Many employers provide sick leave time for occasions where an employee is too unwell to go to work. And according to the Condition of Employment 2022 report by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower, 12.2% of workers took sick leave in the first half of 2022.
But if sick leave is disrupting the work rhythm of other employees, then business owners need to find out what’s causing the situation. It may sound like a cliché that employees lie to get sick leave, but it can be a sign that the leave system in the workplace is not optimal.
Are your employees taking sick leave too often and becoming Chao Keng? In Singapore, Chao Keng refers to someone who pretends to be ill to escape work. So how can you avoid Chao Keng’s character without causing conflict in the workplace or violating the Employment Act? We have some solutions for you.
Sick leave in Employment Act regulation
Sick leave is a situation when employees take a break from work to rest and get better when they’re not feeling well. However, in many workplaces, business owners often face a tricky situation when an employee takes too much sick leave.
On the one hand, the business owner is not sure whether the excess sick leave is valid but on the other hand the business owner also cannot reject the employee’s sick leave request, especially if the employee has completed the leave request with a valid medical certificate from the clinic or hospital.
If rejected, the business owner violates the Employment Act rules set by the government. According to the Employment Act 1968, employees are entitled to paid outpatient sick leave and paid inpatient leave if they have worked for a company for at least 3 months.
How to deal with “Chao Keng” Employees?
So how should business owners deal with these types of “Chao Keng” employees? Here are two things that can be done to prevent sick leave abuse.
With burnout on the rise, employee engagement dropping, and people continuing to avoid their work with excuses like fake MCs, business owners need to consider implementing a more frequent and clear culture of compassion.
According to Harvard Business Review, creating a culture of compassion has been linked to a decrease in employee emotional exhaustion (one of the elements of burnout) as well as a decrease in employee absenteeism at work. To be a more compassionate organization means putting empathy and care for employees, customers, and communities first. It’s about creating a workplace where people are treated as individuals with feelings and needs, not just as tools for the job.
Companies that practice compassion in the workplace generally also provide emotional support and resources to help employees deal with personal and professional challenges. This can be in the form of mental health programs, flexible work arrangements, or counseling services.
By doing so, employees will feel more valued and cared for by the company. When employees feel valued and supported, they are more motivated and productive. They are also more likely to work harder for the organization. That way, your staff will have their own awareness when it comes to taking leave due to illness without having to be manipulated.
Reward over punishments
In today’s job market, keeping good employees isn’t just about having a job. It’s about making them feel valued and helping them grow at work and in life. To do this, you need a workplace that cares about their well-being, offers fair pay, and lets them balance work and personal life.
In simple terms, if you want loyal employees, you need to create a place where they feel supported and appreciated, both in their careers and in their lives outside of work.
In many workplaces, it’s quite common to find organizations adopting various strategies to promote punctuality and regular attendance among their employees. Some of these strategies include offering incentives such as rewards and additional leave. These incentives are not meant to favor one group over another but are designed to motivate all employees to consistently meet their work commitments.
Essentially, these initiatives create a win-win scenario where employees benefit from additional rewards for their dedication, while the organization benefits from a more punctual and engaged workforce. By implementing these practices, organizations aim to foster a positive work environment where everyone has an equal opportunity to excel and be recognized for their contributions rather than giving punishment when there are employees who cannot meet the targets as expected.
By applying the above two approaches, Chao Keng in the workplace will think twice about manipulating sick leave because in the long run, it will cause more disadvantages to themselves.
The easiest way to implement Compassion Culture and Rewards over Punishments
Now you have a new strategy for dealing with Chao Keng. However, you still don’t have the time allocated to implement these two approaches due to some limitations. If this is the case, StaffAny can help you to implement the new strategy through EngageAny, an automated performance-based rewards & employee engagement program. With this automation, you can focus more on your products or services rather than allocating too much effort to managing Chao Keng employees.
EngageAny has a feature where users can regularly share their feedback on how they are feeling at work. Business owners or managers can access this feedback within the Employee Happiness Score Report. By encouraging feedback from employees, it can empower managers to improve the workplace experience. The establishment of regular feedback allows you to bring a compassionate culture within the team.
Automation from EngageAny can also be used to implement performance-based rewards into employees’ daily routines. Performance-based rewards are incentives given to employees in recognition of their contributions to the company. Employees who receive recognition and rewards tend to have higher morale, making them happier and more motivated to work.
For example, managers can use the challenge module in EngageAny that allows them to introduce gamification to increase engagement among their staff at work, such as a challenge to complete 25 shifts in 1 month. By successfully completing challenges, their employees will earn coins that they can later redeem for rewards.
Are you ready with new ways to motivate your “Chao Keng” Employees?
Prepare yourself to unlock the potential of EngageAny, a unique offering exclusively brought to you by StaffAny! Are you ready to seamlessly integrate the power of EngageAny into your business? Don’t hesitate any further!
Learn more about EngageAny here.