The Biggest Lesson of Flu Season

flu season sick policies

Do you hear that sound? It's the sound of about 11-million people coughing and sneezing.

Flu is everywhere; the worst in years. And it's costly.

Recent estimates put business losses at a whopping $9 billion. That's billion. With a capital B.

While we can't stop the flu, we can learn from it. And the biggest lesson is: make sure your sick policy is in good health. An effective sick policy keeps sick people home; it keeps healthy people healthy; and it prevents employees from spreading the cultures that nobody wants - the kind that should stay in petri dishes.

Improving the Health of your Sick Policy

Unfortunately, many sick policies have a fatal flaw: they penalize people who use them. And that prompts people to feel compelled to show up when they shouldn't. We've said it before: it's not enough to merely tell people to call out: you have to make it possible, practical, and perhaps most of all, acceptable to be out sick.

We here at Bright Horizons ask people to stay home if they have a fever or signs of the flu. Just as important, we make it known that there's nothing heroic about showing up to work with a green complexion and an airsick bag; and there's also nothing weak about staying home when you've got an aching headache and a fever.

Check here for how to get your employees to call in sick.

And to all our friends: wash hands often, use the modern cough method (into your elbow), get a flu shot, and stay hydrated.

Stay healthy, everybody!  

Written by: Bright Horizons Blog Editor

About the Author

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The Bright Horizons Blog Editor frequently posts on the real solutions that meaningfully support employees, advance careers, and drive the world’s leading brands. The Editor curates the latest news, trends, and challenges facing HR pros because your time is scarce. Follow the Bright Horizons Blog to receive this insight in your inbox.