Illustration of a person working late into the night

There have been a number of stories circulating about the current state of the American workforce. From The Great Resignation and employees leaving their jobs in droves for better benefits, pay and professional advancement to “quiet quitting” and “productivity theater” in workers who feel that going above and beyond is no longer serving them. There are a number of opinions and perspectives about why these trends are happening and what employers can do about it. As companies everywhere are strategizing on better ways to retain talent, this is also a critical time to look at flight risks: What about the employees who haven’t yet left their positions?

Are your employees engaged, happy and fulfilled? Signs that they are not might include employees making mistakes, seeming disengaged, or are working longer hours yet are less productive. They may also appear to be visibly fatigued or avoid interacting with their peers. If these examples describe even one of your employees, it might be time to examine what the company might inadvertently be doing to contribute to this diminished version of previously happy and engaged workers.

Presenteeism is at the heart of many of the workplace trends that are gaining attention since before the pandemic began, but certainly has increased as employers ask employees back to the office, with many preferring to stay in remote jobs. Presenteeism refers to the lost productivity that occurs when employees are not fully functioning in the workplace because of an illness, injury, or other condition. Presenteeism can also describe the need by employees to work despite other factors such as feeling physically or mentally drained, feeling guilty or insecure about taking time off because of workload or fear of job security. So even though the employee may be physically present at work, they might not be fully performing their duties, and are more likely to make errors in their work.

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