3 steps to reducing sick leave using AI models in your employee survey

by | Jan 18, 2024

CIPD’s recent report Health and wellbeing at work 2023, showed that 2023 had the highest absence levels in the UK in over a decade; “employee absence rose to 7.8 days per employee, or 3.4% of working time lost.” Sick leave can be a significant challenge for large organizations, as it affects not only well-being but productivity, performance, and morale. However, there is a modern way of working to lower and prevent sick leave.


AI sick leave

  • Detect employee groups at sick leave risk.
  • Learn the causes of sick leave.
  • Intervene and prevent sick leave.


A modern employee survey

A modern employee survey is a key tool to measure the degree to which employees are committed, motivated, and aligned with the organization’s focus areas. It is no longer only a tool for senior management and HR to gain employee feedback but a tool to learn the employee experience for the entire organization to improve well-being and performance. Measuring on a regular basis, you know the employee experience of your organization’s focus areas.



“There is a modern way of working to lower and prevent sick leave.”



AI in your modern employee survey

Gallup reports that 41% of employees feel stressed, and 28% feel burned out. With the help of artificial intelligence (AI) in your employee survey, you will know how and where to improve employee well-being and ultimately reduce sick leave (the time an employee, due to illness, takes off from work). You can even predict the groups most at risk and know what measurement area significantly impacts reducing the risk of sick leave.

In the Populum employee survey, we leverage Predictive AI, NLP (Natural Language Processing), and Generative AI to learn about employee groups at risk for sick leave, point out the problem areas, and provide recommended action. There are three main steps to reducing sick leave:


1. Detect employee groups at sick leave risk

Populum’s robust AI model is built, trained, and tested with real data. The finished version serves as the basis for predicting sick leave on an ongoing basis. With each survey, the model combines the new information with trends and provides an updated risk status. In the platform, you quickly know what segments of your organization are at the highest level of risk for sick leave absence.


2. Learn the causes of sick leave

Every organization is unique with, for example, its way of working, culture, workplace environment, business nature, and organizational structure affecting people’s well-being. Measuring the employee experience of the organization’s focus areas allows you to learn what causes people to take sick leave.

Populum’s comment analytics AI model analyzes the employee survey’s written text. It groups the feedback into themes and measurement areas and can be filtered on HR master data segments. This allows you to learn insights about your people’s well-being and learn result patterns, issues, and root causes of sick leave.


3. Intervene and prevent sick-leave

Once you know the groups at risk for sick leave and the root causes of it, you must act to reduce and prevent it. Populum’s predictive AI model presents the most important measurement area you must improve to reduce the risk of sick leave. The platform also guides you with smart recommendations and recommended actions based on your measurement results.


Work smarter with your employee experience using AI

By knowing sick leave risks and causes, you can optimize workforce planning and management. When you measure, you can also learn the effectiveness of your well-being initiatives and make adjustments and improvements as needed. Using AI in your employee surveys can also help employees develop self-leadership skills, such as self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-motivation, that can enhance their well-being.

Quickly addressing sick leave risks is not only important for employee well-being but essential to the organization’s success. Using AI in your employee survey, large organizations can create a positive and productive employee experience that drives well-being, performance, innovation, and growth. While AI is not a replacement for human care and support, it is a powerful complementary tool. By adopting and implementing AI and employee engagement surveys, large organizations can reduce sick leave and create a healthier, happier, and more productive work environment for all employees.


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