In a perfect world, you would always know well in advance when a worker is going to be absent. But, as we get closer to winter, you may see an increase in sick days as colds and the flu begin to circulate through the workplace. Often, with these sorts of absences, you may get a few hours of notice at best. And, if you’re unprepared, you may find yourself scrambling to arrange the coverage you need to keep operations running smoothly.
So, how do you prepare for employee sick days if you don’t know when they will happen? Here are a few tips to get you started.
Cross-Training and Coverage Plans
To make an unexpected absence manageable, it pays to make sure various team members are well-versed in the other’s duties. Often, this means investing in cross-training as this ensures more than one person knows how to manage any given task the team may face.
Ideally, at least two people besides the core employee should understand how to cover the person’s assignments. That way, if more than one person is sick, or someone falls ill while another team member is on vacation, there isn’t a disruption.
Once the cross-training is complete, map out a hierarchy of who is responsible for what should a particular person take a sick day. By formalizing the structure, everyone automatically knows where the responsibilities lie when someone is unexpectedly absent.
If you work in an office environment, having employees set up to work remotely can also minimize the impact of sick days. In some cases, a worker will call in when they know they are contagious, even if they feel capable of handling certain critical tasks. The ability to log in remotely could allow them to deal with important duties from home, even if they are a bit under the weather.
However, even if these arrangements are made, it’s important not to require employees who fall ill to telecommute. In some cases, they may be genuinely too sick to work, or their illness may affect the quality of their outputs, making it a bad idea to force them to participate. But giving them to option, when it lowers the amount of sick time they must use, can be beneficial to everyone, and is certainly handy if a worker must call in to care for a family member and they themselves are not actually under the weather.
Bring in Temporary Workers
Did you know that you can get a temporary employee on short notice? It’s true! Staffing firms like TempStaff often have an available pool of workers who are open to short-term positions, even if the request is last minute.
By bringing in a temp employee, you can make sure the rest of your team isn’t overburdened by an unexpected absence. They can help fill the gap associated with the ill employee, making it easier to keep production up and stay on target.
If you are interested in finding a temporary worker to cover sick days at your workplace, the team at TempStaff can help. Contact us to see how our services can make the stress of unexpected absences a thing of the past.