Sponsored by George Fox University
Home Archives February 2008 A healthier way to deal with sick time

A healthier way to deal with sick time

| Print |  Email
Friday, February 01, 2008

Sicktime.jpg

As cold and flu season takes its toll on the workforce this winter, creating an abundance of empty desks and voicemail boxes filled to capacity, take a moment to consider how your company could keep employees healthier and better manage sick time.

First, look at the bigger picture. For example, are more employees calling in sick just because it’s wintertime or has absenteeism become a problem year round? “In human resources, we see absenteeism as a barometer of what it’s like to work for a company,” says Alan Houston, the human resources director for the Doubletree Hotel and Executive Meeting Center at the Portland Lloyd Center. “If people are calling in sick when they’re not sick, it’s an indicator of low morale or issues within an organization.”

If employees seem to be taking sick time because they’re actually sick, rather than manifesting deeper ills within the organization, find ways to help them stay healthy. Houston recommends organizing health fairs, creating fliers about simple ways to avoid contracting illnesses and offering in-house flu shots.

With the increase in health-care costs, many companies are moving beyond suggesting hand washing and juice drinking by offering preventive care that comes bundled with existing insurance packages. These types of services can cover everything from mental health and smoking cessation to massage and acupuncture. Also, consider rewarding healthy behavior, such as riding bicycles to work, with kickbacks or extra paid time off.

“It might seem obvious,” Houston says, “but it doesn’t hurt to spread the message: Take care of yourself and stay healthy.”

In addition, consider how you package sick time. Are employees showing up at the office with a fever because they’re saving paid time off for a trip to Hawaii? Does HR spend too much time tracking sick notes and excuses for missed work when a day off should just be considered a day off? Depending on how your workforce is functioning, you may want to consider lumping sick time with all paid time off or separating the two.

Either way, says Elizabeth Sadhu, board member on the Lane County Human Resource Association Board, managers should accept the occasional employee mental-health day as a valid reason for missing work. “Part of health and wellness includes having a friendly work environment that promotes honest communication,” she says. That’s because ultimately, a healthier workforce means a healthier bottom line.                 

LUCY BURNINGHAM


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

OB Video: Oregon MESA

News
Thursday, June 26, 2014

ThumbOregon Business hosts an informal roundtable discussion about the Oregon MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) program.


Read more...

The global challenge

News
Friday, June 27, 2014
062714 thumb globalmarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER

Over the last several months we have seen a wave of cross-border acquisitions, primarily U.S.-based companies looking to purchase non-U.S.-based companies. There are a few reasons for this, but the main culprit is the U.S. corporate tax system. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.


Read more...

The business of running a food cart

News
Thursday, June 05, 2014
OBM1BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

What does it take to launch and run one of these mobile food businesses?  


Read more...

Oregon Business wins awards

News
Monday, June 30, 2014

ASBPEOregon Business magazine won two silver awards for excellence in writing in the National American Society of Business Publication Editors Western region competition.


Read more...

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...

Updated: Disrupting innovation

News
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
070814 thumb disputive-innovationBY LINDA BAKER  | OB EDITOR

The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation  — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment. 

Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.


Read more...

Q&A: David Lively of Organically Grown Co.

News
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
OGCLogoBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

Demand for organic food continues to soar: Last year, sales of organic food rose to $32.3 billion — up 10% from 2012. In Oregon, organic produce wholesaler Organically Grown Co. has been championing organic growing methods for four decades.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS