Five Things You Should Know
1. Prevention is better than cure
Attendance at work is influenced by the health of the workforce. A healthy workforce is more likely to be motivated, happy and productive. Health is more than the absence of illness; it is about a positive sense of wellbeing. Increasing research links wellbeing with satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work and environment, as well as social interactions and support from colleagues. Organisations that have positive wellness strategies usually find costs of sickness absence and staff turnover are less.
Wellness strategies in modern business include:
- Carefully crafted job design and terms of employment offering security
- Flexibility in working patterns allowing for good work-life balance.
- Inclusive and respectful working cultures and training opportunities.
- Opportunities and benefits that enhance health and wellbeing
- Wellbeing assessments with a health professional offered as a preventative measure by the business. This adds value and will help you attract motivated employees.
2. Managing attendance at work starts at recruitment and is a continuous process
Congratulations! You have selected the candidate you think fits your business needs. But…
Do you know if they need any additional workplace support for a hidden health issue?
Pre-placement screening can assist with identifying support to help the candidate attend and achieve during their probation. Occua can assist with this.
Do you offer a health assessment when your employee starts?
A short health assessment near the start of employment with a health professional can help with the following;
- Identifying individual support needs
- Providing education opportunities
- Offering information to sustain health through self-help
- Conducting some basic measurements (e.g. a blood pressure check) for early intervention and maybe capturing company biometric data to support targeted health campaigns.
This low-cost initiative demonstrates a caring culture that will be valued by the workforce. Occua can assist with this.
Sharing company attendance policies during the onboarding process and making the employee aware of any welfare benefits will help sustainable health. Conducting return to work interviews after absence will help identify additional support needs that might help prevent future absences. This might lead to an occupational health referral. Occua can assist with this.
3. Communication is key to successful attendance at work strategy
It is usually advisable to make sure all employees know abut the company Attendance Policy. Making sure this is clearly communicated assists understanding and expectations. It also offers clarity about workplace wellbeing support measures.
Talking about health and attendance expectations openly and honestly will assist when difficulties arise. Making sure an employee knows what action to take when they become unwell will reduce their anxiety. Ensuring everyone is aware how communication will be maintained during an absence will help reduce feelings of isolation and increase opportunities to offer support for an early return to work.
Regularly discussing attendance statistics within team meetings will help identify trends so that underlying potential reasons within the workplace can be addressed.
4. Employers are responsible for supporting those with disability
Equality Legislation for disability (2010) requires employers to identify and support employees who have a need for reasonable adjustments to support their health. This is essential, as there are legal requirements. It is also good practice as it will help support employees fulfil their potential in role.
It is important to understand what reasonable adjustments are, as these are wide ranging. It might include adjustments to premises, tasks or work hours. It could mean modifying procedures or additional training. Adjustments will depend on individual needs and are usually best identified through an occupational health referral. Occua can assist with this.
5. Make effective use of your Occupational Health Service
The function of occupational health (OH) is a specialist advisory role relating to workplace health. Occua can assist with ALL the above. Proactive and collaborative engagement with your OH service can provide the business with a variety of workplace health support initiatives.
- Pre-employment health screening
- Health and wellbeing assessments
- Identification of employees needing reasonable adjustments
- Recommendations regarding appropriate reasonable adjustments
- Assessment during absence (Case Management and Management Referrals)
- Health related training and interactive health campaigns
- Support with preventative health risk assessment and surveillance
Invest in your future through wellbeing provision in the workplace, good health is good business
Occua can assist with this.