3 Ways to Stop Presenteeism Hurting Your Business

Last updated: September 4th, 2023

What is Presenteeism?

Sometimes called ‘sickness presence’, it’s when one of your employees shows up to work ill and is unproductive.

Often, the result is that you and your team have to help out while keeping on top of your own work, which isn’t easy. And if that sounds all too familiar, you’re not alone.

A 2016 report by CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, stated that “a third of organisations reported an increase in people coming to work while ill.”

So if presenteeism is a rising problem, what can you do about it at your business?


  1. Change how you view staff sickness

There are some employers who see an employee who comes in ill as dedicated and a good example to everyone. You might even be one of them.

But this places your staff under great pressure to attend when they’re unwell, reducing morale and impacting both mental and physical wellbeing.

Consider making a clear point in your company policy that if anyone is sick, they should stay at home to recover.


  1. Find out if stress is the problem

Do your employees have an unmanageable workload? Are they worried about unreasonable deadlines? Do you even know whether they’re struggling?

Many employers—through no fault of their own—are often oblivious to how well their staff are coping with work pressures. Your employees may feel uncomfortable opening up to you, meaning that stress builds and causes their poor work output.

You or your team have the tools to recognise when one of your employee’s productivity has dropped. Try to be proactive in seeing how your people are managing workloads to maintain a positive environment.


  1. Take positive action

Run training sessions or workshops on presenteeism with senior staff. It will help make it easier to spot a drop in employee performance and identify its root cause.

Promote healthy eating and regular exercise and don’t forget to take potential societal pressures into account, such as financial troubles.

Overall, when you take presenteeism seriously and train your people on how to deal with it, you help increase productivity and workplace wellbeing.


If you have any queries on how you can identify and manage presenteeism in your business, speak to our experts now by calling 01 886 0350

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