Managing absence, improving business performance
Post Office has come a long way since it all started nearly 400 years ago – building a network of 11,500 branches across the country to become the largest retail network in the UK. And that means a lot of people – enthusiastic, ambitious and customer-focused people.
Employing almost 5,000 people and operating in a heavily regulated environment brings challenges, and this requires significant investment in people – personal development, e-learning and continually measuring engagement and wellbeing. Because if employees are not happy, or they’re unwell and that absence isn’t managed properly, it can have a massive impact on the business – culturally and financially.
The Post Office MyHR Help service (an outsourced employee relations advice line delivered by AdviserPlus), identified that, in the four years from 2013/14, sickness absence durations had increased from eight to fourteen days.
This included a rise in mental health-related absence, which was costing Post Office approximately £1.5m per year.
reduction in mental health absence
We want our people to be well, and putting the right tools and processes in place to support this is critical. Since working with AdviserPlus on our mental wellbeing programme, we’ve heard line managers say how proud they are to
work for Post Office and how it has opened their eyes to all the things they can be doing to proactively support their people at work. Spotting the early signs is crucial and we’ve helped our managers to do that very well.
The AdviserPlus solution
25% of all days lost were attributable to mental health conditions – over twice the national average – even though the number of cases being opened by MyHR Help was very low. That meant cases were not being managed and employees not supported enough – either before, duration or after absence. In addition, and on the back of staff surveys, Post Office discovered that they needed to do more to address mental health and wellbeing. All of which was reinforced by the data.
AdviserPlus worked with Post Office to deliver four new services, all of which were specifically designed to address absence and mental health, and help managers intervene early.
- line manager training
- a proactive advice line service
- MI and visual analytics
- HR knowledge portal