Presenteeism (coming to work while ill) is estimated to cost employers more than $150 billion per year.
We’ve seen estimates that $10 billion in lost productivity is a result of people working less effectively while suffering from flu in the workplace.
Providing and encouraging flu shots is one step to take to help reduce flu among our workforce.
Here are 5 more steps to take to intelligently manage the risk that this year’s flu outbreak can have on your crew:
1) Make it clear to your employees that coming to work sick is not acceptable. Infecting coworkers is not a “Yay team” moment.
2) Safety first- instruct employees to use medications that do not cause drowsiness. If the warning says do not operate equipment, that means if you are taking that medication, don’t come to work!
3) Instruct your janitors and housekeepers to use virus killing products on publically shared equipment- copiers, microwaves, refrigerators, etc.
4) Provide disinfecting wipes so employees can minimize their (and their co-workers) exposure.
5) Communicate! Explain to your team- supervisors and crew leaders especially- about the risks and costs of flu and the need to not bring it to work. Sit down with your HR people to figure out how to intelligently manage this for your shop.
The average flu related absence lasts almost three days- do you really want that first person to come in and spread the flu and cause loss of work to the balance of your team?
It is 2012. We can figure this out.
It’s a difficult balancing act to promote attendance while discouraging presenteeism.