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Julie Page HR Ltd – Newsletter November 2013

 “A Company’s Culture determines the limits of its Success.”

“Culture eats Strategy for breakfast.”

Every Company no matter how large or small has a company culture that derives from the values and attitudes of You as the Business owner, your Managers and your Employees.

A top strategy therefore for your business success should be to manage and develop a strong company culture to get the best out of your employees.

An article by the Harvard Business Review described six components of a great corporate culture which you may like to use as a quick self-assessment!

workplace culture

Vision – Each company needs a vision or a mission statement. This ensures your managers and employees can work towards the same goal as you!

Values – Whilst your mission statement gives your company its purpose, you need a set of values and behaviours to achieve your vision.

Practices – All mission statements and promises that you set out should be followed through your company by your working practices and procedures.

People – At the centre of every business are the employees. Your employees are essential in sharing the core values of your company and in developing your company culture.

Narrative – Each company has a unique history and a unique story. The ability to identify this story and craft it into a narrative is a core element of creating your own unique company culture.

Place – How your office is set up also impacts upon the values and behaviours of your employees. For example, an open planned office space encourages collaboration, team work and good staff morale.

Interestingly, research has shown that a Company’s culture does not remain constant; instead, the culture will change as employees come and go. This is because each employee brings with them a different set of values and behaviours which can affect your culture.  Therefore to get the best out of your new recruits so they ‘fit in’ to your culture and not change it, ensure the following are in place and constant:

  • A clear mission statement
  • Strong leadership
  • Reward and recognition schemes
  • An emphasis on learning and skill development
  • Strong communication, everywhere and always!

As a company grows its culture will naturally evolve.

  • To keep this culture evolving positively, make sure you reward your employees who strive to develop your company’s culture and be open, honest and constructive with those who do not…!

Company Culture & Absenteeism

Building and maintaining a positive company culture can in turn counter absenteeism. Absenteeism from work is inevitable to some extent, as people do get sick and/or have other commitments to children/parents.  However, if an employee is felt valued at work; if they are rewarded and kept motivated, then illegitimate absenteeism can be, and in my experience, IS normally prevented.

Absenteeism facts:

Absence rates have recently soared.  Although there was a decrease in absence last year; average absence levels have returned back to 7.6 days per employee this year. According to the 2013 Absence Management survey by the CIPD, it is the public service sector that attains the highest absence levels with employees averaging 8.7 days of absence. This is notably higher than 2012’s average which stood at 7.9 days. Employees within the manufacturing and production sector have the lowest, with only 6 days of absence per year.

How to handle Workplace Absenteeism

There are a number of ways you can reduce absenteeism within your workplace which include offering incentives and having a comprehensive attendance policy and procedure.

Offering Incentives – Offering incentives to your employees for perfect attendance can reduce absenteeism. However, do make sure the incentives offered are not so substantial that employees are rewarded for merely turning up (they are paid to be working after all!). Instead think about incentives such as allowing employees to ‘cash in’ unused sick days or receive an end of year bonus for a year’s full attendance.

Absence Policy HR Advice

Attendance Policy – The rules…

  • Ensure your employees know the procedure to follow when they are absent and more importantly ensure your managers monitor this process and re-educate where necessary!
  • Equally, ensure this procedure is clear in your Contracts of Employment and Company Handbooks and is discussed during the interview/referencing process!
  • Maintain up to date and consistent records of your employee’s absences to ensure no absence goes un-noticed or un-managed
  • Ensure your managers manage this process by conducting ‘return to work’ interviews as soon as your employee returns. This is crucial from a welfare point of view as well as good management practice  
  • Know when you need to commence counselling/disciplinary action or indeed when to consult your employees GP or local Occupational Health Specialist.   

Remember absenteeism will only reduce IF YOU take control and manage it

A high level of absence by one of your employees can have a major impact on your business and obstruct your company’s productivity, performance, staff morale and dare I say it – CULTURE…

By monitoring, recording and addressing your company absence rates you are ensuring your workforce is motivated, focussed and productive, whilst maintaining your company’s stated vision and values. What could be simpler…?!

Remember ….

Julie Page HR can offer assistance and advice to those companies who would like to create or refresh their absence procedures.

In our world of litigation and discrimination law, it is vital that employers approach long term and short term absenteeism in accordance with Employment Law to avoid any disputes or claims from employees.  If counselling, disciplinary action or Occupational Health input is required to manage an employee with a high absence record then Julie Page can guide you through the necessary process, providing full support and correct documentation at every stage.

Julie Page, an experienced HR & Training Specialist, works with Companies of all sizes to ensure they work with Employment Legislation, Best Practice and their own Aims and Objectives to maximise their Business Potential through their Staff.

To find out more about the contents of this Newsletter or ways in which Julie can work with you for your HR and staffing requirements, please contact her on 07776 135350 or through this website for an initial discussion and free consultation.

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