Does your workplace suffer from “presenteeism”?

So called “presenteeism” which is when people come to work when they feel unwell, rather than remain absent, has more than tripled since 2010, according to a report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Nearly 90% of over 1000 employers said they had observed presenteeism in their organisation over the past year, compared to just 26% in 2010.

Of the employers surveyed only a quarter had taken steps to discourage presenteeism. It is important that managers do not simply focus on reducing absenteeism figures through warnings and disciplinary action – if employees are coming into work ill, it is counterproductive and is likely to upset those staff are well and productive.

To drive down absence, it is also important to take positive steps to improve wellbeing and engagement. An open, supportive culture, with effective leadership and people management practices, is crucial so promote this by ensuring that senior managers act as role models, demonstrating healthy behaviours and a work/life balance. Finally, ensure that staff are guided effectively – ensure that they know they are not expected to attend work when ill.

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