Executive Health – Dealing with Presenteeism During Flu Season

Presenteeism is a problem that is plaguing corporations and businesses throughout Canada. You’ve probably heard the chorus of coughs in your own office spaces. What this does, is spread the germs to everyone in the office. The ones that rob your executives and support staff of productivity and make them more likely to make mistakes.

The problem is that employees who are making the trek to work every day while sick aren’t just spreading their illnesses to others in the workplace, they are also prolonging their own recovery processes. Rather than staying home and getting the rest they need in order to remain healthy. Part of creating an effective corporate wellness program involves addressing the needs of all employees, those who are unhealthy as well as those who are. What can you do as part of an effective executive health program to combat presenteeism in your workplace?

Educate Employees about Resources Available to Them

When you compare corporate wellness program vendors, it’s important to choose one that provides you with materials that educate your employees about the services that are available to them. Things like video executive health check up opportunities, prescription deliveries, and other services make it easier than ever for employees to get better faster exposing fewer people to their illnesses in the process. These services allow your employees to get back to work faster and perform better when they do.

Create a Germ Free Work Place

While a total absence of germs is impossible, taking the right steps can help you create a workplace that is more hostile to germs and much better for your employees. This includes things like cleaning and disinfecting commonly used and touched items like door handles, electronic keypads, and community printers and keyboards. The goal is to keep these things sanitized so that the same strains of viruses aren’t simply shared back and forth between employees. The other thing you can do is provide hand sanitizing stations throughout the work place. Also send out seasonal reminders to employees about vaccinations for the flu and other conditions that are covered by your executive health plan.

Set a Favourable Example

The best thing you can do is lead by example. If you prefer your employees to stay home, rest up, and get well while they have the flu and similar conditions, then you need to do the same. Consider allowing those who feel they simply cannot miss a day of productivity the opportunity to work from home, but keep them out of the office and offer light duties for the duration of their illnesses. This will go a long way toward encouraging overall employee wellness.

Establish a Policy Allowing Sick Days

While there is no Canadian law requiring employers to offer employees sick days, it will encourage them to stay home when sick. If employees do not feel as though they will have to sacrifice vacation days or income in order to stay home when sick, they will be more likely to do just that. The other consideration, as mentioned above, is to offer employees the option to work from home when they are sick.

Offering a total package approach when it comes to employee wellness allows your entire organization to operate more efficiently in flu season and beyond.

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