The BBC asked 3655 UK Adults questions around Morality (link) and it was discovered that 40% of people surveyed would take a sick day because they felt they needed a break from work, even if they weren’t actually ill.
In the UK this is commonly known as ‘Pulling a Sickie’ and clearly a lot of us think it’s ok and acceptable. This got us thinking, is there something we can do within businesses to change this habit.
Firstly we should look at the REASONS WHY SOMEONE WOULD PULL A SICKIE.
We would like to believe that if our staff needed time off they would feel comfortable enough to ask for this off legitimately. However, this isn’t always the case, they may feel under pressure to deliver projects, feel judged by seniority.
There is clearly a breakdown in communication, to lead to taking a sick day.
So knowing the issue is in the breakdown of communication, we have put some helpful tips together, to hopeful bridge that gap and have a more trusting workforce.
We can’t tell our staff one thing and then do the opposite ourselves. But also, the management within the organisation needs to ensure that they are behaving in the correct manner.
We have seen it and heard about it on multiple occasions that managers will discuss ‘pulling a sickie’ therefore making it acceptable for their staff to do the same.
The culture within your workplace will have a massive impact on how staff view, certain situations morally. Lead from the top down.
There needs to be an open conversation between managers and staff where both parties can feel like they can talk openly and in confidence to one another. This shouldn’t be an interrogation process, employees are entitled holidays.
This also leads to being open and honest if there is a holiday rota in place. Make this visible to see that it is not an unfair process and there is reasoning to a decision either way.
Employees should not feel bad for taking time off work. This is why we have, holidays & Sick days in contracts. Some companies even go as to adding duvet days into contracts to completely remove the feeling of needing to ‘pull a sickie’ if you are just not feeling up to work.
At the end of the day, rest is good and staff that are experiencing burn out may very well respond well to a day off work. Therefore increasing productivity on a larger scale.