5 ways to manage presenteeism in your frontline workforce
Presenteeism is common among deskless workers but it is manageable. We explain the reasons behind it and the repercussions on employee productivity and wellbeing, with tips to help you tackle it in your workplace.
We’ve known for a long time just how problematic presenteeism can be. When employees come to work despite being ill or tired and are not functioning at their best, this can cost a nation’s economy billions of dollars through lost productivity and by spreading illness. When staff show up, regardless of health, it can create a pattern of presenteeism that soon spreads throughout the workplace, becoming an ingrained culture that is tricky to turn around. For frontline workers, it can lead to employee disengagement, burnout, poor customer or patient care and higher risk of accidents at work.
Presenteeism remains prevalent in 2023 with 65% of UK employees observing instances in the workplace according to the latest CIPD Health and Wellbeing at Work report. Although we know that engagement and productivity is much more beneficial to businesses than low absence rates, HR and business leaders are making slow progress when it comes to tackling presenteeism. More organisations are moving to discourage it with 53% taking steps in 2022, compared with 45% in 2021 and 32% in 2020. But is it enough? To truly get to grips with presenteeism, we need to understand why it is so common.
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