When an employee is absent from work due to health issues, it can significantly impact the business. This type of absenteeism—health-related absenteeism—can reduce your staff’s efficiency and lead to higher labor costs and lower morale. This article will discuss the impact of health-related absenteeism on businesses and ways to reduce it.
What Is Health-Related Absenteeism?
Health-related absenteeism is any absence from work due to an illness or medical condition diagnosed by a medical professional. It includes absences due to mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, physical illnesses such as the flu or back pain, and chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. These health issues can lead to employees taking time off work for doctor’s appointments, medical procedures, or recovery time. Sometimes, the employee has no choice but to miss work due to their health conditions.
Impact on Businesses
While employees can take time off for health-related absences by law, it can still significantly impact businesses. The most obvious effect of health-related absenteeism is the decreased productivity of your team when one or more employees are out sick. This can lead to missed deadlines, backlogged projects, and lower quality output than what would have been achieved if everyone had been at work.
In addition, having employees take time off for their health can also lead to increased labor costs due to the need for additional personnel or overtime hours. On top of these issues, the medical expenses associated with health-related absenteeism can add up, resulting in higher health insurance premiums for the business.
A high absenteeism rate can also lead to lower morale among employees who have not taken time off for their health. This is because they may feel like they are carrying too much of the workload while others are away. Too much workload may result in burnout and less job satisfaction, leading to many employees leaving the company.
Ways To Reduce Health-Related Absenteeism
There are several ways employers can reduce the impact of health-related absenteeism in their organizations.
Access to Comprehensive Healthcare
One way is by offering workers access to comprehensive healthcare benefits that cover mental and physical illnesses, so they don’t feel discouraged from seeking treatment when needed. One way to do this is by investing in wellness programs encouraging employees to exercise, eat healthily, and get enough sleep.
Employers can also offer employees access to health facilities such as Sanoviv Medical Institute, which provides comprehensive medical care from a team of doctors and specialists. Here, they will be treated according to their individual needs, allowing them to get the best care and recover more quickly. The facility’s team of experts can help employees get back to work faster, whether it is due to physical or mental health issues.
Additionally, employers should ensure that there is sufficient sick leave available. This ensures employees don’t feel pressured into coming to work when they shouldn’t because they fear losing pay or getting fired if they take time off for their health. Additionally, you should encourage open communication about workplace stressors and provide resources for employees struggling with mental illness. This way, they can get help before it leads to an extended absence from work due to illness.
Telecommuting or flexible work arrangements can also help reduce absenteeism and increase productivity. Allowing employees to work from home, either part or full-time makes it easier for them to manage their health while still getting their job done. This type of arrangement allows employees to take care of themselves without sacrificing their jobs and can lead to better outcomes in the long run. You can also offer flexible hours so employees can get the healthcare they need without taking a full day off. Just make sure to agree on an arrangement that works for both parties and ensure that employees have the necessary tools to do their job from home.
Improve Workplace Morale
Employers should prioritize workplace morale by fostering a culture of respect and understanding. This means recognizing employees’ needs, giving them autonomy over their work, encouraging open communication about mental health issues, and providing resources for those in need. Additionally, promoting a diverse and inclusive work environment can help reduce the stigma around mental health and encourage people to seek help without fear of judgment or repercussions.
Understand the Cause
As an employer, you should understand the underlying cause of health-related absenteeism. This can be done through surveys or one-on-one interviews with employees to better understand their needs and concerns. Concerns may range from long working hours to a lack of resources. Understanding the source can help you figure out ways to address the issue and create a more supportive environment. A positive and supportive environment reduces stress, reducing the risk of getting sick.
Ultimately, reducing health-related absenteeism in the workplace requires employers to take a proactive approach to employee well-being. As an employer, you should address the problem’s root cause and ensure that you are doing something to resolve them. Doing so will ensure that your employees feel supported and valued, leading to better health outcomes for all.