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How to Reduce Presenteeism

In our first article ‘Presenteeism costs British business more than absenteeism’ we explained what presenteeism is and showed that it costs British businesses more than absenteeism. ‘Presenteeism’ or ‘sickness presence’, is typically caused by chronic or repeated illnesses or by the challenges that life can throw at you. So, how do you reduce presenteeism?

How do you reduce presenteeism?

Build a resilient, happy organisational culture with a strong influence on health and wellbeing. This could include job control and design, a feeling of being treated fairly, and job security.

Companies could implement wellness programs for their employees to improve health and increase productivity:

  • The first step is making your managers – and yourself – aware of the problem.
  • The next step involves getting to know the particular health issues facing your employees. This might entail a formal study, but to begin with, you could simply look at your workforce with health issues in mind.
  • Educating employees is also crucial. It’s also helpful to teach employees how to manage their illnesses better.

These steps seem simple, but just talking about health in the workplace is often challenging.

“Better management of employee health can lead to improved productivity, which can create a competitive business advantage,” says Sean Sullivan of the Institute for Health and Productivity Management. In fact, investments to reduce presenteeism are so rare that they offer greater opportunities for getting ahead of the competition than investments in traditional areas such as training.

More than a third of organisations increased their wellbeing spend in 2015, and yet just under half report that operational demands tend to take precedence over employee health and wellbeing.

If you want your workforce to work well, you have to take steps to keep them well and this means putting employee health above operational demands.

The Business in the Community (BITC) Workwell model (shown above) encourages employers to take a strategic, planned approach to employee wellbeing. This model has been adopted by many companies. (BITC is the Prince’s responsible business network).

The Workwell Wheel summarises the many benefits of improving employee wellbeing:

  • The outer magenta wheel demonstrates the business benefits – the solid business case – that results from promoting wellbeing.
  • The inner grey wheel outlines the employee elements of the model, based on the Five Ways to Wellbeing framework developed by the New Economics Foundation.
  • The five inner segments of the wheel cover the broad areas businesses need to address to create a culture of wellbeing, and to encourage business productivity and employee engagement.

“The Workwell model highlights the need for collaboration. It’s the employer’s job to create an environment where employees can make healthy lifestyle choices, but employees must take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing,” says Professor Cary Cooper CBE.

The positive culture at Spotless

Since 1987, we’ve worked hard to build a positive culture at Spotless Commercial Cleaning; we employ more than 1,200 employees from our bases across the UK, from Aberdeen and Edinburgh to London and Birmingham.

We are committed to being a great employer by giving our people care and attention, spending time with them, hearing their issues, rewarding them for excellence and always empowering them to do the right thing.

That’s how we reduce presenteeism and absenteeism, and why our staff retention levels are significantly higher than other cleaning companies’. Spotless cleaners stay with us for an average of 3.8 years and our managers for 8 years.

In an industry dogged by worker dissatisfaction and high staff turnover, that sets us apart and means continuity and consistency for our clients. We hope this demonstrates that our people work with pride and passion.

Team Spotless is made up of empowered individuals who ‘Think Better’ in all they do, making commercial cleaning a true form of art.

We want our employees to tell their friends that “it’s brilliant working for Spotless Cleaning!” See why Happiness is the Spotless Way!

You might also like to read our first article: ‘Presenteeism costs British business more than absenteeism