their individual contributions.

The importance of absence and holiday management

Absence and holiday management is another area where bosses can boost the morale of their staff.

Everyone has days where they sit at their desk, clutching their hair, dreaming of sandy beaches and glorious sunshine.  It is often the case that a break from work can galvanise staff upon their return, so it is vital that days off are managed efficiently.

By using the holiday planning system in e-days, workers do not need to worry about whether their annual leave has been recorded, as it is all there for them to check themselves, meaning they can handle the stressful days safe in the knowledge that their time off has been fully approved.

After addressing all these points, bosses can rest assured knowing they have introduced the right measures to tackle National Sickie Day and boost morale.

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