Daily, many managers face some employee absenteeism, and every missing worker cuts productivity, increases the strain on the employees who show up for work as promised, and costs your bottom line to some added costs per employee every year. Sick days are often used; a recent survey indicates that two out of three employees who fail to show up for work aren’t staying home because they’re sick. Of that two out of three not sick, about 21% percent miss work to handle family issues, another 18% percent are dealing with personal needs, and the other 61% percent say they’re stressed or simply need a day off.

We all know that when employees call in “sick,” they may not be physically sick; as a matter of fact, if the number’s above are correct, about 40% of the absent are stressed in the work place to the point they feel they need a day off. Many employers continue to increase pressure on employees to increase productivity; however, research shows that stressful working conditions have a negative effect on the bottom line because of increased tardiness and absenteeism, development of real stress-related illness such as heart disease, and loss of experienced employees who move on looking for a less stressful job.

Solutions are possible, especially considering that almost half the working conditions that have been identified as stress inducers are directly a result of communication failures. Many of these problems can be solved with better communications throughout the company, especially in terms of putting expectations and goal in writing. NIOSH research shows that organizations that have both low-stress workplaces and high levels of productivity have common characteristics that include the following:

  • Recognition of employees for good work performance.
  • Opportunities for career development.
  • An organizational culture that values the individual worker.
  • Management actions those are consistent with organizational values.

Other studies have shown that other factors such as flex time or flexible schedules can reduce employee’s personal stress levels, by providing them time to take elderly parents or children to the doctor, handle parent/teacher conferences, take care of personal business, etc.

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