When you are starting out in business, no matter how large or small, you are likely to have a team of people behind you. And for a small business, more than ever, the team behind you are going to be the key to the success of your business. If they are off work sick a lot, then it does have a knock-on impact.
Of course, there will be times when they are unable to come into work. But generally, for pretty healthy individuals, this should be few and far between. What you do as an employer, though, does make a difference.
As the old saying goes, it is easier to catch flies with honey rather than vinegar, which in a roundabout way is all about preventing sickness. Taking some steps to make a difference in your work environment can mean that you, and your team, are likely to take off less sick days, and as a result, a business can continue as usual.
So here are some sick-leave tips and tricks, that can sweeten life for you and your team.
1. Clear Absence Policies
Your team should know who they need to get in touch with when they are off sick, and how they should do it (does it have to be a call or is an email or text acceptable)? Do you want them to let you know that they aren’t coming in before a certain time, such as 9 am?
It should also be clearly stated about sickness pay, and for days off; will they be paid as normal or do they not get paid when they are not working? If you want people to respect the system that you have in place, then it needs to be a system that is able to be worthy of their respect.
2. Help at Work
Even as a small business, there can be things that you can do to help the team to make sure that they are as happy and healthy as they can be. You could source things like a discount at local gyms, for example, to encourage them to exercise. Something else that you could do could be helping them to source something like counseling if they need it.
And if you have an employee that needs to go on long-term sick leave, because of something like an injury that wasn’t their fault, then you could help them to look for experienced personal injury attorneys to help them. The faster that they get help, that you can be a part of, the sooner that they are likely to be back to work, helping the business to keep going.
3. Flexible Working
You and your team may need time off for various different things. But if they can’t book the whole day off due to vacation leave allowance, then they may just call in sick, even if it is just something like a doctor’s appointment or to see their kid’s dance show. Can you offer them to work flexibly instead?
That just means that they can have the time that they need off, but they could log on to their laptop at home that evening to make up the time? Flexible working is becoming more and more important and relevant for small businesses, but things do need to be put in place to make them work; are you up to date with it all?
4. Positive Working Environment
If you have a team of people that dead coming into work, through a toxic work environment or just a job that really stresses them out, then they are much more likely to call in sick or take a mental health day. If you are able to create a workplace that is happy and fair, and where the workload is achievable, then it is going to mean that sickness is much less.
You can also make sure that you create a supportive environment. If they feel they can talk to you, then something like working flexibly can be put in place. If they feel that they can’t talk to you, then they are more likely to just call in sick and avoiding you. If you have a happy work environment, then your team will be more likely to be want to be in it and part of it.
Another great practice to get into is to make sure that you acknowledge good work with praise and perhaps even financial rewards. No one, not even you, likes to feel unappreciated. So when people do things well, let them know.