I have called you here today to discuss the results of an investigation I have been conducting. I noticed that 2014s end of year records showed a decline in productivity and profits, compared to the same time in 2013. I proceeded to investigate this which brought me to the conclusion that the fault lay with absenteeism an presenteeism. I will explain this.
Absenteeism describes when an employee does not attend work. Presenteeism describes when an employee does attend work, however is unfit to do their job for varying reasons. This results in a loss of productivity as the employee is unable to perform their duties adequately, though they are being paid to.
Furthermore I investigated the reason for this rapid decline. You should all find in front of you a guide on what I am about to present you, as I would like to bring to your attention some health issues that I have found to be at fault.
I will present you with the three health issues I have found to be most common, with strategies on how to manage each issue first.
The first issue is depression. Everybody has heard about depression. From a friend, a neighbour, on the radio even. However are you aware that one in seven Australians suffer depression? This issue has a stigma attached to it which means that we generally don't talk about it. But one in seven of our employees are suffering from it. While it is not the number one concern yet, the WHO estimates that by 2030, if nothing changes, it will be the top health concern worldwide.
To approach depression we need to raise awareness in the workplace of symptoms, causes, and treatment. We must work on decreasing the stigma and encouraging employees to ask the question – are you okay? A counselling system provided at no cost to the employees would also have a highly beneficial effect.
Next comes influenza, more commonly heard of as the flu. While it is not as dangerous as it was say, fifty years ago, influenza is still a major cause for presenteeism and loss of productivity during its active period. This period is considered to be during the colder months, mainly June to October in Australia.
Influenza is relatively easy to manage. Information signage around the workplace informing people of proper hygiene and how to stop the spread of influenza will help, as well as discouraging employees from working while unwell. Reasonable sick leave entitlements would help convince employees to stay home while unwell. Prevention is also key, so providing annual vaccinations to all employees free of charge is a