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Can bosses predict when staff are going to pull a sickie?



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Absenteeism has always been a pain to deal with for bosses – especially due to its association with low productivity levels.

But if bosses want, they can actually predict when their staff are going to be absent and prevent such instances from occurring.

That is according to a new report from Morneau Shepell, which surveyed 1,005 Canadian employees in total.

The report highlighted that 52% of absences in the workplace were not related to illness. These included reasons for absence such as stress, and dissatisfaction with the job/manager/company etc.

The employee survey respondents who reported an absence were categorised into two groups, depending on whether they indicated that their last incidental absence was illness related or non-illness related.

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Data were then analysed to identify factors that could predict to which group an absent employee belonged.

It found that non-illness related absences could be predicted if the employee had reported workplace stress, and if the company offered low support for mental wellness.

“The finding that incidental absence – and even the type of absence – is in some measure predictable, suggests that a portion of absence is also preventable,” the report stated.

“The results further indicate that work-related factors are predictors of absence. As such, employers are in a position to take action to influence absenteeism.”

Despite this observation, the report found that more could be done with regards to preventing absenteeism in the workplace.

While 90% of bosses viewed absenteeism as costly and having a negative impact on productivity for their organisation, only 52% indicated that absenteeism is a serious issue in their workplace.

“The disconnection between employers’ recognition of the cost and productivity impact of absence and their view of absence as a serious issue may suggest some level of employer complacency toward absenteeism,” the report stated.

Image: Shutterstock

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