Improving Morale, Productivity, Performance through Action & Cost-effective Techniques 2008

Analysis & Report of the IMPPACT 2008 Questionnaire

Firstly we would like to thank the Kent based businesses who completed the IMPPACT 08 On-line Survey. We are very pleased to announce the results below. If you are interested in finding out more please do not hesitate to email us. We would also welcome you to join our IMPPACT 08 Workshop

One of the biggest challenges facing organisations is to ensure that they have a workforce who are well trained, motivated and are in good shape physically and mentally to enable them to “do the day job”.
Three organisations have collaborated to develop some meaningful data across a broad range of clients from a variety of market sectors on the current situation that faces predominantly Kent-based employers in managing and supporting their workforce. Businesses were invited to complete a short questionnaire to give current and relevant data upon which to raise awareness of what organisations can and should be doing to reduce sickness absence in the workplace.
So why is this important and what does

Productivity &
Performance through
Action &
Cost effective

Organisations can have a really positive impact in supporting their staff by ensuring that they have in place and are working to a robust set of absence management policies and procedures. This approach can only serve to Improve staff Morale, Productivity and Performance through Action and Cost effective Techniques.

Results summary and overview

1. What are the most frequent periods of sickness absence in your organisation?
1 – 5 days - 95%
5 – 10 days 2%
More than 10 days - 3%

Reasons for absence:
Infections 84%
Mental health 2%
Musculoskeletal 2%
Stress 7%
Surgery 2%
Unanswered 3%
Of those who responded, the results demonstrate a significant 84% of short-term absences through infections, which typically cover illnesses such as colds, flu and headaches etc. Habitually, a larger proportion of mental health, stress and musculoskeletal related absences will fall into long-term absence.

2. Do you offer sick pay, as part of your employment benefits?
Yes 78%
No 22%
Over 75% of organisations that responded have a sick pay scheme in place to cover short-term illness. It is not clear how frequently this benefit is used.

3. Does long-term sickness absence within your organisation make it difficult to plan your employee resources?
Yes 49%
No 49%
Unanswered 2%
In the data that was collated there was an even split between whether long-term sickness absence creates difficulties in employee resource planning. Only 3% of those who responded identified absence of 10 days or more therefore it may not have a significant impact upon resourcing within the business.

4. Which periods of absence are more difficult to manage?

Short-term 36%
Long-term 20%
Repeated absence 42%
Unanswered 2%
42% of those who responded viewed repeated absence (regardless of whether short-term or long-term) as the most difficult to manage, although this was closely followed by short-term absence with long-term absence only cited as 20%. Typically however, most management and HR professionals tend to agree that isolated spells or even frequent spells of short-term absence are much harder to manage around, given that there is much less time to plan replacement resources.

5. Do you have a process for managing sickness absence?
Yes 75%
No 25%
A significant 75% of those who responded confirmed that they had some sort of process for managing sickness absence with a quarter of all who responded having no such system in place. This survey does not establish to what level of process is adopted by the organisations surveyed. However, it is interesting to note that 25% have no form of process in place whatsoever.

6. Do you carry out return to work interviews on the first day that employees return to work after sickness absence?

Yes 49%
No 49%
Unanswered 2%
This question was split down the middle in terms of response with 49% confirming that return to work interviews were carried out on the first day back the staff who had been sick and 49% confirming that this did not take place.

7. If no would you consider implementing the practice?

Yes 32%
No 25%
Unanswered 43%
32% of those who responded confirmed that they would consider implementing some sort of practice to help staff back to work, with 25% choosing not to implement such process and a significant 43% not answering.
It is questionable whether those organisations that answered with a definitive no appreciate the true value in adopting a robust return to work interview process.

8. What effect does sickness absence have on your organisation?
Put pressure on staff? 78%
Adversely impact upon staff morale? 7%
Create conflict? 2%
Makes you have to recruit short-term resources? 8%
Unanswered 5%
There was a strong 78% response that sickness absence within their organisations caused pressure to be placed upon other staff. Interestingly 8% of those who responded advised that they would have to recruit short-term resources to manage workflow and another 7% believed that absenteeism had an adverse effect upon staff morale. Only 2% thought that it created conflict.
The additional pressure that is placed upon existing staff can in itself be a further driver in increased absence amongst staff that in normal circumstances would not have been absent. As absence increases, it is not surprising to experience an upturn in stress related absences as increasing workloads means staff are then forced to work longer hours and potentially feel undervalued and disillusioned with their employer.

9. Do you as an organisation have any strategies to help employees stay fit for work and life in general?
Yes 53%
No 47%
A very positive 53% of those who responded confirmed that they did have strategies in place to support staff in staying fit for work and life as a whole, however 47% did not.

10. Do you offer any specialist rehabilitation or other health services for staff?
Yes 41%
No 59%
Specifically looking at practical health interventions 41% of those who responded confirmed that they actively had services in place to support staff, whilst nearly 60% of those who responded confirmed that they did not.

11. Do you have medical advisers or other support to advise on sickness absence?
Yes 46%
No 54%
When we looked at organisations using the services of medical advisers or other support or advice around the question of sickness absence, 46% confirmed that they did have specialist support whilst 54% did not.

Please take a look at our Conclusions from the results of the survey find out what our experts

If you are experiencing difficulties in managing workforce absence please contact:
• Jennifer Bowden - Chartered FCIPD –
• Anna Daniels – Cert Ed, RSA -
• Dr Manuel Fernandes - BSc, MBBS, MRCGP, DCH, DRCOG, DRRP, AFOM, MIOSH. –


We would also like to congratulate
Karen from the Romney Resource Centre, New Romney who was the lucky winner of the IPOD.

Well Done Karen! (Karen is pictured below receiving her IPOD)

If you would like to receive information on a conference considering sickness absence and creating an environment where staff are encouraged and supported in staying fit, improving morale and increasing productivity please let us know