Managing Presenteeism

What is presenteeism?

Presenteeism means reduced productivity when employees come to work and are not fully engaged or perform at lower levels as a result of ill health. Some employees feel the need to continue working despite their sickness. Presenteeism is the exact opposite of absenteeism at work.

Why should you manage it?

Research shows that presenteeism is hugely costly to employers, but all too often ignored. 

Managing it well not only saves money in both the short and longer-term but also contributes to the development of an engaged and productive workforce.

Presenteeism can lead to increases in mental health conditions, such as workplace stress and burnout. Both of which, can significantly impact your business due to reduced productivity and engagement. It can also lead to poor employee retention.

Workplace culture has a strong influence on the health and well-being of employees. All employees should be treated fairly, and Managers should understand how to deal with all issues that occur and follow the Company process.

How do you know if you have presenteeism?

  • Employees arriving late or leaving early. 
  • Employees missing lunch breaks or appearing to work long hours.
  • Employees working whilst sick or on holiday.
  • Employees looking more tired than usual.
  • Setting unreasonable workloads and deadlines.

Here are a few tips that may help reduce it, but it isn’t as straightforward as you think!

  • Training and Development
  • Employee Engagement
  • Company Culture – open communication.
  • Promote wellness. Discourage employees from working whilst unwell. Manage absences appropriately.
  • Adopt a presenteeism-free culture. Possibly create a presenteeism policy.
  • Encourage open communication.
  • Conduct regular staff surveys.
  • Review sickness absence policies.
  • Lead by example.
  • Ensure employees take their holiday.
  • Ensure employees do not work excessive amounts of overtime.
  • With adequate workplace support from Line Managers, HR and Occupational Health, presenteeism levels will start to decline.

At Occupational Health Consultancy Ltd, we are able to provide a comprehensive OH service which will support the company in recognising and reducing presenteeism. To find out more about our Services, either take a look at our website or give us a call on 02380 475000.