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Why People in the Workplace Matter!

A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.” Brene Brown

Ill-health among working people has an impact on the effectiveness with which they perform their jobs and their availability for work (Lancaster University).  As a clinician you will be familiar with this as most of us clients whose pain, injury or illness impact their work…. But do you apply the same considerations to yourself and your team as you recommend to clients?  Often we can assume we and our team are invincible and forget that workplace wellbeing matters in our workplace too!

The average cost of sickness absence in the UK is £600 per employee per year (CIPD)

The presence of unwell employees can have many negative impacts including:

  • work-related accidents
  • equipment breakage
  • absences related to family-work life balance
  • errors in judgment, conflicts
  • interpersonal problems
  • if contagious, increase the risk of passing it on to their colleagues.

There are actions they can take to minimise any threat to the health and wellbeing of employees.

Building the case for workplace wellness: The cost of presenteeism

Presenteeism refers to lost productivity and performance due to employees showing up at work but not working at full capacity.   Is this happening to you and your team?  Are you working long unproductive hours?

Presenteeism is one of the biggest drains on productivity and is hugely costly to business, but all too often ignored

Unchecked presenteeism can be as bad or worse than the consequences of absenteeism.   Managers need to be aware of the growing evidence that presenteeism is the more significant cause of lost output.  Presenteeism can cost employers three times more than sickness absence.

Unlike absenteeism, sickness presenteeism among employees is not always noticeable, as without clearly defined purpose, objectives and KPI’s managers cannot easily tell the productivity of the employee who turns up for work.

Building the Case for Workplace Wellness: Management and Culture

Culture has a strong influence on health and wellbeing.  Some organisations develop cultures of absenteeism or presenteeism which have a detrimental effect on productivity.

Organisations need to be aware of any cultural trends towards absenteeism or presenteeism and be prepared to address them.

  • Make it possible to talk about health in the workplace
  • Provide support for employees with health problems. employees may not know how to manage their health conditions
  • Train managers how to respond if employees disclose health problems.
  • Organisational stressors can be minimised through good work design and good management, but work pressure cannot and should not be totally eliminated.

An example of this in your workplace may be dyslexia.  Dyslexia is very highly prevalent amongst Physiotherapists as can be the need to write reports in short time frames……

There is a growing body of evidence that many of the factors associated with lost productivity also affect employee retention. Employees who:

  • feel demotivated or disengaged from their work,
  • find aspects of their work stressful
  • have poor working relationships with colleagues
  • feel their job is not worthwhile

are more prone to periods of absence and are more likely to resign their posts (Bevan, 2010; 13)

Building the Case for Workplace Wellness: A competitive advantage

When employers focus on managing employee wellbeing, their employees’ health can be transformed from a cost burden to a competitive advantage.

To manage employee wellbeing effectively it is important to for employers to have a good understanding of the major contributors of lost productivity within their organisation’s, so they can implement changes. It may be there is a lack of sense of purpose, direction, ownership, responsibility, of clear objectives, expectations and KPI’s.

All of which may mean that you raising your game as a leader, trusting and inspiring others becomes your primary role…… you don’t have to do it all, in fact doing it all could be to the detriment of your business and team and yourself!!

For me this wonderful definition of leadership…

A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.” Brene Brown

Kate Markland

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