Hanga Mate-Sick Days

The last two days I have felt like absolute shit. I woke up yesterday morning feeling pretty average and then as the day passed I slowly wained and went home to bed at lunch time. I was running a temperature of 38 degrees, had a splitting headache and my whole body was weak and sore. All I wanted to do was sleep but I spent the arvo in a weird state of intermediate consciousness.

Now, I was lucky I got to go home sick, lets be honest I was in no state to work. However after having my surgery I have no sick days left, that got me thinking, what in the hell are sick days? Worse yet, what are bereavement days?

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Do we really live in a world where you are only allowed to be sick 4 days a year? and you are also not allowed to be sick in the first year?

As I still sit here slightly hiding from the pain with the help of ibuprofen, panadol and codeine, I think, why does it have to be like this, I would never want anybody to be feeling this awful and think that they had to “soldier on”.

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Companies will say, “oh, but it’s the law.” Well, I say, are you not trying to be the greatest companies in your field, are your staff not the most important part  of this company and do you not want this company to have a “family feel?”

The employment contract laws are minimum requirements. Do you, as a company not strive to be excellent? Or just to do what is minimally required? If your family was sick, would you not encourage them to stay home and recover so that they feel better again and can function like a normal human being? Or would you tell them to harden up and that they aren’t allowed to eat while they remain sick? (referring to unpaid sick leave).

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Then you might argue: what if someone continually takes sick days without actually being sick? My answer to that is simple and somewhat brutal…if the employee doesn’t want to be at work then they do not believe what the company believes and are therefore not a good fit for the business. The employee will be compromising other areas of their work, and therefore your business. Perhaps an honest conversation about them as an employee and you as their employer will move things positively forward.

Believe in your employees and they will believe in you!

Having recently completed Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why, any decision your company makes should align with why you operate as a company. Is your vision to be the greatest or is it to do the minimum required? Is it to treat each other as individuals and with respect, or to box everyone into the category of a robot?

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If you want your employees to buy into the vision of your company, to believe what you believe, ensure your actions as a company provide support to your employees and reflect your beliefs. Then we can have true work-life balance and live healthy, happy and prosperous lives many companies are capable of offering.

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