Nowadays, most people can hardly afford to miss any workday. This is not surprising seeing as employment isn’t that easy to come by. Therefore, it is often common to find or see employees struggling to go to work even when they are ill in the bid to hold down their jobs.
As commendable as this might be, the truth is that it can end up hurting your company and reducing your company staff’s productivity in the short and medium term. For instance, workers with flu are bound to infect other with the virus unintentionally.
They are also likely to perform far below expectation or even cause accidents in the workplace as a result of the drugs they are taking to suppress or beat the flu. Bottom line, it is not worth it for sick workers to come to work.
What you can do, however, is make sure to establish fair policies that will help them stay at home and recover before coming back to work. Most workers will stay at home and get well if they feel their employers won’t penalize them. So, how can you do this?
Encourage them to Stay at Home
For a start, make it well known to your employees that workers can stay home if they are ill. When people know this, they will always stay at home to take care of themselves and get better.
This should be enforced whenever their illness is quite serious. Sometimes, workers will come to the office with that illness – this is particularly common for conditions like the flu or vertigo – because they need the money.
What you can do is have someone on the ground who specializes in first aid to have a quick look at the worker and see if they are fit to continue working. If they can’t, let them go home without any form of penalty or punishment.
Admittedly, some unscrupulous workers may want to take advantage of this. For people like this, create a means to finding out if they are really sick. This is extremely important when it becomes a frequent occurrence.
Offer Incentives for Them Staying at Home
Incentives could be anything from paying them their usual hourly or daily wages if their wages aren’t much or offer to pay them half of their current daily wages until they resume work.
This will not only encourage them to go home and recover, but more importantly, it will encourage them to resume work as soon as possible. Most workers won’t want to joke with their full days’ wages.
So, having this plan in place will serve as a motivating factor to help them get to work as soon as they are well instead of taking some extra days off because they know they are being paid full wages.
Ensure there are No Penalties for Workers Who Stay at Home Due to Illness
To do this, you might need to develop a policy that’s aimed at protecting your workers and watching out for them while they are sick.
When workers know that there is no risk of losing their job just because they were down with the flu for 5 days, they will be more likely to rest properly and get the appropriate treatment and rest that they need.
If they are very crucial to the organization, find a way for someone to sub-in while they are recuperating. That way, work isn’t slowed down because someone is missing.
Finally, take preventive measures towards contagious illnesses in the workplace. Encourage healthy hygiene by setting up things like no-touch baskets for flu-related issues, frequent hand washing, and other healthy habits. Have your workplace periodically checked for poor indoor air quality, the presence of mold and other airborne allergens. The best way to curb most illnesses is to prevent them in the first place. Make sure to do this, and your staff will be protected.
Featured images and license : Creative Commons. Article by Oscar King, a health blogger who discusses topics related to health in the workplace, and is often shocked at policies adopted by managers to discourage truancy that only serve to encourage the spread of disease. He also advises employers to have a sense of an employee’s health before hiring, and recommends using services like Workflow Orlando for pre-employment physicals. You can learn more about Oscar on Google+