Writen by Peter Hunter

How many times when the subject of absenteeism comes up do we hear firstly that it is the fault of the workforce, and second that we know our staff are swinging the lead but we are secretly amused by the outrageous excuses they provide when they do turn up.

A problem that is costing industry in the UK £12.5 Billion annually surely deserves more respect.

How long before we stop treating the excuses we are given for absence and sickness with amusing condescension and start to appreciate the crippling costs that we are creating for our own industry?

When we accept responsibility for creating the conditions for our workforce that make them late or sick we will be halfway to discovering what we can do to reduce the impact of the problem on our ability to compete.

At work, part of the reason that we find the excuses of latecomers and absentees so amusing is because we believe that they have been invented to cover up the fact that the employee is late and that their lateness is their fault.

We laugh at their artifice believing that we can see through their most complicated invention as a result of our loftier perspective.

Can we see far enough through our employee's invention to realise that these amusing excuses are created because the organisation has created a working environment that is in some cases so stressful and abhorrent to the employee that they have to throw up in the car park before they come to work.

Their amusing excuse could be to cover the shame that an individual feels because they have to do this every morning before they are able to come to work.

Absence and sickness are in some cases unavoidable and in others are a function of the environment that the organisation creates in which the employees work.

The days are long past when we can treat our employees with a cavalier disregard for their welfare or individuality in the certain knowledge that if they get upset and leave it is their fault and we can always replace them.

Our share of the global market is shrinking at a startling rate.

If we continue to ignore the massive costs associated with decreasing retention and absenteeism then we will only accelerate the rate at which our market share is taken from us.

Wake up, start treating employees with the humanity and dignity they deserve.

When we learn how to do this we will be able to appreciate the massive difference in performance that occurs when people feel good about what they do.

If we don't, the massive overhead that we create for our industry by our behaviour towards our employees will continue to cripple our efforts to compete in a shrinking global market.

Peter A Hunter
Author-Breaking the Mould

If you have ever experienced or learned something which you then knew was instinctively right - you will never have forgotten it. Peter Hunter learned something years ago which, regrettably, most of us have still yet to learn. When we do - once we have understood the simplicity of his book 'Breaking the Mould' - it will transform our lives forever! Vic Baxter – Business Workout.


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