Being absent from work every now and then is normal even in a country where most people are considered workaholics. In fact, if own a business and you have an employee who is never absent within a year, they can be considered an anomaly. On the other hand, individual absenteeism can be an indication of a worker’s general unsuitability for the work. But if the absenteeism is prevalent among a significant percentage of your workers, then other factors may be in play.
Typical Causes of Absenteeism
Let’s define absenteeism this way: it’s an overly-frequent habit of not going to work. If only a handful of your employees are displaying signs of this condition, then the usual causes may include laziness in general, the lack of motivation, or they don’t like the work or the boss. Of course, you also can’t discount ill health as a cause.
But if the absenteeism is prevalent among many of your workers, then it falls on you as the employer to come up with a solution, because the cause may be far deeper—and the result of the absenteeism can be dire. You may want to check out the workplace conditions and see if there’s anything that is contributing to the workplace absenteeism. Perhaps one of your managers is widely disliked by many of the workers, perhaps the workplace has become too hazardous, or maybe even the work itself has become too difficult and stressful. Perhaps the workers are simply unhealthy in general—in Singapore, the population’s general age is growing older and their lifestyles are not quite healthy to begin with.
You can take care of the disliked boss and the unhealthy workplace condition with quick fixes. But you can also deal with the workplace stress and the ill health of your workers by encouraging them to join a corporate fitness program.
How Corporate Fitness Programs Help Combat Absenteeism
This is done in two basic ways. The first and most important way is that with your corporate fitness program the personal trainer can educate your employees on the proper health exercises to perform as well as provide the proper diet to keep. The fitness trainer can also monitor the progress of the workers and provide proper motivation to prevent slacking off. With the personal training offered to each worker, the improvement in their health is all but assured and that can reduce absenteeism to more manageable levels.
A corporate fitness program can also help fight frequent absences among workers by holding the fitness program during work hours. This is one of the problems of corporate-sponsored gym memberships: many workers simply don’t have the time outside work to go to the gym. And when they do have the extra time, an employee often prefers to rest and sleep because going to the gym is a lot like going to work. Sometimes a worker even has to be absent from the office in order to go to the gym! But by having the program held during work hours, the incentive to attend becomes so much greater. The time for the program is set, and workers also benefit from a change in the workplace routine.
Corporate Fitness and Stress
Stress is a major factor in absenteeism. Medical experts point to stress as one of the risk factors for a lot of serious ailments such as heart conditions and other diseases that cause workers to be absent from work often. But stress is also a direct cause of these absences, as many workers try to relax or relieve themselves from the stress by not going to work at all. With a corporate fitness program, workers can exercise to relieve the stress, and by having what’s essentially a non-working day can also help workers relax.
Absenteeism is a growing problem in the Singaporean workplace, but fortunately, it is a problem that can be reduced in severity through corporate fitness programs. After all is said and done, these programs help make workers healthy, and that goes a long way in significantly reducing absenteeism on a company-wide scale. You may not be able to do much when the World Cup finals come around sometime in 2014 (in 2010, Singapore endured an increased number of absenteeism due to the late matches), but at least you can reduce the absenteeism considerably during average workdays when you have workers involved in your corporate fitness program.
Yours in health,