How Often is Employee Sickness Faked?

Disease feigning on wet Monday mornings by even the most up to snuff of employees is not an unheard of trend. According to a study conducted in Ireland in March 2010, six in ten respondents (57 percent) admitted lying to their boss that they were sick. Another study concluded that many employees through unwarranted sick leaves cost firms as much as $150 billion a year – an amount thrice the estimated loss from shoplifting. A firm is always better off welcoming pseudo mucus troupers than letting them laze at the beach.

Kicking up a fuss is hardly if ever a solution. One should always dive below the surface to see where the fish’s tale is stuck. Faked sickness is generally rooted in the following:

  • Lower motivation levels
  • Catering to family needs
  • Personal chores
  • Escaping stress

The problem then becomes one of increasing the employee’s morale and looking into his work life balance than asking him to stop playing pretend.

The most difficult cause to be tackled here is that of lower motivation. Low motivation levels in employees can also lead to lower productivity. In such a scenario, even if they show up on wet Mondays  it doesn’t help the business.  Following are some ways in which companies can increase employee motivation:

  • Tell them how important they are to the organization and that their work makes a difference
  • Stay tuned in to their needs and life events such as marriage or death of a beloved
  • Take genuine interest in their career development and personal improvement. As Clinton would say, “We cannot build our own future without helping others to build theirs.”

Help your employees maintain work life balance and give them enough time to tend to their personal and family chores. One way to do this is to allow them personal leaves along with sick leaves. This enables the company to plan for in advance and staff effectively than get paralyzed unwarned.

Lastly, don’t give your employees a chance to play hooky when they want to escape stress by helping them yourself in this process. Burnouts are as crippling as colds. Golf weekends, beach trips, in-house gyms or sleep rooms for that matter are all ways to help your employee cope with the beat.  Good luck chasing shams!