Most companies implemented health and safety measures as COVID restrictions began to ease, and work could resume in person. However, many organizations are struggling to keep their employees healthy despite these precautions. The reasons driving these illnesses are surprising but simple to fix. The following are some common areas where contagion easily spreads amongst employees:
- Clocking in and out for the day. Physical or in-person time clocks require employees to use a communal system. With so many hands punching, swiping, or scanning, germs can easily spread. Such systems also result in queues while employees wait their turn.
- Paper schedules. Companies with shift workers or part-time employees may try to save time by posting the weekly schedule in a common area, such as a breakroom. However, this forces employees to congregate or come to work when off the clock to find out their schedule for the week. Scheduling apps eliminate this contact point while keeping employees up to date on their shifts.
- In-person meetings. Whether it’s a walking meeting or a planned conference, gathering in person increases the risk of sharing germs across entire teams or departments. While some meetings do require face-to-face interactions, companies should hold virtual meetings whenever possible.
- In-person scheduling requests. Organizations that don’t have an electronic system in place for leave requests have an increased risk of spreading contagion between staff members. In-person and paper-based systems pose a threat, as staff members must congregate in close quarters as well as handle leave request documents. Digital leave requests eliminate the person-to-person interaction and are much easier to track.
The pandemic has put a spotlight on how companies conduct business and what steps they take to keep their employees and customers healthy. Switching to a digital system can help eliminate many of the above problems, which helps to reduce absences and improve productivity. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about reducing absenteeism and managing leave requests with our absence tracking mobile app.
If employees are suffering from burnout, they’re more likely to make mistakes, experience drops in productivity, or start to have attendance problems (i.e. arriving late, leaving early, or calling out of work). Even if only one or two employees are struggling with burnout, managers are likely to notice the effects are office-wide. Once one employee stops pulling his or her weight, other employees have to pick up the slack. This puts added stress on the rest of the staff and can cause a chain reaction of burned out employees. Even if burned out employees don’t affect their coworkers, they are prone to making costly errors that can cause delays.
Thankfully, employee burnout is easy to spot. If managers and employers pay attention to their employees, they can recognize key indicators of burnout and take steps to rectify it before it begins hurting productivity and company morale through employee absenteeism and presenteeism.
- Heightened cynicism. Once productive employees may begin to balk at requests. A sudden shift to pessimism indicates the employee is disillusioned with or frustrated by his or her work. On that note, if an employee who is known for being a go-getter becomes negative and doubtful of certain objectives or goals, he or she may be experiencing burnout.
- Mistakes increase in frequency and severity. Seeing more typos when employees are under tight deadlines isn’t surprising. However, when an employee who often performs perfect work begins to make preposterous mistakes, something is wrong. The employee may feel underappreciated or overworked. Employers need to take the time to determine if the mistakes are the result of the employee growing careless or if he or she is suffering from burnout.
- Sudden disinterest with work. If a certain employee who always has ideas or contributes to the conversation goes silent at every meeting, he or she may be suffering from burnout. If the employee is overburdened with work, he or she isn’t going to engage any further until the problem is rectified.
- Attendance problems emerge. Some employees struggle with attendance, but when a previously punctual employee starts coming in late, leaving early, or not showing up at all, something is not right. Absent employees can derail projects, hurt productivity, and torpedo workplace morale. Managers must leverage absence reporting tools to determine if the sudden attendance problems are the result of family issues, an illness, or excessive work. If the problem is the latter, burnout is the culprit behind the absences.
Preventing burnout before it can take hold among the staff is of vital importance to businesses. If your company is trying to contend with absenteeism, Actec can help. Our absence reporting program can improve productivity, reduce absenteeism, and simplify your attendance keeping processes. Contact us to learn more.
Employee wellness programs aren’t a new concept, but they’ve undergone a metamorphosis in recent years. When workplaces first introduced wellness programs, there was a focus on identifying health risks and implementing programs to address them. However, this was a narrow view of what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. Modern wellness programs take a more holistic approach to ensure the physical, mental, and fiscal health of their employees as well as many other wellness factors.
Understanding the Shifting Landscape of Wellness Programs
Human Resources and company leadership often struggle to get employees to utilize their benefits to the fullest. This responsibility extends beyond basic health care for a number of reasons. For one, if employees are struggling with mental health or financial issues, they are likely to struggle with giving their work their full focus. For another, the workplace is becoming more competitive than ever. If a rival organization offers wellness programs that meet applicants’ needs, they are likely to pull in more candidates than a business that offers basic health benefits.
