Tues 28 Nov 2023 1:00pm UK time

“Absence Management is massive right now. We’re spending more time advising clients on how to manage individuals than anything else,” says Helen Manson, co-founder of Complex HR.

Absence and low performance seem to go hand in hand at the moment. Teams are stressed, leaders are stressed that their teams are stressed, and all the while quality of work is slipping – or there’s not enough being done full stop. 

But the moment you finally get around to addressing someone’s low performance or lack of productivity – they go off sick! It’s a game you can never win. 

“We’ve got 39 individual clients and I cannot tell you how many of those are dealing with this,” says Complex HR co-founder, Helen Kirk-Blythe

“Mental health is obviously super important. But we’re seeing a lot of instances where the business owner finally goes through the process to address an individual’s low performance, but because they’ve never dealt with it before, the individual starts claiming, ‘I’ve got anxiety’ after they’ve received a disciplinary. But they’d never once mentioned having anxiety before that.”

How do you even respond to that?

According to Helen and Helen, there’s a particular level within a business where this seems to be happening a lot. 

“We don’t like to generalise, but there is an age bracket that we can very clearly define as to whom this affects,” says Helen Manson. “If we are having performance issues, they will fall in that age bracket. And it’s such a pain for the people who work really hard, know what they’re doing and want to get on.”

In this session, the Complex HR duo will take you through:

  • Why is performance so low at the moment?
  • Why is absence so high?
  • What process should you have in place to address low performance?
  • How do you handle those conversations?
  • What do you do when team members claim sickness as an excuse for low productivity?

Come along to figure out what to do when you find yourself in this scenario and quiz the experts on how to handle these difficult conversations.