Presenteeism: All Present but not Correct

Written by Charlotte - 04 Jul 2018 Category: HR news

According to the latest CIPD ... Read more

According to the latest CIPD survey, presenteeism is on the rise with 86% of the organisations surveyed reporting having observed presenteeism over the past 12 months.  But what does this term mean, and what impact will it have on the world of work?

What is presenteeism?

Presenteeism describes people coming into work when they are too ill to do so and can be defined as: “Going to work despite feeling unhealthy or experiencing other events that might normally compel absence (e.g. childcare problems).”

Contrary to initial appearances, such attendance does not show dedication but is more likely to indicate a cultural problem whereby people are too afraid to miss time at work, either for fear of being reprimanded or for trying to manage a large workload that doesn't leave room for sickness.

Why is presenteeism problematic?

Although employees show up to work when sick with the intention of getting the job done, this attitude does more harm than good. When a worker is present but not able to work at full capacity, this compromises productivity and the quality of output. And because the employee is at work rather than resting, presenteeism is more likely to extend the illness and maintain reduced productivity for longer.

Ways to tackle Presenteeism

So how can HR professionals tackle presenteeism in a manner which benefits employee wellbeing while helping to solve productivity issues? We’ve outlined three key steps below to help manage inappropriate attendance at work:


  1. Set clear boundaries on positive workplace behaviour. Make it clear that the organisation supports time off for sickness, and let employees know that there will be no negative repercussions if they miss time off for illness. Ensure these messages filter down from the top so that managers aren’t emailing when off sick, or expecting responses from their downline if they happen to be off.

  2. Increase flexible working options to empower employees. Flexible working enables employees to optimise their working patterns by avoiding working during periods of illness, or when personal problems affect their mental capacity. Flexible hours need to be managed carefully though, as giving employees more opportunity to set their hours working from home can increase presenteeism, with people unable to switch off and working from their sick bed.

  3. Change sick pay policies.  Take a look at your current sick pay policy to see if there’s room for improvement. Are employees encouraged to come back to work before they’re better because a more extended absence involves completing complicated paperwork? Absence from work when appropriate improves employees wellbeing and work going forward. As such, sick pay policies should not be designed to prevent absenteeism but rather to promote optimum health and encourage employees to take time off to fully recover.

The tools already exist to help reduce unhealthy patterns of behaviour at work. Rather than inventing a new way of doing things, the change is more about promoting a culture that supports employees while they are unwell and encourages time off to recuperate.  By following the steps outlined above, HR teams can help organisations to tackle the problem of presenteeism and improve wellbeing and productivity in the workplace.


Improving Leave Management

Written by Charlotte - 06 Jun 2018 Category: HR news

Managing leave can be a major headache. At specific points of the year, particularly around the Christmas period and school holidays, HR can find themselves inundated with multiple leave requests.

Managing leave can be a major headache. At specific points of the year, particularly around the Christmas period and school holidays, HR can find themselves inundated with multiple leave requests. If organisations process these requests incorrectly too many members of staff may be allowed to be absent simultaneously. Get it wrong, and there’s also the likelihood of irritating teams and promoting distrust towards the HR department.

So how can leave be managed effectively? What steps can organisations follow to minimise the workload and process leave accurately and efficiently? This article provides an overview of leave management and several suggestions for improving this HR process.

What is leave management?

Managing leave requires the recording, approving and monitoring of staff leave. There are many types of leave to contend with: paid leave includes annual leave, parental leave and TOIL. Unpaid leave covers sickness and sabbaticals. As all employees will accrue and request leave throughout their contract, managing it well is an essential HR activity that can be very time consuming if not done correctly.

The impact of Absenteeism

We cannot talk about improving leave management without discussing absenteeism. Absenteeism, the practice or regularly staying away from work without good reason, is hugely detrimental to the organisation, even if the staff member is only off work for one day. Research suggests that in the absence of effective leave management, organisations often underestimate the number of days their staff are off sick. Indirect costs of absence include operational disruption, lower morale, increased stress for the team and greater employee turnover.

Tips for Improving Leave Management

  • Introduce a clear leave policy and make it mandatory reading. Doing so will go a long way to ensuring that staff know the number of days they are entitled to take, how many days they can carry over, and what to do if they are off sick. Having this format in place will make organising requests a little bit easier because the data will be more accurate from the start and aligned with company policymake it mandatory reading. 
  • Offer incentives to minimise leave clash. If your organisation is unable to close over popular holidays, try offering incentives to encourage staff to work over this period. For example, if staff are required to be in the office between Christmas and New Year, you could offer an additional day’s leave to be taken later in the year at a less busy time.

  • Automate leave management via a self-service portal. If you’re still using spreadsheets to manage leave, consider switching to an online leave management system. Using an online system will help reduce the admin burden on HR as it allows employees to create their own leave requests, and for their managers to approve without a long trail of emails back and forth. All requests and approvals are recorded within the system, with leave entitlement calculations updated automatically.

Automate Leave Management in Minutes

CiviHR offers a cloud-based leave management feature to help organisations process and track leave requests. Staff can submit their requests via the self-service portal and view their remaining balance and leave entitlements. HR users can easily monitor employee time off through this feature, approve requests, check for any leave clash, and report on absence over a given period.

Try out leave management for yourself today on our demo site. You’ll find instructions on using the leave module here.

Let the Numbers do the Talking: The latest HR Statistics

Written by Charlotte - 24 May 2018 Category: HR news

It is the HR department’s responsibility to make sure that their employees are motivated, satisfied and fulfilled in the work that they do. That’s no small responsibility!

It is the HR department’s responsibility to make sure that their employees are motivated, satisfied and fulfilled in the work that they do. That’s no small responsibility!

Recent research into the world of HR has produced some fascinating findings. These statistics (listed below are some of the key results) go a long way in helping organisations rethink the human resources sphere and all that it can offer regarding improving employee experience and company culture.

HR Tech

  • 97% of HR leaders are planning to increase their investment in recruiting technology by the year 2020, including nearly a quarter (22%) who anticipate a 30-50% increase in spending. (Future Workplace)

  • 48% of HR and talent professionals want to replace their current HR software with a cloud-based system by 2018. (Information Services Group).

Employee Wellbeing

  • 87% of employees expect their employer to support them in balancing their life between work and personal commitments. (Glassdoor)

  • 46% of HR leaders say employee burnout is responsible for up to half of their annual workforce turnover. (Kronos)

Company Culture

  • 92% of employees believe showing empathy is an important way to advance employee retention. (Businessolver)

  • 76% of HR leaders say onboarding practices are underutilized at their organization. (Kronos)


As HR becomes increasingly data-driven, statistics can be used as a valuable window into the must-know HR trends for the coming years, enabling organisations to stay focused and relevant; two attributes that help contribute to a productive and content workforce.

About CiviHR

CiviHR is a project to create affordable HR software for non-profit organisations. By developing open source technology the benefits can be shared with non-profits everywhere.


CiviHR is a project to create affordable HR software for non-profit organisations. By developing open source technology the benefits can be shared with non-profits everywhere.