Why It Took This Long For Employees To Stay Home When They Are Sick

Prior to this pandemic, I have encountered countless persons sick at their jobs.  Cashiers coughing.  Restaurant servers sniffling.  Receptionists blowing their noses.  I’m sure you have observed these situations as well.

Each time, I have always said to the person, “You should be home resting!”  And almost every single time their responses were some version of, “I have to be here.”

Although many would categorize me as a workaholic, I have historically been pathetic when I get sick.  Unless I absolutely can’t adjust my schedule, my sick routine has always been to change into pajamas, begin drinking herbal tea and binge watch Lifetime movies.  Even when it’s just been a cold.  But sadly, there have been many times I too have gone to work because I “had to be there” even if I felt like crap.

Maybe this is one of the silver linings of the pandemic.  From the beginning of the healthcare crisis, the CDC and other experts said “Stay home when you are sick.”  Unlike much of the other constantly changing guidelines, this common sense advice has remained consistent.   But after this crisis passes and we get to the New Normal, I hope this paradigm shift remains.

I’ve always felt tremendous disappointment when an organization I was patronizing allowed a sick person to remain at work.  It made me think that the organization wasn’t terribly generous with sick leave for their employees. It also made me wonder if the organization cared whether or not their customers got sick.  

When the perception is that an organization doesn’t care about staff or customers, loyalty from both staff and customers suffer.  Be part of the paradigm shift to continue sending your team members home once we get past this pandemic.  Let them go home and get better.  Their loyalty to you will be “contagious” to your customers.

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