According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, Canada spent about $264 billion (or $7,068 per person) on healthcare in 2019. This figure is growing tremendously each year, most recently due to the skyrocketing cost of pharmaceuticals, particularly specialty drugs.
Often overlooked is the cost of absenteeism, with a large portion of it due to mental health issues caused by stress, anxiety, and depression. Mental health issues are costing Canadian companies $16.6 billion per year in productivity. This amount could be even higher as it does not include indirect costs such as replacing workers, administrative costs, or productivity losses due to lower morale. This is a trend that many expect to increase in severity as more workers are reporting higher levels of stress and other mental health concerns having a measurable impact on business, productivity and talent retention. In fact, one in four workers has left his/her job due to work-related stress, according to a 2017 Monster Canada study.
The Benefit to Tracking Employee Absenteeism
Despite the impact, many companies fail to track absenteeism. For smaller organizations, it may be due to a lack of resources, whereas larger organizations it is reported as a lack of concern. A recent study revealed that only 46 percent of employers tracked absenteeism and only 15 percent measured the direct cost of it!
This begs the following questions:
- If you don’t measure absenteeism, how do you know the impact on your business?
- How do you know that what you are doing is making the situation better, or worse?
Organizations need to start tracking absenteeism and its cost. This is especially true as benefits cost is on the rise and organizations need to manage health-related expenses.
We have provided you with an Absenteeism Calculator tool that you can download in our Resource Centre. It may take some digging to uncover the numbers required, but that in itself is a beneficial activity. You can follow the formula and watch the video below where we walk you through how to use the tool.
Once you calculate what absenteeism is costing your company, below is a list of 5 ways that will help reduce employee absenteeism.
- Change employee behaviour and culture with a Corporate Wellness Program.
- Create tools to help employees return to work.
- Consider more flexible work hours.
- Invest in improving workplace morale/engagement.
- Introduce tactics to reduce in-office stress.
Remember to track your progress to measure the effectiveness of any tool that you implement.
Understanding the cost of employee absenteeism to your organization and then taking the time to create a positive and healthy work environment will improve your bottom line in the long run. More importantly, you'll have happy, healthy and ENGAGED employees who will be far more productive; they'll thank you for it.
Changing your culture can be a big undertaking. We have tools that can help you take a step in the right direction. Contact us to learn more!