A prior article about genuine time off yielded some unexpected responses from leadership. Among the messages I received, I saw a number of HR leaders remarking about how time off is also taken advantage of.
Whether they believed time
off is abused or neglected, it was fair to point out and call attention to the
inconsistencies in taking time off. According to statistics found by CareerBuilder, 40% of workers have
called in sick in the last 12 months when they weren’t sick.
These stats, in addition to
the messages from HR professionals, got me thinking about the various time off
policies that companies put in place, particularly as it relates to sick time.
In response, I want to share some of my own recommendations and advice for HR
leaders when it comes to sick time policies in the workplace.
Here are 3 HR approved reasons for employees to call
1. If they’re too sick to come in
This reason is the one
that’s most often ignored by your people. Employees may think they’re
scoring bonus points for toughing it out like a team player, but truthfully,
not calling in sick only causes an inconvenience to their co-workers as they
are not able to perform at their best. In this case, they are likely going to
end up needing even more time off later than they would have if they had just
taken a day off when they needed to recover.
2. If their symptoms are contagious
If a sick employee is
determined to still come to work, your whole staff is at risk of catching the
same cold, fever, or other illness they’ve brought into the office. If
your sick employee spreads their germs to the rest of their co-workers and is
the reason the rest of the team goes down, you can bet they aren’t going to be
very happy with not just their sick co-worker, but also with leadership for
allowing it to happen.
Don’t allow a sick employee
to jeopardize everyone else’s ability to work and overall health just because
they are too stubborn to stay home.
3. If their symptoms are seriously distracting
If your employee is hacking
up a storm or blowing their nose every 30 seconds, it’s time for them to get
some rest at home.
Disturbing everyone in the
office with awful sounds of coughs, sneezes, and sniffles is no way to win
favour from their work colleagues. This is also a good opportunity for your
people to take advantage of your company’s work-from-home policies, which were
instilled in order to make your employees feel comfortable and supported enough
to take a day off from their duties when needed.
Now that your sick employee
has been diagnosed as in need of time off, how should they call in sick the
Here are 3 must-dos for your employees when calling in
1. Communicate as directed
Far too often, I’ll get a text or email from an employee calling in sick when the policy explicitly states a phone call is required.
Speaking over the phone
will often allow you to see how the employee is doing, to gauge the severity of
their illness or injury, to discuss how long they’ll be out of the office, and
to help them ensure that their duties are covered by their team.
If you are expecting your
employees to adhere to a requested method of communication, that instruction
must be clear, fair, and consistent. This will ensure that everyone is on the
same page and will reduce confusion and any feelings of preferential treatment.
2. Take responsibility for their work
When calling in sick, your
employees should be considerate of the gap in the workforce they’re leaving by
delegating their tasks to their team members, providing instructions for how to
get the work done in their absence, and rescheduling meetings and appointments.
It’s important that
employees feel supported in their work handoffs when taking required time off,
whether planned or unplanned. Succession planning in any role is key,
regardless of the seniority or complexity of the position.
If your employee isn’t well
enough to communicate remotely, connect with their manager and/or supervisor
and give them an update so that they are aware of your employee’s status.
3. Be honest
Honesty is the best policy
— I can’t stress this enough.
Ever had a day where you
just don’t feel on? That’s okay! It’s important for all employees to feel
encouraged to sort themselves out, sort their work out, and take a day to focus
on their well-being. If your employee knows they’re going to be out for
three days or more due to a contagious virus, they should feel comfortable to
be upfront about it. The more information they can provide, the better
equipped your team will be when the employee takes their leave.
Over to you
When your employee is
vulnerable and truthful with calling in sick, it is important that the reaction
they receive from their HR and/or management is respectful, kind, and
accepting. If you want your employees to trust their leadership and be upfront
and honest about their personal matters, it is your responsibility to respect
their needs and their privacy in return.
If you need guidance on
your organization’s policies and practices when it comes to sick time and time
off policies, connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org for
a free assessment.
Your work isn’t over when you don’t get the job. Be sure to check these things off the list!
As the interview process continues along if you find that you are not short listed or receive notification that the company is not hiring you, take the time to respond. As long as you are interviewing and considering opportunities you are furthering yourself. Some reasons you may not be able to control such as years of experience, companies may have already decided who they are hiring before you apply, the latest education etc
Here is a list of suggestions for further consideration for future opportunities
Always Respond – Take the time to send a quick email thanking for being considered. An email will allow you to ask to keep the door open to be considered for future job opportunities with this company or other positions that they may hear about.
Ask for Feedback – If you’ve gotten through a few rounds of interviews, the interview team has probably gotten a chance to know you well—so there is no harm in asking for feedback at the end of your follow-up email. There is a chance that they won’t provide feedback—because it might be seen as a liability or they’re short on time—but, if they do, it may be helpful as you move forward with your job search.
Reflect on What Happened – Maybe the interview didn’t go as well as you hoped, take the time to reflect and learn. This will allow you to make a game plan and avoid making the same mistake in the future. Think of it as a learning opportunity that will transform you into an even better candidate the next time around.
Recognize When It’s Not a Good Fit – Sometimes it’s not about you or anything you could have done differently. One thing I learned from hiring people is that there are so many great candidates and there are also a lot of behind-the-scenes decisions that go into each hire. Sometimes the decision to not hire you truly has nothing to do with you. Chalk it up to job hunting experience and go after the next company on your dream job list.
Let It Go – Don’t be hard on yourself, move on to the next job opportunity, and realize that the hiring process often takes time.
There is no doubt about it—the job search can be very stressful. Stay positive, take care of yourself, focus on continually learning and improving, and remember: You don’t want every job – only the best job.
I am always a little surprised when I conduct a bad reference since the candidate/employee is the one who is deciding who I get to talk – as a Recruiter, it’s definitely happened.
