Plagued by presenteeism? 3 ways to get employees back on track

ada, mental health

You’ve seen it before: an employee comes into work, but gets so little done they might as well have stayed home. These unproductive days can really add up.
Every year, employers lose about $255 in productivity per employee due to presenteeism. This is the issue of workers being on the job, but — because of illness or some distraction —  not fully functioning.
Often, these employees are just going through the motions of their jobs. Not only can this result in reduced productivity, but workers are more likely to make mistakes or miss deadlines.
By focusing on the physical, emotional and financial well-being of their employees and addressing personal issues, HR pros can help them fully focus at work.

Promote physical health

A lot of common conditions can be the root of employees’ presenteeism. Migraines, back pain, arthritis and diabetes can all be causing your workers to be less than productive.
Employers can help employees manage these conditions by encouraging them to take care of themselves. Let them know what wellness programs are included in the company benefits package. Many offer tools like risk assessment, health coaching and other support for chronic conditions.
If employees have a passing illness, make sure they know to stay home.

Be open about mental health

Though it’s still somewhat taboo to discuss, depression costs businesses a lot ($35 billion a year). And with 37% of people who have depression not seeking treatment, many workers are suffering unnecessarily — and impacting employer’s bottom-lines.
It’s important for employers to communicate the importance of mental health. Give employees information on how to seek treatment. Let them know that depression and mental illness are perfectly valid reasons to take a day off — destigmatize “mental health days.”

Help alleviate financial stress

Money is always going to be a concern to your employees — a survey by Bankrate found that 57% of Americans wouldn’t be able to cover a $500 emergency. Unexpected expenses can be causing employees a lot of stress, which can really decrease productivity.
Employers can offer their workers access to financial wellness classes or debt consolidators. They can help employees out in other ways, too. PayActiv is a tool which allows workers to access their wages before payday for a small fee.

Rachel Mucha
Rachel writes about Human Resource management and has been a member of the HRMorning staff since 2017. She is a graduate of Ithaca College.