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HR practices revisited

Burn-out, Absenteeism and Sick Leave

How do you deal with burnout complaints, absence and sick leave?

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Burn-out strikes in organizations. People sick at home and absenteeism are challenges for HR.

The debate and the policy in organizations is positioned around these four issues:

(1) Is the focus of HR on checking whether people are really sick? Are people fundamentally distrusted and does HR often gives employees ‘the disadvantage of the doubt’ and this approach scares people to stay at home when they are ill.

(2) HR tries to understand what’s going on and support the patient to get back to health as best as possible (without pressure to return to work too early).

(3) The emphasis is on the individual, offering counseling or psychological support in the case of burnout and placing the responsibility mainly (or even exclusively) on the individual. People often see it that way themselves and then feel guilty because they become ill and often do not see what the environmental causes could be.

(4) Or does HR also look at the organization and ask itself the question of the causes in the organization structure and culture that cause people to experience pressure on their psychological and / or physical well-being, and not appear at work (even if they are not strictly ill). People work on ‘healthy work’ (with meaningful jobs, room for regulation and a lot of practicality and solidarity / support.

And what do you do in your organization … is to take it easy or really question the functioning of the organization and teams, the role of managers, job content, autonomy or the lack thereof, etc …

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