Writing about Britain's 'sickie' culture in the Times, Libby Purves displays the type of good sense that seems to have deserted the executives at the helms of some of Britain’s larger employers.
If you make your staff miserable, insult them, undervalue them and treat them as ciphers, they’ll go sick on purpose to spite you. If you overwork them and load them with daft rules and paperwork because you are trying to hit stupid targets, they’ll go sick because you’ve actually made them sick. On the other hand, if you organise them in small, focused, intimate teams and encourage human friendship in the very design and facilities of your building, they will be less likely to betray one another and you.
Wonder if Sainsbury's management team bothered to read this? Sadly, it would appear not.
These things should be truisms, golden rules at the core of every management course. If you look around you, or listen to any group of young workers in any pub or wine bar at six o’clock, you will find that they are not.