The Centre for Mental Health calculates that presenteeism, from mental ill health alone, is costing the UK economy £15.1 billion per annum.
Presenteeism occurs when employees feel required to attend at work whilst unwell, either through their own commitment to their job, or because of organisational expectations (often due to organisational culture and management pressure).
The result is reduced productivity, both directly from the employees themselves and indirectly due to the impact it has on their colleagues.
Organisational cultures characterised by expectations of long working hours, of constant ‘full on’ commitment also add to the challenges posed by presenteeism.
How big a problem is Presenteeism in your Organisation?
The key first step is to find out!
Using an assessment that asks employees to self assess their current wellbeing and to estimate their levels of presenteeism will give you a good insight into the size and scope of the issue.
Once you know the extent of presenteeism, you are then in a position to decide what happens next. Before jumping into action though, we are firmly of the view that time spent on a more detailed diagnosis and analysis to identify the underlying causes of presenteeism is a pre-requisite for strategy development and the effective implementation of any programme or set of activities.
Presenteeism has so many potential causes, rooted as it is in the relationships between individuals, their employer, their colleagues and managers and the organisational culture that it is all too easy to prescribe solutions that fail to achieve the results expected…because they aren’t the right solution to the real problem.