While companies should be paying attention to the health and wellbeing of all their employees, it seems that junior staff could be the people who need the most support from their employers, according to a new survey by OfficeGenie.co.uk.
The research found that 24% of junior staff feel negative about work at the start of the day and 22% feel negative after they have finished work. This is higher than any other staff group.
It seems that salaries play a large part in this feeling of negativity, with 62% of junior staff indicating they deserve to earn a higher wage and 75% saying they want a pay rise.
Interestingly, 46% of junior staff said that being able to work from home would boost their wellbeing, but they aren’t allowed to. A further 46% said they feel overworked, which has a detrimental impact on their happiness.
However, despite the apparent negativity, 64% of junior staff make it into work when they are ill. This compares to 47% of senior management and 43% of business owners.
Almost a third (32%) of junior staff said they do not feel fulfilled in their job roles, while 29% said they are not challenged at work.
Peter Ames, Head of Strategy at OfficeGenie.co.uk, said although junior staff might expect a lower pay cheque due to their lack of experience, flexible working is a fairly universal right.
“It comes down to trust. I’d suggest that the more you trust employees by allowing things such as flexible working, the more you will get out of them.” he said.
Line Managers Not Being Given the Tools to Manage Absence
The Office Genie research comes as a separate poll shows that many employers are failing to equip their line managers with the right tools to manage sickness absence.
According to the 2016 CIPD/Simplyhealth poll of more than 1,000 employers, 28% said line managers taking primary responsibility for managing absence was in their top three most effective approaches for dealing with short-term absence in the workplace. In 2015, this figure was just 17%.
It’s a similar story when it comes to managing long-term absence, with 20% of employers saying it is an effective approach, up from 11% in 2015.
However, despite employers highlighting the effectiveness of line managers dealing with absence, less than half (44%) train their line managers to do so for short-term absence. Similarly, just 38% train line managers for dealing with long-term absence. These figures are down from 52% and 45% in 2015 respectively.
Jill Miller, research adviser at the CIPD, said a line manager’s role usually covers a vast range of areas, from identifying and resolving workplace issues to keeping employees engaged and supported.
“Line managers are usually the first port of call on health and wellbeing issues within their team, and make day-to-day decisions about work allocation and staffing arrangements. They therefore need to have both the competence and confidence to consider the wellbeing of the individuals they manage, and help shape the work environment to suit their needs,” she said.
Workplace absence is an issue for many employers but so is presenteeism which can have the same negative impact on staff and productivity. There are many tools available to help employers with these issues including a good group income protection policy. These policies do not simply pay an income when an employee is absent from work; they also offer help and assistance with employee health and wellbeing.
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