Paid sick leave is possibly the most expensive benefit an employer can offer because it is literally paying workers for not showing up.
Worse, it is paying workers for being sick. It is a reverse incentive because if a worker is never sick or injured, they do not get the free money.
It only goes to those who manage to get just the right amount of sickness or injury. That is not the prize for which you want your workers to compete.
Even if you allow workers to cash in once a year on unpaid sick time, they still have to show up every day. That does not balance what seems inherently unfair. What you should do is double the paid sick time for employees who never use it.
That would give them the incentive to be more careful as to not get sick or injured in the first place. You will not lose as much by doing that because you will get productivity from a healthy workforce. Instead, there is a use it or lose it policy in most places.
Better incentives for wellness are one way to encourage greater wellness in the workforce. Here are some other ways to address wellness in the workplace:
Free up the Budget to Incentivize Wellness
Paying wellness incentives costs money. You have to find that money in other parts of the budget. Fortunately, there is a lot of fat to be cut in the telecom department. Proper telecom implementation services can help you find and minimize your budgetary waste.
Rate optimization and negotiation support are enough to significantly reduce costs for many companies. Combine that with TEM and customization services, and you will likely fund your new wellness incentives with no further budget management strategies.
Let Sick Workers Be Home Workers
One of the things we have learned from COVD is that there is very little that goes on in a typical office that can’t be done at home. Some companies flipped the switch to remote work overnight. Others took a little longer. Entire industries are retooling for long-term remote work. This ultimately means that showing up on-premises will be less of a necessity, even in situations that once required physical touchpoints.
Some businesses are afraid to admit these findings because they are afraid of what happens if people realize there is no reason to come into the office. One of the immediate benefits for companies will be that people who shouldn’t come into the office due to being sick or mildly injured can still work productively from home.
No one should have to take a sick day because they caught a cold from someone on the subway ride home. It makes no sense for that person to come into the office and spread the plague to everyone there.
But it is equally senseless to penalize your business by not allowing them to do their job when it can easily be done from a laptop on a bedside tray. You will minimize sickness, reduce the time it takes to recover from minor injuries and increase productivity by letting sick workers be homeworkers for a few days.
Keep a Well-stocked Medicine Cabinet
You obviously can’t pass out a prescription or illicit drugs at work, no matter how much that might boost morale. What you can do is stock ibuprofen and acetaminophen. You can also stock throat lozenges and daytime cough medicine.
While you’re at it, make sure the kitchen has an ample supply of that awful chicken soup that everyone loves to heat up when they aren’t feeling well. These are the things they will reach for at home.
Why let them go home with a headache that could be dealt with at work with very little effort or expense on your part? If you force them to go to a doctor to get a note before they can return to work, it might be several days before they can even get an appointment. If you provide them with the over-the-counter remedies they would reach for at home, they will not have to go home at all.
Minor injuries and sickness happen. You can reduce the effects of them by using budget savings in other areas to expense wellness incentives, allowing sick workers to be temporary home workers, and by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet.