Absence Management: Point 10

Provide Health and Wellbeing Education

Surveys show that over 6.5 days per employee per year are lost due to sickness absence.

You may feel as an employer that it's not your job to look after the health of your staff, but with an average absence cost of £606 per employee, costs of absence can soon spiral.

Of course, following the tips in this series will help you manage absence but anything you can do to improve the health of your staff and reduce absence has got to be a good thing. If you have 20 employees, absence could be costing you up to £12,000 per year.

Stress is one of the biggest causes of absence from work and appears to be increasing in some sectors, despite initiatives from Government bodies such as the Health & Safety Executive to get companies to address this. Promoting a good work/life balance is one way to help employees manage stress. Ensure that your staff aren't working long hours and have time to spend with their families relaxing, make sure they are taking their allocated breaks and that they're using their annual leave.

Employ tactics to educate staff about their health. Many health organisations, such as the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research, have free downloadable content from their website which you can display on notice boards or upload to intranets to educate staff. You may even be able to get local gyms (who want to promote their services and gain membership) to come to your premises for the day running free health checks for your staff, such as cholesterol, BMI and blood pressure. These might just alert staff to an issue that they should get checked before it becomes a danger.

Why not foster great working relationships outside of work and promote health by setting up a company running club or cycling club, you can even do sponsored walks and get staff to do this with their families at weekends.

The ways to promote health and wellbeing are endless, and you can actually do many of these for very little cost. If you would like to talk to us about developing a Health & Wellbeing Strategy to complement your Absence Management Strategy, please just get in touch.

We hope you've enjoyed our Top 10 Points on Absence Management and have found some of the points useful. Remember that we are here to help and we can offer an audit on your existing absence procedures so please get in touch for more advice.

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