Treatment of staff correlates to sickness

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While long-term care providers juggle staffing during cold and flu season, research indicates there may be a factor in their control: How they treat staff.

University of East Anglia and Stockholm University have found that employees who believe they are treated unfairly at work are at a higher risk of being out of the office for illness.

The treatment of employees by managers is called “interactional justice” and is defined as both informational justice, which is receiving truthful information, and interpersonal justice, which is respect from a manager.

Researchers used data from more than 19,000 employees in Sweden to look at the relationship between these types of justices and frequent and long sickness absences. When employees sensed lower levels of justice at work, they often were out longer and sicker.

Higher levels of job insecurity also turned out to be a predictor of absence.

The results underline the need to treat employees fairly in order to keep the workforce healthy, said Constanze Eib, Ph.D., a lecturer in organizational behavior at Norwich Business School.

Results were published in BMC Public Health.