Employee Loyalty vs. The Flu Season

Many years ago, I worked at a company where the culture
encouraged sick people to come to work, regardless.  We
would often joke that the only doctor’s note the company
would accept as valid was a Death Certificate.

Then, there were always those die-hard employees who took
it one step further.  These people felt that their loyalty
was measured by their presence at work despite how ill
they were. 

For some, it was a badge of honor to be at work, coughing
with a fever of 102 degrees.  They would talk about this
for months.

HR CONTRARIAN POINTER: We in management are often placed
in the position of not only protecting employees from one
another, but also protecting some employees from
themselves.

If this year’s flu season lives up to the hype, there will
be a lot of sick people at companies and a lot of lost
productivity.  We may not be able to prevent the flu from
hurting our productivity, but we can certainly take action
to limit the damage.

We in management need to give our employees permission to
stay home from work when they are sick.  We also need to
send home those die-hard employees who risk spreading
their illness to others by coming to work when sick.

Here is a link to the Centers for Disease Control with
some excellent resources that you can print and give to
your employees.
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/

Begin the discussions now and hopefully you can limit your
company’s losses when the winter months are upon us.

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