It has been a rough couple of weeks here at the Shoop house. Between my husband’s ankle surgery and my kindergartner catching a tummy bug, we have had our fair share of sick days. Now, I’m gearing up to have my gallbladder removed tomorrow. Remember when the phone would ring a lot and we’d say “Grand Central Station”? Now I feel like we live in Surgery Central Station!
As an employee and a manager I have heard my fair share of call in sick excuses. Just out of curiosity I did a search online and there are lists and lists of funny or weird excuses, and then even excuse generators! There are guidelines on how to sound sick on the phone and every step mapped out for you. Amazing!
What can you do about call in sick excuses?
How can you avoid lame reasons for why someone is not coming in? How can you increase productivity even though someone is out sick? Two things to build into your work environment are trust and flexibility.
Start with an open and honest environment. Build trust within your team. When trust is high, people work hard to do what is right and best for everyone. Employees learn that they can talk openly about feeling run down and worn out and needing a day of rest before they are truly sick and contagious.
Once I had a team member who I practically had to force to take a sick day when he needed it. He was so worried about letting the team down, he didn’t want to miss a day. Which is great, but we didn’t all want to get sick. The fun thing was, when he took the day off, we all worked harder to pick up his slack and then some so he could really get the rest he needed.
Depending on your environment, create as much flexibility as possible. Perhaps the sick person just doesn’t feel well enough to leave their house, but could get a lot of work done from home? Or could some work be done at odd hours when the employee feels better so that it’s not an all or nothing situation?
When I had a highly technical role, I found that in the office I never wanted to get documentation done. However, on a day I was working from home, I could crank out tons of documentation because of the focus and limited distractions I had. It was a way for the team to capitalize on me not being in the office and get work done that historically fell behind.
Without trust and flexibility, you will probably hear a ton of bizarre excuses, have employees take off when they aren’t really sick, and low productivity. With trust and flexibility, employees will want to get the work done one way or another. Employees will work hard find a way to get the work completed that needs to be done either as individuals or as a team.
Trust and flexibility in the work place builds a happy and productive environment!
What crazy call in sick excuses have you heard? Share below!