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Dear Reader,

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that the seasonal flu costs American businesses about $10 billion a year. So how can you "immunize" your company?

The best way to beat the flu is to be prepared, and I hope you'll enjoy our flu prevention tips in this month's 60 Second Solution.

Best Regards,

Alisa Christopher
Winston Resources

The Winston Resources Blog

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FEATURED ARTICLE
The Challenge: Reduce the cost of seasonal illness

The 60 Second Solution: Keep your employees healthy!

The flu causes employees to miss an average of 2.8 days of work per year--not to mention the lost productivity in those days before and after. So how can you keep your company healthy?

Five tips to reduce sick days:
  1. Get the flu shot. The viruses selected to be included in the seasonal flu vaccines are updated each year based on information about which flu virus strains are identified, how they are spreading, and how well current vaccine strains protect against newly identified strains. This year's vaccine includes the H1N1 strain. Your best bet to avoid a flu outbreak at your workplace is to have your staff vaccinated. In fact, you can reduce absenteeism by as much as 45% by doing so. If you can, go the extra mile and offer an on-site flu shot clinic at your workplace. Not only will it be more convenient for your staff--but more employees will get vaccinated.
  2. Insist upon a clean work environment. In addition to having your office cleaned regularly, make sure you provide hand sanitizer, tissues and plenty of soap and paper towels in the bathrooms.
  3. Educate employees. It may seem simplistic, but basic hygiene is the best way to prevent germs from spreading. Provide your employees with information on "coughing etiquette," hand washing, and cleaning surfaces such as phones, doorknobs, and keyboards.
  4. Encourage people who are sick to stay home. The last thing you need this flu season is an "office hero" who comes in when he/she is sick and then spreads the virus to others. Encourage people with fevers and flu-like symptoms to stay home. You might also want to implement flexible leave policies that allow employees to work from home when they are sick or when they have sick children.
  5. Have a contingent workforce plan in place. There are lots of ways you can deal with worker absenteeism. But before you're hit with the flu bug, create a plan to deal with this issue, so you'll know what positions need to be filled and who to call to get the people you'll need.
And if you need help planning, call Winston Resources. We can help you create a cost-effective contingent staffing plan, and we can proactively recruit so that we will be prepared with high quality fill-ins at a moment's notice.
For more information on flu prevention at your workplace, check out these sites:

Flu.gov

CDC 2010-2011 Flu Season Guide
Click here for the full printer-friendly version of this month's 60 Second Solution.
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