Preventing absence due to illness

At AU, we have a shared responsibility to tackle issues that could affect the work environment in a negative way and lead to absence due to illness. Employees as well as managers should therefore be involved in this effort at different levels. 

Organisational level

At the organisational level, AU is responsible for the goals and strategies that form the setting for employees’ work and hence for their well-being, including:

  • The work environment, e.g. workplace assessment procedures and tools.
  • Staff policies and guidelines on work environment and absence due to illness etc.
  • Competency development. 

Group level

At the group level, employees are responsible for contributing to well-being and collaboration at work e.g. by:

  • paying attention to constructive communication, even in stressful situations.
  • being aware and asking about colleagues’ well-being – also when they are ill.
  • actively supporting initiatives aimed at promoting well-being.
  • actively contributing to the group’s culture and well-being (for more information, see right-hand column). 

Management level

At the management level, the manager has a key role to play in efforts to prevent illness due to aspects of the work environment. Management should lead the way, e.g. by

  • clarifying roles and responsibilities in the staff group and helping to prioritise tasks.
  • striving for openness and dialogue in the unit.
  • reacting if an employee’s well-being seems to be affected in a negative way. Initiating dialogue is essential in order to prevent absence due to illness. The manager should ask open and unprejudiced questions and allow the employee to speak. 

Individual level

At the individual level, you are responsible for contributing to well-being and collaboration e.g. by:

  • learning to recognise your own stress signals and asking for help if necessary.
  • asking about colleagues’ well-being and listening to them.
  • drawing attention to work environment issues that affect well-being and safety.