Have you ever considered whether or not a team member has called out sick because of you?
According to the WorkPlace Research Foundation that’s exactly what might be happening. Companies that foster highly engaged workforces report an average of 2.69 sick days taken annually per employee, compared to companies with weak engagement efforts, reporting an average of 6.19 sick days.
2.69 vs 6.19
Employees who are overly stressed by their managers are more likely to call out of work whether they are sick or not and are more likely to get sick as well. The latest statistics show 75% of major medical costs in the U.S. are due to stress-induced health issues and 75%-90% of primary care visits are due to stress-induced health issues. Managers must start thinking more about stress and how they can help alleviate it.
What Managers Can Do
The best way to open up the conversation about stress related issues is to have open lines of communication. If you are a manager, the way to open up communication is to strengthen relationships with individual team members. This will allow them to open up when they are feeling extra stress or pressure they don’t feel they can handle. Without a strong relationship, the chances of a team member admitting they are stressed is extremely low because no one wants to be thought of as weak.
Build better relationships by making sure you carve out dedicated time with each individual member of your team. It could be as small as a 3 minute phone call or as committed as lunch once a month. The point is, you are showing them that regardless of how busy you are, you will always make time for them.
If you don’t take time to build strong relationships with your team members, they won’t just call in ‘sick’, there is a good chance they will leave forever.
About the Author Gordon Shuford is the Director of Leadership Development at LearnLoft, a leadership development company which exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. Gordon has a background in corporate wellness and coaching.