When you can answer these four questions, you will be a rock star in the dollar-driven world of corporate management:
- How much is your company’s bottom line affected by employees missing work?
- What are the hard costs involved in taking up the slack?
- What part of these losses is inevitable, and what part could realistically be avoided?
- How do you actually chip away at these avoidable losses?
If you already watch the trends, you know that:
- Most companies regard managing absenteeism simply as a cost to be endured.
- Research shows you’ll lose at least 12% of your total payroll, on average, because of absenteeism. Some studies say it is even higher.
- Your losses from unplanned absences could be as much as 8.7% of your total payroll.
- Health care losses are remarkably similar to absentee losses in many companies, and yet the amount budgeted for health care solutions is much larger.
You also already know there are carefully crafted financial wellness programs available in the marketplace, including ours, that will come to your aid when you’re ready.
But you can also do things right now to help lay the foundation upon which a quality, effective wellness program can be built.
Click here for free, SHRM-accredited webinar content on all things HR and business leadership.
You see, there’s a culture in your workplace that defines the way your workers feel about and treat each other, their bosses, and management. Did you create this culture? Do you influence it on an ongoing basis? Did it just develop over time?
Reclaim it! Make it what you want it to be!
If you can create a culture of concern and communication, then when the time comes to offer a financial wellness opportunity, your employees will trust you enough to believe it’s something they should look at seriously.
How well do you know your employees right now? How much confidence do they have in you? What is their relationship with their supervisors? Is their team leader the last person they would go to if they were stressed out and burdened?
Establish policies that encourage peaceful coexistence, such as the “no gossip” rule that has worked so well at our place. Complaints go up; praise comes down. If the person you’re talking with can’t solve the problem, you are gossiping.
Create opportunities for groups of workers to get together with their superiors to talk about whatever is on their minds. Schedule departmental or company-wide family activities.
As a person of influence over employees, the saddest words you will ever say are “We had no idea!” No, you can’t be all things to all people, but you can establish and encourage non-judgmental lines of communication up the chain of command. You can’t make employees tell you what’s weighing them down, but you can make it safe for them to do so. You can’t wave a wand and ease their pain or reduce their stress, but you can let them know that the company cares about them and their families.
That alone might not reduce the fear and stress they are facing, but knowing you have their back may just be the confidence boost they badly need. And what do you get out of this? Reduced absenteeism and fewer hours lost to financial stress and distraction.
You can start today, or you can wait. Or you can ignore the problem completely.
Isn’t the right choice obvious?