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Lessons From a Recent Illness

As my current clients know, I have been quite ill for the past 5 or 6 weeks. So those who are observant will have noticed I didn’t publish a newsletter last month, and this is the reason why.

I was ‘lucky’ enough to catch something on a recent trip to Sydney. My medical team haven’t been able to determine exactly what it was. I tested negative for COVID multiple times and negative for the different influenza strains, but whatever it was triggered one of the worst asthma attacks I’ve ever had. And that is saying something as I have suffered from this all my life.

While I was recovering and my clients were patient with me and my availability, they dealt with a greater challenge: that of their staff taking time off due to illness. In one case, one production floor had over 30 people away due to sickness. So the fact I wasn’t working with them was of no real consequence; in fact, it was a blessing because we wouldn’t have been able to achieve anything anyway.

The key takeaway or lesson for me is that: from now on and into the foreseeable future, executives will have to manage their business with a greater degree of absenteeism and the uncertainty COVID and the supply chain disruptions have brought. I feel this will become a more regular challenge for a few reasons, one of which is the result of the pandemic and subsequent variants, and the impact this will have on your workforce.

The other cause will be more industrial action. With Union membership at an all-time low and the current inflationary environment, Unions have an opportunity to make themselves relevant again. They will do this via industrial action. You need to be prepared for this, if not within your organisation, then certainly within your supply and transportation partner base.

© David Ogilvie

absenteeism, COVID, staff shortage, supply chain disruption

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