Ineffective management priorities are one of the primary reasons behind high absence rates in the UK, a new study has found. With 32% of employees blaming management style to increased stress levels in the workplace.

The research, released by Investors In People, is compelling to say the least, with those who described themselves as “happy” in their job less likely to take sick days and are found to be more productive when at their desk.

Almost 10% of organisations don’t offer any support or are actively attempting to improve employee health & well-being. More importantly only 1 in 10 organisations have a standalone well-being strategy in place to help employees. On a brighter note, almost 75% of organisation do offer some sort of health promotion to employees, with the most common incentives being gym memberships and healthy eating initiatives. Thankfully nearly half of organisations reported that they have shifted their focus to support employee well-being and put steps in place to manage it more effectively.

It makes for bleak reading and, with figures from the CIPD revealing that absence costs the UK almost £29 billion a year, businesses need to rethink how they manage their staff.

In related news, the most common reason for stress in the workplace is the increase in staff workload. This is also linked to increased stress levels due to longer working hours becoming the norm for many organisations.

The table below shows the top 5 causes of stress in the workplace: (source – CIPD)


One way to find problem areas, and reduce the amount of absence within your organisation, is to implement an automated absence management system, such as e-days. This way you are able to spot patterns and trends in staff absence, which in turn lets you find ways to combat rising absence levels. All absence types and historical records are kept so managers, HR and staff are given a clear overview of previous instances and can assist if any problems arise.

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