Most companies take the reference portion of the interview process seriously and it’s your time as a candidate to have someone else make you shine. Having someone speak positively on your professional behalf doesn’t have to be a game of chance. Here is what I tell job seekers when they are preparing for the reference stage.C
Contact Your References:
Give them a heads up – call them! Anytime you hand over someone’s contact information, they should be aware that this has happened and be ready for a call. More than that, they should understand what company will be calling and what job they are calling about. If you can tell them a little bit about who is going to call them, even better!
Get your stories straight. It doesn’t work out well when your reference has no idea what your title was and uses “Admin or something” (true story) when you’re applying for an Accounting & Finance role. Make sure your reference can speak to what you did accurately.
Remind them of your “shinning moments”. It’s hard enough for us to remember our own accomplishments in our career, don’t expect your references to remember. Remind them about times that you excelled and skills that you possess so they can relay them back to the caller effectively.
Make sure it’s a recent connection. I conducted a reference check the other day and the lady on the other end needed me to explain who I was talking about 4 different ways before it clicked. Her first response after that was “it’s been over 10 years since I’ve worked with him and even then, I barely knew him – not sure what I can say about him?” I can no longer trust that that reference has any ability to speak to your current set of skills so the reference becomes obsolete. It also makes me wonder why you haven’t made connections that are more relevant over the last ten years.
Get the right reference. The above tips will only work if you are providing a genuine and legitimate reference for employers to speak with. If you get your friend to pretend to be someone they aren’t (ready for it? True story!) and there’s an experienced reference checker on the other line, they are going to figure things out pretty quickly and you’re going to knock yourself out of the running immediately. It’s better to be upfront and say that you left your last position under less than ideal circumstances and ask if it’s ok to provide a co-worker or personal reference instead.
If you have the above 5 items checked off, you should feel confident that you’ve done your part in ensuring you get the positive reference you need. Now it’s up to you to get the references to the hiring manager or recruiter in a timely manner (usually before being asked) and be prepared to follow up!
What is Success? Everyone has a different opinion. To me, success is that feeling of contentment and satisfaction with your life choices and decisions. Success to me is not measured in a monetary value but is sense of achievement. Sarah Lewis, bestselling author, describes Success as Mastery. Learn about her journey to success in this inspirational Ted Talk.
In my opinion, here are the 5 most important Daily Habits of Successful people.
Wake Up Early
If you ask any successful person about their day, they will tell you it starts early! Of course, “early” is a different time to everyone but generally the earlier you start the day the more you can accomplish throughout the day! If there is one thing in life that we do not have enough of, it is time. Successful people recognize this and utilize all of the time they have to the best of their ability!
With that being said, Sleep is also a crucial factor that affects successful people. Sleep affects the body and mind in many ways. It is important that if you are waking up early you are also going to bed early. Utilize the early morning hours so that you can get a good night’s rest!
Plan Your Day the Night Before
To be successful you must have good time management skills. To increase your time management skills, you should set goals and plan ahead! Successful people suggest that you should plan out your day the night before. This will make for a stress-free sleep and a well-organized morning. Some suggest that taking time in the morning to plan your day works well too. Find what works best for you!
Complete the Most Important Task First
One quality of successful people is their ability to multitask. It is easier to multi task with small, less attention-grabbing projects. However, if there is a project or assignment that is highly important and requires a lot of attention, tend to it first. It is all about priorities. Figure out what is more important and get it out of the way first. This will allow you to tend to all of the smaller demands throughout the day. Completing time consuming and large projects first also frees your time for unexpected interruptions.
AFFIRMATION. I often bring up affirmations in my blogs. Why? Because they are very important! Positive self talk will give you the boost that you need to increase your confidence! Confidence is another great quality of successful individuals. If you believe you are successful you will be successful. Positive self-talks personally help me the best in the morning or at night. Remind yourself that you are intelligent, beautiful, healthy, SUCCESSFUL, caring, reliable. What ever it is that you want to be you can be!
Another factor that sets successful people apart from non-successful people is that successful people are not afraid to work hard. Think about it, every successful entrepreneur has had to put their time in. Successful people are not afraid to grind out the hard work for however long it takes. At the end of the day they have the end goal in mind and do whatever it takes to get there.
Congratulations! You have made it past the screening stage of the interview process and now you are going for an interview. Here are 5 tips to help you prepare for success at your first job interview.
1. Review the Job Description and be knowledgeable about the job duties.
Be prepared to answer questions and provide examples of skills and qualifications that are asked for in the job description. If the job requires attention to detail you may be asked “Give me an example of a time you used your attention to detail?”.
If the job description calls for a team player you may be asked “Please tell me a time you have had to resolve a team conflict?” If the job description calls for strong written and verbal communication skills, you may be asked “Tell me about a time you have had to use your communication skills to send an email?”
Be prepared to tell stories and provide examples of your past.
Speak of results and be able to show that you have provided solutions with results. If you are able to quantify your achievements let the interviewer know. For example “I achieved 125 of my sales targets or I reduced turnover by 17%”
2. Use LinkedIn to research your Interviewer.
On LinkedIn search under people for the people and company that you are interviewing with. Read about the interviewer’s bio – where they have worked, promotions, accomplishments and education.
Review the company page as well.
3. Use the internet to research the company.
Visit the corporate website and LinkedIn to learn about the organization. Other sources of information are glassdoor.com and google.
4. Research to find out what Associations the company belongs to.
Learn which groups or associations you will be connected with for networking, learning and social purposes.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice.
Rehearse your interview questions. Review the interview questions until you are no longer jittery. Practice with a friend, in front of a mirror or use your phone to video yourself and listen to your answers.
Feel free to call our office at 604-606-1831 or email email@example.com for assistance around this topic!