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Six ways you're making your employees sick

by , 27 May 2014
Well, I've finally come down with the flu doing the rounds. Not too difficult when working with 60 people. In fact, it's amazing how often your place of business is to blame for spreading viruses and bacteria.

I remember reading an article in The Star a little while back: 'Is your office making you sick?'. The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health ran a study which shows six areas of your job, and office, that are literally making you and your employees sick...

Keep reading to find out what they are...

In 2014 you will contribute to R19 billion spent in sick leave
Sounds impossible, I know. I didn't believe it either. But R19 billion is what sick leave costs South African companies a year. This is equal to the amount medical aids paid to suppliers in 2010.
And did you know R57million of that is from employees taking 'sick days' off purely because they just didn't feel like coming in to work?
Stop your employees abusing sick leave today! Our experts will show you how

How you could be making your employees sick

1. The layout of your office
While an open plan office helps employees communicate with each other, it helps transfer germs! You can minimise this by encouraging people to wash their hands often and keep their work stations clean and tidy.

2. Burning the midnight oil
We all have times where deadlines demand we work more hours than usual. BUT, if you're regularly piling work on employees and they're working later and later, you need to look into their duties. You should also encourage them to eat properly, take regular breaks and exercise three times a week.

3. Office furniture that doesn't have a good design
Furniture with a bad design can cause bad posture. This puts too much pressure on the lower back muscles, and could lead to chronic back problems.

Assess employees' workstations and check they have them set up correctly.

4. Electric smog
'Electrical smog' is the electrical field in offices by large amounts of electricity. If your employee thinks there's something wrong with the air in your office, take steps to adjust the ventilation, buy an ioniser or make sure you earth your equipment properly.

5. You could be the problem!
If you're a difficult boss, you could be bad for your employee's health. In fact, you could increase his risk of a heart attack!

Your employees should be free to discuss any issues they may have with you or your management style.

6. Lurking in your keyboard
Dr. Charles Gerba, an American microbiologist, has found that keyboards have 21 258 microbes per square centimetre. Compare this to 7.6 per square centimetre for the average toilet seat!

Make sure employees clean their keyboards regularly to minimise the spread of germs. 

Don't let the CCMA rule a disciplinary hearing 'unfair' under your watch

When it comes to chairing disciplinary hearings, you can't afford to make any errors. 

If you make one mistake the hearing will be ruled as unfair.

You're still the boss!
Now, I'm not suggesting you don't enforce the rules of your business for fear of inducing heart attacks in your staff. They still need to follow the rules and regulations you've set out.

To do this, have an HR manual to regulate conduct in the workplace. You also need to consistently apply the rules. Follow these steps when developing an HR manual:

Step 1: Determine who will be involved in developing the manual.
Step 2: Decide what the manual will include.
Step 3: Develop each policy.
Step 4: Review the policies.
Step 5: Consult with stakeholders.
Step 6: Train all staff on the contents of the manual.
Step 7: Determine the format of the manual.
Step 8: Review your employment practices.
Step 9: Set time to review the document and make changes.
Step 10: Ensure your managers understand the contents of the manual and are comfortable complying with the provisions of the manual.

57 ready-to-use contracts, policies and forms for every employee situation
When you have to follow the procedures as outlined in the manual, you'll need the right contracts, policies and forms. Luckily, the Industrial Relations Toolkit boasts 57 ready-to-use contracts, policies and forms for every employee situation.
There are even three toolkits to choose from:
Toolkit 1: Grievance and disciplinary procedures and forms.
Toolkit 2: Employment contracts, recruiting and independent contractors.
Toolkit 3: Company policies and procedures.

Or you can ensure you cover every situation and buy all three! To find out more, click here.


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