Flu season is here, and it can wreak havoc on American workplaces. In fact, WebMD reports that “each year, between five percent and 20 percent of Americans get the flu and miss a staggering 70 million workdays as a result. In turn, this costs between $3 billion to $12 billion a year.” Here are some tips for keeping a healthy staff and dealing with the flu when it hits your company.
Implement a Wellness Program
Healthy workers tend to be happy workers, so it’s a good idea to consider offering some sort of wellness program. Some examples include:
- Exercise classes
- Healthy cooking classes
- Fitness challenges
- Offering healthy foods in the breakroom
Not only can this build up your employees’ immune systems and minimize their chances of catching the flu, it will improve their overall well-being, which can translate into higher productivity.
As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” so it’s smart to encourage your employees to get flu vaccines. Although this won’t necessarily eliminate the flu, it can be a big help and dramatically reduce the number of employees who get it.
Distribute Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer is affordable, easy to apply and can help keep germs at bay during flu season. That’s why you should buy several bottles and place them at convenient locations throughout your place of business. Routinely using hand sanitizer not only minimizes the chances of employees getting the flu, it can also drop the number of gastro-intestinal and respiratory-related illnesses significantly.
Encourage Employees to Stay Home When Sick
Even though absent employees can put a strain on operations, the last thing you want is sick employees spreading their germs to others. Accordingly, it’s best to establish a policy where sick workers are encouraged to stay home until they recover.
Employ Temporary Workers During Flu Season
No matter how many precautions you take, there’s no way to completely eliminate workers from getting the flu. Fortunately, you can prevent a lot of stress on you and your staff by hiring temporary workers to cover the workload during the flu season. Regardless of the shifts and hours, a staffing agency will work with you to ensure that you have the necessary manpower to keep up with demand.
Although flu season can create some big problems and put a strain on your business, you can minimize setbacks by adequate preparation. When you follow these tips, it should put your business in a position to effectively deal with flu season and prevent your company from being crippled by it.
For more advice on effectively running your business, check out our management tips.