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!  
Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
flu season sick policies

Subscribe to the On the Horizon Newsletter