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.


View All Staff Leave from the SSP

Written by Charlotte - 20 Jun 2018 Category: CiviHR

It’s now possible to view the leave dates for all members of staff from the calendar view of the My Leave screen of the SSP.

It’s now possible to view the leave dates for all members of staff from the calendar view of the My Leave screen of the SSP. Staff can check to see if a colleague is on leave and managers can use the calendar to check for any leave clash within teams before approving a leave request.



To maintain privacy, users (other than HR Admin) will not be able to view any notes or details regarding the leave. There’s also the option to hide the leave type label from public calendars and feeds (Configure > Leave > Leave Types).  By ticking this option, the leave request will only show as ‘leave’ in the staff calendar, giving enough information to show that the member of staff is absent but no details regarding the nature of the absence.


The legend has also been simplified to show only those leave types displayed in the current calendar view.

Editing Dropdown Lists is now Quicker and Easier

Written by Charlotte - 18 Jun 2018 Category: CiviHR

When you log in to your site, you’ll notice a tiny blue spanner appearing next to the fields containing dropdown lists.

When you log in to your site, you’ll notice a tiny blue spanner appearing next to the fields containing dropdown lists. This little blue tool is your new best friend: by clicking on the spanner, you can edit dropdown lists directly from the field in which they appear, rather than having to go to the Configure menu. It’s much quicker and easier as you do not have to click away from your current screen.

To try this out, go to anywhere in the system where a dropdown list appears (in the examples included in the screenshot, we used a Job Contract record). Click on the blue spanner to view and edit the dropdown options.

After clicking the spanner, a popup box appears listing all the currently available items and giving you the option to add more. In the example below, we have the opportunity to add a new Work Location.

Once you’ve entered the new item, click Done. It will now appear in the dropdown list, and you can choose it for the Job Contract record. That's it: changes made and saved in just a few quick clicks. How very handy!


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.