One of the biggest challenges for employers is that sick leave, unlike annual leave, cannot be planned ahead.

Also, aside from this, sick leave heavily impacts productivity and lowers the morale of other employees who are suddenly lumped with the workload of a sick employee.

No matter the reason for an employee taking a day off sick, physical or mental illness, simply needing a rest day or faking an illness just to have a day off – the fact remains you need to do what you can to minimise the number of unexpected employee sick days.

So we’ve listed below a few tips of how you can reduce the number of sick leave incidents.

1. Reduce stress

While a certain level of stress and urgency in the workplace keeps many employees working efficiently, piling on excessive stress easily turns the office into an undesirable place.

Business owners, managers and employers should check in frequently to find out how team members are coping with their workloads, and re-assign tasks as necessary.

Workplace injuries and illness cost the economy £15bn HSE 2016/17

2. Understand your team

Don’t let the warning signs go unnoticed. When there’s a spike in employees calling in sick, have a chat to find out the root of the problem. While it might be difficult to have someone admit to feigning illness, asking the right questions can give you an idea of an employee’s sense of stress or job satisfaction.

It takes time to cultivate mutual trust and regular check-ins show employees that you’re invested in their professional development and wellbeing.

3. Talk about health

Introduce ways to help your employees become more health-conscious. Consider sending out weekly health tips, organising in-house exercise sessions or health talks, or providing preventive healthcare initiatives such as flu jabs. Many of these activities can double up as team building and cohesion opportunities as well.

Some companies also offer gym memberships as part of the employment package to encourage employees to sweat it out. Falling into a sedentary lifestyle is easy for the busy professional and a host of illness can follow suit.

4. Health incentives

Reward employees who have a low sick leave amount – this can take the form of gift vouchers, time off from work, health-related incentives such as gym memberships and much more.

If you need any help or advice on tackling employee sickness and absence get in touch, HR Revolution are here to help.