Professor Sir Cary Cooper highlights concerns about ‘presenteeism’ at work

Written by Debbie Carter on 15 June 2016 in News
News

The CIPD Ireland Conference today and tomorrow highlights the need to support and build resilience in employees, many of whom have survived turbulent times over the last few years.
 

The CIPD Ireland ‘HR shaping engagement and well-being to improve performance’ and highlights the need to support and build resilience in employees, many of whom have survived turbulent times over the last few years. Photo credit: PA 

As CIPD Ireland opened its Annual Conference and Workshop today, Professor Sir Cary Cooper, president of the CIPD and keynote speaker, highlighted the problem of ‘sickness presenteeism’ at work and the cost of poor mental health and well-being to organisations.

Figures estimate that the cost of ‘presenteeism’ – where employees are attending work even though they are unwell and unable to perform at their best – for UK employers is £15.1 billion per year. Professor Cooper discussed how stress and workplace conflict affect mental health and organisational cultures, and the consequences of physical health issues to employee engagement and productivity.

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Ahead of the conference from the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, Professor Cooper commented: "Stress related absence is high in most EU countries. The challenge is to create good places to work, where people are managed by praise and reward and not fault-finding and word overload, where they are trusted to work more flexibly and where they have better balance in their lives".

The theme of this year’s conference in Croke Park is ‘HR shaping engagement and well-being to improve performance’ and highlights the need to build organisations that will not only attract and retain top talent, but also support and build resilience in employees, many of whom have survived turbulent times over the last few years.

Mary Connaughton, director CIPD Ireland, commented: “The changing nature of work and the improving economy in Ireland demands new ways of thinking from the HR profession and business leaders. We need to design better jobs and create work places where people can be at their best, develop meaningful careers and continuously upskill in line with business needs. Having a healthy workforce not only benefits the individual, but can significantly improve organisational performance and create a healthier bottom-line. That’s why employers, the government and HR community need to work together to build an integrated approach to well-being for all working environments and help individuals experience better work and working lives.

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