How to deal with the Melbourne Cup sickies


feature-flemington-90Gen Y love lifestyle. It is their anchor. That is the one thing they will not let go of under any circumstances.


They integrate work into their lifestyle. They do not balance work and life. Fun and being seen is where it’s at.


And where better to be seen than the Melbourne Cup? The annual horse racing showpiece highlights a key challenge for new employers who have to grapple with unauthorised absenteeism among staff, especially younger workers.


So why not devise a way of striking first? Businesses, especially start-ups, need to implement a sick leave policy before absenteeism becomes a problem.


I would say you should start the way you mean to go on. We’re about to witness the biggest sick day(s) in Victoria’s history – the Monday before Melbourne Cup and the Wednesday after Cup day.


If you don’t address that on a proactive basis, you get what you can expect. Employers should be saying “Let’s have some flexibility”.


Flexibility is the new order. Demonstrate to people why you need coverage on a particular day, but say you’re more than happy for people to take another day off.


Small businesses have to do something about it because the absence of one or two people has a big effect on the business. Organisations need to embrace transparency and openness.


We need to understand the lifestyle anchor as well. Set up a new standard. Re-write your policy.


Any policy should be outlined in writing but needs to remain uncomplicated. Employers should ask staff for input to the development of a policy.


If you prescribe what happens, you’ll get what you get. If you consult your staff, you might be surprised.


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