The Value of Clean – The Effect of Employee Illness on Output and Sales

Improve Your Bottom Line Where You Haven’t Looked Before

Employee absenteeism has a direct cost to business. In 2011, Canadian workers took an average of 9.3 sick days costing their employers a total of $16.6 billion.* According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in some cases the costs associated with employee absenteeism were greater than the cost of employee wages.**

Unplanned absences have both a direct and indirect impact on staff productivity. One missing individual affects the productivity of their entire team. When someone is absent, other employees are left trying to juggle two sets of job duties. Not only does the work of the absent person suffer, so does the work of others. Employees’ jobs are often interconnected and lost productivity in one area can impact many other areas of work. This can lead to additional stress, resentment, low morale, missed deadlines, breakdowns in team collaboration as well as customer service, and ultimately in lost business.

According to the ISSA, unplanned absences cause a 54% decrease in productivity and a 39% drop in sales/customer service. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index surveyed 94,000 workers across 14 major occupations in the U.S., and according to the survey, the annual cost of lost productivity due to absenteeism varies by profession. For managers and executives, unplanned absences result in a loss to business of $15.7 billion annually. Absences by clerical and office staff cost their employers $8.1 billion annually and absences by sales staff result in a loss of $6.8 billion per year.

The good news is that these costs can be controlled with a few simple steps. Firstly, create a defined and specific policy on sick days, and secondly, create a work environment that is conducive to overall good health, both physical and mental. The most effective way to ensure the physical health of your staff is to implement a comprehensive cleaning program. This will help prevent the spread of colds, flus, and other infectious diseases in the workplace. A good cleaning program can reduce your chances of catching a cold or flu by as much as 80%***and will save your business money.

To learn more about how cleanliness can improve your bottom line, come back next week for the fifth instalment in ‘The Value of Clean Series’, The Value of Dust Reduction.

* Conference Board of Canada – read the full article
** People Force Solutions – read the full article
*** ISSA – The Value of Clean – see the infographic here

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