Personalizing Health and Wellness Programs
Some wellness programs are universally popular while others appeal to a specific audience. Starting with programs that have the broadest appeal, the following wellness options can help businesses build a personalized wellness package:
- Retirement options. Many employees wait too long to begin planning for retirement. Help employees secure the greatest retirement savings via 401(k)s, Roth IRAs, or other retirement options the company offers. Consider providing consultant services to explain employees’ options.
- Managing debt. Financial insecurity can bleed into employees’ everyday life and ability to work. Offering services to consolidate and eliminate debt can help get employees out from under crushing debt. This can include counseling on how to manage debt as well as change behaviors to encourage better finance management.
- Taking time off work for a minor health concern is often a struggle for employees. They don’t want to use their paid time off for a concern that may turn out to be a non-issue. There is also the inconvenience of falling ill over the weekend or holidays. Telemedicine allows employees to text, email, call, or video chat with a doctor to assess health concerns and determine if an office visit is necessary or not.
- Nutrition services. This harkens back to the roots of health and wellness programs. Many of the original programs focused on improving employees’ general health and fitness by refining exercise and eating habits. These programs can be as simple as offering healthy snacks in the workplace and paying for gym memberships to as complex as bringing in an onsite nutritionist and personal trainer. By improving employees’ exercise and eating habits, they are less prone to illness and calling out of work.
- Leaves of absence. Employees have a variety of concerns outside of the workplace that weigh heavily on their minds. The birth or adoption of a child, an elderly relative to care for, or other unexpected situations can require employees to take time off for an extended period of time. Offering a program that allows employees to take a leave of absence for certain circumstances can help them manage stressful situations.
Businesses need to invest in wellness programs that match their employees’ needs. While all employees appreciate retirement planning initiatives, others may not care for nutrition services. Implementing personalized wellness programs not only keeps employees happy it also keeps them present. Employees struggling with physical, emotional, or fiscal health issues are prone to stress, illness, and absenteeism. To learn more about improving employee productivity and attendance, contact the experts at Actec.
Employee wellness programs have taken the workplace by storm. Seventy-nine percent of large businesses and 44 percent of mid-sized businesses offer wellness programs. However, no employer can label his or her wellness program a success without measuring its value. While it is great to implement wellness programs, employers need to ensure they are effective to reap any benefits. However, over 60 percent of those that offer such programs fail to track the return on investment (ROI).
While few large-scale studies on the value of employee wellness program exist, some small ones do. A study by the Harvard Business Review found businesses with wellness programs saw a one to two percent increase in healthcare costs compared to the national average of seven percent. Ensuring the success of employee wellness programs is possible if businesses take the following approach.
Viable Wellness Programs Are Top Down
A wellness program will fail to thrive if management at the executive level does not engage. If CEOs host and participate in quarterly health screenings, it will show their employees that they are committed to improving the health of the organization as a whole. Other examples of nurturing long-term health are offering healthy meals at meetings and stocking the vending machines with nutritious snacks. If employers want to improve their employees’ health, it must be a long-term commitment. Holding one health fair per year while continuing to stock the break room with donuts sends a mixed message and will yield poor results.
If it is hard to engage or easy to miss the notice, employees will overlook wellness programs. An employer cannot send one reminder email or post one announcement and expect employees to take notice. Employees receive dozens of emails daily and are busier than ever. Employers can utilize several methods of communication (emails, text messages, etc.), but an online portal is the most likely method to succeed. Providing a single location for updates and screening results makes engagement easy for employees.
Seek Professional Support
Wellness Programs often fall under the purview of HR departments, but most HR employees are not equipped to manage the programs. Wellness programs can be complicated and time-consuming so it is best to invest in providers and vendors who are familiar with health screenings, health coaching, and so on. Wellness experts can schedule events, help employees with enrollment, manage communication efforts, and more.
Wellness programs are growing in popularity for obvious reasons: they increase employee engagement, improve morale, address budding employee health issues before they become a significant problem, and reduce absenteeism. Improving employee health has a direct correlation to improving their attendance. This in turn improves a company’s productivity and bottom line. To learn more about how employee wellness programs affect absence management, contact the experts at Actec.